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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    5

    Angry Limiting Use of a Private Road in Louisiana

    I purchased a home/private gravel road in 1998. The home was originally was on a large tract of land, that was subdivided over the years into 6 other lots. The owners of my home, kept the road private, kept ownership of the road and gave rights of ingress and egress to some, not all of the other property owners.

    For years the local parish government took care of the road, i.e. grading the road, adding additional fill, etc.. In 2000, the parish quit taking care of the road and the road has fallen into disrepair. I have on several occasions paid to have the road graded. However, I cannot keep doing it without financial assistance from the other home owners. I have had many problems with the other home owners due to their complaints about the condition of the road, yet they use the road more than I do. They speed, throw trash on the street and use the street as their playground for their toys and their kids.

    I have asked each homeowner in the past to contribute financially to help maintain the road, they all refuse. I have asked the parish to take the street as a donation, they refuse because the road is not wide enough. I have asked each homeowner if they wanted to purchase the part of the street that fronts their home and they would be responsible for that portion, they refuse.

    I pay on this private road each and every month in my mortgage and yearly as part of my local taxes.

    What are my rights? Can I stop all activities on the street, except for ingress and egress? Can I stop people from parking or speeding or playing in the street. How can I make them pay or get them to contribute for maintenance. Additionally, this street is a dead-end, the other land owners cannot access their property any other way.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Re: Limiting Use of a Private Road in Louisiana

    Unfortunately, Louisiana is in a bit of a unique situation with it's laws.

    Unless a Louisiana attorney chimes in here, you are going to have to find some local legal advice for your questions. But regardless of the state, it seems you are in a complex situation, with some adjoiners having been given ingress egress rights, some not, but all having no other option.

    The fact that the local government at one time maintained the road could be another factor.

    You will need to get a local attorney to research all of this for you in the records and give opinions and advice for your specific questions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Limiting Use of a Private Road in Louisiana

    Thanks for your reply. All I really want to know right now is that since I own the road, beginning to end, and I have the proof, can I restrict the usage? I only want them to be able to use the road to get to their homes. No playing on the road, no riding bikes, no parking, no playing in the road, etc... They have driveways and yards. None of their deeds or conveyances say they have this right.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Re: Limiting Use of a Private Road in Louisiana

    Having proof that you own the land under a valid ingress egress easement might not mean anything- you might not have any right to restrict or control those who have deeded rights. It doesn't necessarily mean that you own "the whole road".

    But go back to my initial post and please understand that Louisiana situations are not going to find a wide national response here due to the history of the state and it's legal system. That is all that I am recommending. A local attorney can read your title documents, understand them, and advise you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Limiting Use of a Private Road in Louisiana

    Unfortunately, I do own the ENTIRE ROAD. The whole thing. I have title to it and I pay my mortgage on it every single month. The rest of the homeowners/renters that live down this street just live down this street, period. I have done all of the title work on each piece of property, their records reflect, they live in a PRIVATE road. All I am trying to do is restrict their usage to traveling by car, no playing in the street.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Limiting Use of a Private Road in Louisiana

    Well I am not familiar with Louisiana law at all and LandSurveyor is right in that you may want to seek the advice of a local attorney because you have some complexed issues. But I would think at the very less that you can restrict their usage of the road to just vehicle or foot passage. But when you say the previous owner gave easement rights to some of the owners, were they recorded as easements? Also, do you have any idea why the Parish maintained the road to begin with...did they or do they use the road to provide any services to the property owners (i.e. utilities, trash, etc) and does the postal service use the road?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Limiting Use of a Private Road in Louisiana

    When the previous owner subdivided this tract of land and then sold the tract, mainly to family members, there was a 'clause' giving rights of ingress/egress to the new owners/family members. No separate rights of way, or easements were ever filed in the Clerk's office for any reason, not for utilities, not for the parish government. Not all of the landowners down this private lane were granted rights of ingress and egress with their deed or by separate easement/right of way. They just use the road. Subsequent owners of the property get the rights of ingress/egress via conveyance(deed) of property.

    The parish maintained the private road for over 40 years because that is what our parish (county) did, they took care of private roads in the parish as political favors. They would grade the private road and add gravel on a regular basis. The parish currently uses the private road to travel to read water meters. The postal service uses the road to deliver mail. There are power lines on the side of the road. As well as sewerage pipes right down the middle of the road, installed by the parish government. There is no drainage. And just a couple of days ago, the parish graded the road. They said it was a mistake.

    I just want to keep the residents off the road and get them to slow down AND if I could get them to contribute to the maintenance of road that would be great too. They have free use and free access.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Re: Limiting Use of a Private Road in Louisiana

    there was a 'clause' giving rights of ingress/egress to the new owners/family members.
    To me that reads as an easement dedication, heritable and running with the land.

    It does not need to say "right of way" or "easement" to be construed as either.

    After 40 years, the Parish has likely established a prescriptive right of way for a public street if they want to enforce it. Your neighbors might come around to that point of view if pressed. If the Parish sides with your neighbors, it might be very rough sailing for you.

    I am not an attorney in Louisiana or anywhere. Your attempt to interpret the law there entirely in your own favor has not found a following here yet, but that only means that you need to get a local attorney, as I suggested in my first reply.

    Let us know what you find out.

    Good Luck!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Limiting Use of a Private Road in Louisiana

    Quote Quoting cocobelle
    View Post
    When the previous owner subdivided this tract of land and then sold the tract, mainly to family members, there was a 'clause' giving rights of ingress/egress to the new owners/family members. No separate rights of way, or easements were ever filed in the Clerk's office for any reason, not for utilities, not for the parish government. Not all of the landowners down this private lane were granted rights of ingress and egress with their deed or by separate easement/right of way. They just use the road. Subsequent owners of the property get the rights of ingress/egress via conveyance(deed) of property.

    The parish maintained the private road for over 40 years because that is what our parish (county) did, they took care of private roads in the parish as political favors. They would grade the private road and add gravel on a regular basis. The parish currently uses the private road to travel to read water meters. The postal service uses the road to deliver mail. There are power lines on the side of the road. As well as sewerage pipes right down the middle of the road, installed by the parish government. There is no drainage. And just a couple of days ago, the parish graded the road. They said it was a mistake.

    I just want to keep the residents off the road and get them to slow down AND if I could get them to contribute to the maintenance of road that would be great too. They have free use and free access.
    Well if you were in North Carolina, I would advise you to force the parish's hand because this private road is being used beyond what I would consider typical access for maintenance. Here in North Carolina, no entity can access a private road without the appropriate easement or explicit permission by the property owner. But it is probably wise that you seek some advice from an attorney locally before proceeding.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Limiting Use of a Private Road in Louisiana

    Oh and there's something in Louisiana called a 'tacit donation' that says if a government entity (parish) maintains/takes care of a private road for at least 3 years, the parish has to continue maintenance of that private road. The road does not become property of the parish and is still owned by the current owner, but must be maintained by the parish.

    I tried to point this out to our parish officials and to our parish attorneys on more than one occasion. Kind of hard to push right now, since we are ground zero for the oil spill.

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