Featured News 2014 Enforcing Your Rights Under an Easement

Enforcing Your Rights Under an Easement

An easement is a right that a property owner has to use some of the adjoining property of another. For example, if you and a neighbor share a long driveway, then you have the right to use that driveway just as he or she does. If your rights under an easement are being jeopardized, you can take action to remove the interference or you can bring the proceeding to a lawyer and have it be worked out in court.

If you decide that you want to handle the easement issue on your own, you will want to do so with an abatement. An abatement is a sort of self-help remedy which permits the dominant owner to go onto the land and remove an obstruction that is interfering with an easement. For example, if your neighbor puts up a locked gate on a drive way that you have the right to drive, then you have the right to unlock the gate, or challenge the owner for putting it up when you have a legal right to the land.

Normally, abatements are used in generally simple issues with easements. For example, if your neighbor puts up a play yard for his children that crosses onto the easement, you could simply ask him to move the play set several feet. If a neighbor decides to set up a garage sale on a driveway that blocks your ability to leave your home, you can simply ask that the tables be moved so you have access to your garage.

When easement issues are more complicated, you may want to bring legal proceedings in the courts in the form of an action for private nuisance. Normally, a wrongful disturbance of an easement claim is considered to be a private nuisance. You will need to prove that the easement issue interferes with the enjoyment of your rights.

It cannot merely be an obnoxious issue that is easily fixed. For example, the garage sale issue would not be something that would be worth bringing to court. Likewise, an individual who is doing a construction project that is spread out across the easement cannot be taken to court, because the remedy is so simple.

Instead, a plaintiff must prove that there has been a substantial issue with the easement and that that plaintiff is not able to enjoy his or her rights and privileges regarding the easement because of the other party's actions. Remedies for wrongful interference of an easement include an injunction, a declaration, or damages.

If the court decides on an injunction, then they have the authority to make an order that prohibits that owner from interfering with your rights. If the court chooses a declaration, then they will make a binding statement about each parties' rights and obligations regarding the easement. If the court chooses damages, then the plaintiff will receive compensation from the offending party for all issues regarding the easement.

Sometimes, the best solution to an easement issue may be to extinguish the easement altogether by a "surrender." The easement can also be modified or extinguished in court. Whenever you decide to take legal action concerning an easement, you need to notify a lawyer.

With the right attorney on your side, you will be capable of conveying your opinions to the court. Don't hesitate to contact an attorney right away to learn more. With the right lawyer on your side, you will be able to seek assistance and work hard to get the easement arrangement that you want. A real estate lawyer near you on our directory can help, so don't hesitate to search for attorneys in your area!

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