How Can I Get My Easement Back?

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I have been an easement owner since 1977. The new owner of the land on which the easement crosses has locked a gate and made it impossible for me to cut the lock or otherwise get through. I now have to drive through a very rough pasture of another neighbor’s. What do I have to do to get my easement back?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

You haven’t lost the easement, in the sense of the legal right to cross your neighbor’s land. Your neighbor is interfering with your easement – in essence trespassing. And you deal with that in much the same way as any other trespass.

First, you attempt talking with your neighbor to see if there is any possible way to work this out amicably. I generally advise people to be fairly flexible in these negotiations, since you will still be neighbors afterward.

Failing that, you should see a lawyer, and consider a lawsuit to enforce your legal rights.

One thing you should be aware of is that in the same way that an easement can be created by use (a prescriptive easement), one can also be extinguished by being unusable. So while you have the legal right now, if you wait too long, it could be lost. Therefore, this is something you should address promptly.

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Author: House Attorney