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    critter's Avatar
    critter Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Sep 7, 2006, 02:20 PM
    Property line dispute
    :mad: My husband and I own 2 acres and across the private road from us lives a man who INSISTS he OWNS property along OUR side of the road beyond the normal easement area. We have found that the previous owner of our property had given a 10 foot easement along our side of the road for "access and egress". Now our neighbor has rented a huge back hoe and is digging away at the bank of our land along with trees and vegetation and has filled in what was a proper ditch to catch rain run off without any proper county permits. We cannot get the county to follow through on consequences for his unlawful acts and fear our only recourse is a lengthy and expensive court process. Are there any fairly inexpensive alternatives for us?

    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
    Uber Member

    Sep 7, 2006, 03:25 PM
    Hello critter:

    Apparently you tried the cheap approach - talking to him. The first inexpensive option is small claims court, assuming the damages are less than your jurisdictional maximum. You don't need a lawyer, it's cheap and it happens quickly.

    If you have serious damages, then a lawsuit seems to be your only recourse.


    PS> I see that he's still digging. If you get a lawyer quickly, he might be able to stop further damage.
    Cvillecpm's Avatar
    Cvillecpm Posts: 553, Reputation: 28
    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2006, 05:43 PM
    Get an attorney. He can't undercut your ground without stabilizing it. Take pictures - loads of pictures. Find out where the backhoe is from and write supplier that it is being used to damage your property.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7692

    Sep 7, 2006, 05:54 PM
    Hire an attorney, sue him and the county if they will not act.

    Call the sheriff office or even file out a warrant for tresspass and destruction of property
    critter's Avatar
    critter Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Sep 8, 2006, 09:46 AM
    Thank you for taking the time to read/respond to my situation. We are considering small claims court as it seems the best recourse at this time... taking county to court not a bad idea at all as those cut trees would take a small fortune to replace. The county seems a bad joke and the sheriff cannot intervene on a "private" road. We have talked to a Real Estate Attorney who told us he'd expect $1000 just to begin... the attoney knows this guy already from his dozen times in court (one where he took 4 JUDGES to court and lost). My husband and I plan to meet with all the neighbors on the same road and band together to attack this situation. This guy has totally destroyed the road, removed the gravel everyone else paid to have spread, filled in the ditch they worked to dig in time for rainy season, even thrown things at passers by (including his fists). I refuse to let him intimidate me! Thanks again everyone...
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man

    Sep 8, 2006, 11:06 AM
    The first thing you need to do is check the plat books for the exact boundaries of the property. You may have to have a surveyor come in and stake out the boundaries.

    An easement is a limited grant of access to private property for a specific use. What I suspect is at issue is where your property line is with respect to the road. What purpose was this person allegedly granted the easment for?

    I would definitely get the neighbors involved, if they contributed to maintaining the road then they have an interest here. Maybe together you can hire an atty.

    But, based on what you have told us, not only was this creep out of line in digging on your side of the road, but he will be liable for restoring the property. However, small claims court may not get you enough to do so.
    critter's Avatar
    critter Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Sep 8, 2006, 08:09 PM
    Hey Scott, Yep, we have spent hours at the county checking his plat (which doesn't "close" according to my survey savvy hubby, meaning the parameters don't coordinate properly). We have paid surveyors but the pins "disappeared"... so we have to pay them once more. From what I understand, this nut case bought a triple wide MH and the county allowed it to be placed too close to the road because there wasn't enough room to place it. He then proceeds to brow beat our prior homeowner into signing away 10' (times 300') to him for "access and egress" only... while he's figuring to MOVE the road to our property to give HIM more room! Instead of getting proper county permits, he just rents equipment and digs it away! We're figuring to take him to Small Claims once for vegetation, once for soil, once for (whatever we can come up with). Our neighbors are running scared, but I hope to talk them into banding together (strength in numbers y'know).
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
    Uber Member

    Sep 13, 2006, 08:05 AM
    Hello again, critter:

    If your damages are MORE than the limit of small claims, I doubt the strategy you're contemplating will work. The judge will probably lump them all together, and you won't win enough to... to do anything! AND, you will be precluded from suing him further.

    Sure, you'll get back fence support from your neighbors, but in the final analysis, in court it's going to be YOU against HIM. Mano a mano. Strength in numbers?? No, I don't know...

    Think for a moment, WHERE this is ultimately going to wind up. Don't HOPE - THINK. From what you've added about this guy, I KNOW where it's going to wind up - so do you. Ok, go there - NOW.

    Small claims isn't going to work. Banding with your neighbors isn't going to work. Calling your county isn't going to work. Dealing with him yourself isn't going to work. Suing him on your own isn't going to work.

    What are you left with? Go hire the best real estate attorney you can afford. This turkey could very well be ordered to pay your legal expenses too. GO GET HIM!


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