Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

ingress/egress prescriptive easement

Both we and the previous owners drive over two neighbors' properties to get to our house (for a total of 17 years). On the one neighbor's property there is a public easement, but we are the only ones who use the road. On the other neighbor's property, we cut the corner to get to the main road. Only we use this corner; other neighbors do not, nor does the owner. This neighbor now wants to put up a fence where we cut the corner.

We could still get to our property without cutting the corner - although I have not measure the width of the road, and do not know if it is big enough for the 26' necessary for firetrucks (we are in a class 4 fire zone).

My questions are:

Do we have a prescriptive easement for the corner, and if so, how do I go about recording such easement.

Asked on 8/30/04, 11:14 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Christopher M. Brainard, Esq. Law Offices of C. M. Brainard - (310) 266-4115
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Re: ingress/egress prescriptive easement

Maybe, even probably. Can you still get to the road if the area were cut off? You may contact me.

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8/30/04, 2:07 pm
Barry Snyder Snyder Law
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Re: ingress/egress prescriptive easement

Yes, you probably do have a prescriptive easement for use of the property for egress and ingress. Likely it includes use of the corner of the property where you have cut across. However, you do not "record" a prescriptive easement. You must file a lawsuit to establish your right to the easement. In the meantime, your neighbor will likely go ahead and build the fence, unless the County or City Fire Department gets involved and makes a determination that the fence will block their access. I suggest you call the Fire Department and talk with someone in Administration to see if they will come out and give you some input. Then, see an attorney if you want to proceed with establishing a prescriptive easement.

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8/30/04, 3:51 pm
Donald Holben Donald R. Holben & Associates, APC
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Re: ingress/egress prescriptive easement

My expectation is probably do. Need more information. However, you will have to sue to quiet title to prescriptive easement. Do you really need this? Call to discuss if you wish.

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8/30/04, 4:18 pm

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