My neighbor is claiming 2 easments on my 3/4 acre property. Only one was listed on the title report, but the other in perscriptive rights. He has 7 acres surrounding me on 3 sides, and threatens anyone who parks on either road. He has blocke my access to the rear of my house, where I used to park, and keep my wood. I have no where else to park, and can't afford the $5000 my lawyer wants to reopen probate. The title company has offered me $10,000 to release thier liability for not finding the easment, but won't cover me until it goes to court. Ther are many other issues, such as him stealing 2 water tanks off this property while it was in escrow, lying about how much my portion of the Forest Service water bill, and moving surveying property stakes. What do you suggest.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Are you in Trinity County, or Humboldt? I used to be a large landowner in both counties (Eureka Southern Railroad). You seem to be stuck in a huge and messy conflict with a neighbor that has decided for some reason to go to war with you. My first reaction was that you should look at your possibilities for moving, rather than litigating with this aggressive jerk.
If necessary, there may be ways to litigate, or even to negotiate, and come out ahead. It doesn't look as though you can afford the battle, which could be more expensive than these opening estimates or my guesstimate of cost to challenge the neighbor in court.
If you could provide me with more details, including but not limited to how long you have owned your property and how you acquired it, and some details about the neighbor, I might be able to give you some further insights.
There is no such thing as a prescriptive easement until a judge grants one in an action to quiet title to one. If the prescriptive easement was established by a prior lawsuit, then that judgment should have been recorded and your title company should have noticed it during the title search.
The party burdened by the easement still has the right to use the property, as long as it does not interfere with the rights of the easement holder.