Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Wisconsin

squatters rights

We own a house ( since 2002) that is

next to a village of Caledonia, WI

easement. The house was built in

1946. The driveway and garage dates

to at least the late 1970's if not

earlier. Now the village says that the

driveway is partly on the easement.

We have maintained the easement

(cutting grass) since we moved in. Is

the part of the driveway on the

easement now our property? How

should we proceed?

John

Asked on 8/21/08, 4:40 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Sean Sweeney Tosa Law Office

Re: squatters rights

That is a tough situation. For that I would recommend contacting a local land use attorney. What you refer to as "squatters rights" is called adverse possession. Adverse possession applies when you openly and notoriously maintain land as being yours for a set period of time. (I think 20 years in Wisconsin). However, maintaining an easement for the City (or Village) may be something entirely different.

With an easement, you own that land, and you grant an easement to the city. (Whether you want to or not, it is included as part of the deed.)

So I would think there is no one to be adversely possessing the land from, it is your land, you just agreed when you bought the house/land that you would give the city that portion to use as an easement.

I am really not sure what options you have available to you, I would definitely consult with someone in your area that can take the time to look up the case law and the proper statutes.

Good luck.

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Answered on 8/21/08, 4:52 pm


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