nieghbor blocked our easement with a fence. blocking access from sidewalk and part of our driveway. we are the last house at the end of a dead end street. in an unincorporated part of the county and it is a private street. this is the only way to access our property. what is the statute of limitation for filing a suit, and what kind of suit do we file?
4 Answers from Attorneys
Have a good attorney 1) send a letter notifying them you have an easement and demanding they remove or else you will sue them, 2) if no prompt response file a property lawsuit seeking declaratory and or injunctive relief as needed 3) after filing, seek temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. I have a feeling they might remove it with the right attorney demand letter. The statute of limitations varies.
Let me know if you want me to handle this for you.
Daniel Bakondi, Esq.
The Law Office of Daniel Bakondi, APLC
870 Market Street, Suite 1161
San Francisco CA 94102
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I would demand in writing that your neighbor restore the property as it was to protect your easement. I'd give 30 days for a response. If your neighbor refuses, litigation may be an option. However, make every attempt to accomplish without incurring excess costs and upsetting neighbor. The Statute of Limitations could vary depending on additional facts. Please call if you need an assist. 951-847-0154.
It is better to act upon the problem ASAP but since it is a continuing trespass the statute of limitations should not start until the fence is removed [although what damages you can collect is effected by the statute.
An advantage to asking for declaratory relief alone is that your case would be entitled to an expedited trial date. A disadvantage is that you probably wouldn't be entitled to damages, but that may not be what you're after.
"Declaratory relief" is a cause of action (type of lawsuit demand) in which the plaintiff asks the court to declare the parties' rights under a law, contract, deed, or other disputed instrument or set of facts. It involves a trial without jury, and may be the most suitable thing to go for if you have to go to court.
Have a real-estate lawyer review the documents or facts upon which you base your right to an easement (sure sounds like you have one), then write a demand letter. That should work. If the neighbor doesn't remove the fence, file and serve the suit to show you mean business, but remain prepared to negotiate an out-of-court settlement (in writing).