Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Indiana

I have purchased some undeveloped property and the neighbor has an existing gravel drive on the property, leading to the side of his house (the house is on the road, the drive is not necessary for ingress or egress). The driveway was originally used by the brother of the previous owner of the property, however, this brother sold the house to the current owner over 20 years ago, at which time the brother specified that the drive was not on the property.\n When I purchased the property, I asked the neighbor to stop using the driveway, had the land surveyed, and put up landscaping timbers along the property line, blocking the drive. The neighbor removed the timbers. The neighbor has filed for a prescriptive easement.\n The driveway is the only access to my property (the property is very narrow where it borders the road), and is only long enough for one car to park there, before it turns off into the neighbor\'s property. However, I would be blocking his drive by parking there, thus, I don\'t think I would be allowed to park there, on my own property, and it limits my free use of the land.\n I would like the encroaching drive removed, and to put up a fence there. Any suggestions? Since the neighbor has filed for an easement, if I do put up a fence (or go so far as to bulldoze the drive), what would happen to me? Would I have to take down the fence, or replace the destroyed drive?

Asked on 7/31/09, 5:38 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Burton Padove Indiana and Illinois Lawyer, Burton A. Padove

I suggest very strongly that you hire local counsel. If you already have counsel, talk with him or her as that person has more knowledge about your case than anyone who can answer un this forum. Good luck.

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Answered on 7/31/09, 5:43 pm

When you say the neighbor has "filed" for an easement, it sounds like the neighbor has already filed a lawsuit. In which case, you should stop monkeying around representing yourself, and get a lawyer. If a lawsuit has been filed, then you have very little time (twenty days let us say from the time the court thinks you received the summons and complaint which could be long before you think you received it) to respond with an intelligible answer and file your own counterclaim. Otherwise, your neighbor may win by default. Good luck.

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Answered on 8/01/09, 11:02 pm

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