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I need Legal advise

Old 02-25-2008, 09:11 AM
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Default I need Legal advise

Hello! I am an outfitter from Ky. All of the property I hunt is leased. We do own a 44 acre tract of ground but we don't run hunts own. It is used for family only. I have a problem with a new neighbor. We have owned this piece of property for 14 years. The property is all conected but has a wetland running thruogh the middle of the property. We have had acess to an old county rd.(now shut down) The new neighbor bought in three years ago and changed the locks and said if we wanted to cut our hay off the back field drive our equipment down the middle of the rail road tracks. Well this guy has county ties in the courts if you know what I mean. We had a lawyer which ended up being friends with this guy and got us nowhere. This year we built a rd. through the wetlands which was a chunck of change. We do have our own equipment so that saved some money. My cousin was hunting this Fall. As he crossed the tracks to go to my other neighbors property the Bad neighbor shouted at him and fired 2 rounds over his head. The Sheriff's Dept showed up and the guy admitted to shooting over my cousin's head and the deputy and the bad neighbor new each other so nothing was done. Now just last week I was unable to get out of the house because we had a new baby. My sister called and said there was a fire at the back of the farm. I serve as Captain of the fire dept. So I called my dad to call the gas company and called the Cheif to check it out. My dad followed the gas company through the gate since our Rd is not completed. The bad neighbor saw my dad and told him to leave or he would be arrested. So the Cheif gets there and goes back and talks to the guy. He explained that he would be responsible if the fire got out. Well the next day I went out there and the guy burn all mine and my other neighbor's wetlands without permission. I aclled everyone and it got back to him. The bad neighbor called and said he would sue us for harrassment if we didn't drop it.
I have volunteered my last 15 years through this county through alot with the Fire Dept. The least the county could do is ask the guy to stay on his side of the fence. I have served as Cheif, Assistant Chief, and am currently the Captain and Traing officer. Any suggestions Let me knowThanks,
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:28 AM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: I need Legal advise

Take pics, call a new lawyer, and a surveyor.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:36 AM
Typical Buck
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Default RE: I need Legal advise

Go higher up than the sheriff/city people if you have to I suppose.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Indy
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Default RE: I need Legal advise

You're the Captain of the Fire Dept - wouldn't burning your field be arson?
Additonally, try making a call at the state level. I don't know who is in charge of KY's wetlands (KDEP?), but they may have issues with someone burning wetlands - especailly when they are on someone elses proprety!
If the guy is buddies w/ the Sheriff, try talking to the prosecutor. The Sheriff doesn't decide if charges are filed, the prosecutor does.
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:00 PM
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Default RE: I need Legal advise

Go see the District Attorney or either open a good old can of whup @$$ on the idiot. I think in the first place you could consider the old access road as a prescriptive easement and legally he can't close the road (unless your state laws are vastly different). It seems the Fire Chief could charge him with arson even if the sheriff doesn't want to.
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:56 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: I need Legal advise

Get a better Lawyer from out of town.....you should be allowed a right of way to your property!Your Neighbor should have been arrested and charged with endangering a life and firing a firearm in an unsafe manner.It isa shame when peoplewho know someone in law enforcement or court and abuse their rights because they know they can get out of a situation!
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:45 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: I need Legal advise

I wonder if you could claim that the old county road acted as an ‘access easement’ and that you still have the rights to use it (that’s a question for a lawyer) and therefore your rights to the old road should be ‘grandfathered in (AKA - you still have rights to that old road bed as a legal easement)? As mentioned by others it sounds like you need a good lawyer that isn’t in the good ole boy network….

Good luck!
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:30 PM
Boone & Crockett
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Default RE: I need Legal advise

SDH has good advice. If you've been using that road for access for 14 years, you may have acquired a prescriptive easement that can't just be erased by a new purchaser. Rules vary from state to state. You really need to talk with an attorney who is board certified in real estate law.

Easements by prescription, also called prescriptive easements, are implied easements that give the easement holder a right to use another person's property for the purpose the easement holder has used the property for a certain number of years, which varies from state to state. Prescriptive easements are a type of implied easement, in that they arise even though they are not expressly created or recorded. Unlike other implied easements, however, prescriptive easements are hostile (i.e., without the consent of the true property owner). Prescriptive easements do not convey the title to the property in question, only the right to utilize the property for a particular purpose. They often require less strict requirements of proof than fee simple adverse possession.

Once they become legally binding, easements by prescription hold the same legal weight as written or implied easements. Before they become binding, they hold no legal weight and are broken if the true property owner acts to defend his ownership rights. Easement by prescription is typically found in legal systems based on common law, although other legal systems may also allow easement by prescription.
Laws and regulations vary among local and national governments, but some traits are common to most prescription laws. Generally, the use must be open (i.e. obvious to anyone), actual, continuous (i.e., uninterrupted for the entire required time period), and adverse to the rights of the true property owner. The use also generally must be hostile and notorious (i.e., known to others). Unlike fee simple adverse possession, prescriptive easements typically do not require exclusivity.

The period of continuous use for a prescriptive easement to become binding is generally between 5 and 30 years depending upon local laws (usually based on the statute of limitations on trespass). Generally, if the true property owner acts to defend his property rights at any time during the required time period the hostile use will end, claims on adverse possession rights are voided, and the continuous use time period resets to zero.

In some jurisdictions, if the use is not hostile but given actual or implied consent by the legal property owner, the prescriptive easement may become a regular or implied easement rather than a prescriptive easement and immediately becomes binding. In other jurisdictions, such permission immediately converts the easement into a terminable license, or restarts the time for obtaining a prescriptive easement.
Government owned property held for common use is generally immune from prescriptive easement in most cases, but some other types of government owned property may be subject to prescription in certain instances.

Prescription may also be used to end an existing legal easement. For example, if a servient tenement holder were to erect a fence blocking a legally deeded right-of-way easement, the dominant tenement holder would have to act to defend his easement rights during the statutory period or the easement might cease to have legal force, even though it would remain a deeded document.

Right-of-way for access is among the most common easement by prescription.
I'm having a little difficulty figuring out how some new guy is more politically connected than the former Chief of the local Fire Department.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:06 AM
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Default RE: I need Legal advise

Thanks guys! I thought that I could get him for arson as well but I've got to get the situation taken care of at a higher level than my county. I have checked out the deal with the wetlands with the fish and wildlife and division of forestry. I also talked with the biologist. These were all dead ends. When I contacted the county attorny he gave the guy a heads up. My last lawyer said to be grandfathered in you had to own it for 15 years. So we paid my neighbors lawyer fees to do it through his property and they made more excuses. So this guy has a total of 4 of us locked out. So we decided maybe it would be cheaper to build a road. He acts like he owns everything because he knows people and has a little money. I just don't want to start loosing property over this guy.
Thanks and Happy Hunting,
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:58 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kansas
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Default RE: I need Legal advise

I would keep track of each incidents, dates, times, and all who is involved. This way you have written record over your own for if you ever have to go to court. Also take pictures and file police reports that way you have documations even if the guys has connections the police reports will be on file.

Good Luck
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