Can we be forced to give an easement on an illegal driveway through our property

Asked almost 3 years ago - Olympia, WA

Can we be forced to give our neighbor easement access through our property when we don't even have legal access to our property because it is considered a "hazardous landslide area" His property borders the county road and he is taking us to court for access on our illegal driveway that was put in previous to our ownership.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Robert Walter Zierman

    Contributor Level 7


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Shawn. Get competent counsel right away. Your inquiry could be used as an 'issue spotter' on the bar exam.

    In addition to prescriptive easement, there may be easement by necessity, zoning, inverse condemnation, and bona fide purchaser rights issues at play here.

    Moreover, what happens if the earth does move? It is almost a certainty that any injury caused would be disclaimed by your homeowner's insurance. Now, you might be willing to bear that risk for yourself, but what if your neighbor seeks damages against you. Or how about this one? Post- slide, your neighbor claims you have the sole duty of reestablishing access. They don't call it a servient or burdened estate for nothing!

    Good luck. I hope it helps.

  2. Shawn B Alexander


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The law will not enforce an illegal act. However a easment by percription may be what you are talking about. You need to sit down with a lawyer right away to find out what is going on, if you are being sued.
    Good Luck

    Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are... more

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