I own an improved parcel of land in a private community in Riverside County, CA. All roads within this community are privately owned but open to the general public. Neighbors, visitors, utilities, trash collection, etc. all make everyday use of these roads. No roads are posted 'no trespassing', 'keep out', or anything of the sort. All roads are wide open and unrestricted and have been for over 50 years. Now my neighbor is claiming and suing for a prescriptive easement for roads on my parcel. His contention is that no one ever expressly gave him permission to use these roads, so he sees it as hostile, notorious use and claims a prescriptive easement was perfected some 15 yrs ago. Is his claim valid?
Real Estate Attorney
Not on the facts you describe in your post.
This answer does not constitue legal advice, nor does it creat an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice upon which you intend to rely, you should hire competent cousel familiar with this area of the law in your locale.
Construction / Development Lawyer
Probably not, but you should contact a local real estate attorney for a consultation. You should also notify your homeowner's insurance carrier and the title company that you used during the purchase and ask them to provide you with coverage and a defense.
If you have been sued, make sure you get an attorney so you don't put yourself at risk.
Yes, he might have a prescrptive easement, but so does everyone else in the world, since that easement was used by the general public. He does not have the right to exclude others from use of the easement, as the public use was open, adverse, notorious and hostile to the landowner(s) whose property the easement traversed. So what's his point in making a claim? It's meaningless.
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