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Hello  - I am in the middle of a boundary line dispute with a new neighbor. I am going to copy down part of a deed indicating keeping 4 foot easterly. My question is: What does the term "keeping 4 foot easterly" mean? My neighbors Surveyor indicated A Prescriptive Easement in regards to my property for the use of an existing paved driveway. Would the Prescriptive Easement relate to the 4 foot easterly or the existing paved driveway?

Beginning at a point on the northerly boundary of Mountain Avenue (formerly called Eagle Valley Highway) which point of beginning is approximately 58 feet from the easterly boundary of lands now owned by Luzarne Pierce, and which point is the southeast corner of land sold by the seller to Louis Potter and Helen C. Potter, and which point is 10 inches west of the westward side of the building now on the premises about to be sold; thence easterly along the northerly boundary of said highway or avenue 28 feel 4 inches to a point; thence northerly and parallel to the easterly side of the building on the premises about to be sold and keeping 4 feet easterly there - from to the Highland Falls Brook.... Thank You in Advance George

George Wyman Boundary line dispute 18 mountain ave

George Wyman
4:14 PM (1 hour ago)
to jmyrow

Hello Jay. Hope all is well with you.As per our [email protected] 1/24 or 1/25/19 we arrived at cloudy remedy regarding details & outcomes of a boundary line dispute. I have made several boundary line offers from $2500- $6000 at this point. We shook hands @ $6000. Now he is trying to Extort $10,000. I refused.
At this point, Matt Kelleher has threatened to put up a Privacy Fence. Primarily, a Privacy Fence would obscure or eliminate the visual ability to recognize traffic coming up Mountain Avenue. Furthermore, Matt Kelleher's survey indicates a Prescriptive Easement for MY DRIVEWAY which I am entitled to park in.
Most Importantly, Respecting his survey, regarding my Prescriptive Easement, "BY LAW" is he entitled to put up a fence on his boundary line or the Prescriptive Easement? Obstructing the view of traffic & causing accidents coming up Mountain Avenue? Survey in Red indicates the square footage in question. Of course, I'll pay you for a precise legal determination.

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Is this LEGAL

11 Answers

The 4 feet easterly describes your east boundary being 4 feet east of the building that existed when the description was first created.

A prescriptive easement is based on use, it is not directly related to the boundary. If your neighbor has a prescriptive easement on part of your land that is a right to use it for whatever purpose such as a driveway. There isn't enough information for us to say if your neighbor actually has a prescriptive easement. It could just be a trespass or encroachment.

Prescriptive Easements come about through open and obvious use for the period of the Statute of Limitations (several years). The length of time required varies quite a bit among different states.


You have a line parallel with the east side of the building and 4 feet off it.  Locate the building and offset the line 4 feet.  Extend it to the brook and the highway boundary.  Not enough information to comment on the rest.

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Let me try to fix the image post:

-- attachment is not available --


My property was in the deed sold by Louis and Helen Potter which is indicated in the northerly boundary of said highway or avenue 28 feel 4 inches. Keeping 4 feet easterly there - from to the Highland Falls Brook. Pending negotiations, my neighbor is holding me hostage for the 3rd escalated amount, first being $2,500, 2nd $5,000 and the 3rd $6,000 for what is a 2.5' by 20' strip of land. There is a property to my left appraised for $6,000 for a 21' by 60' strip of land.  I am either going to pay him $6,000 plus his legal fees, or go to court for possibly $15,000-$20,000. I am in desperate need for advice, I am 60 years old at the end of 3 major operations and a heart attack and don't have that kind of money. 

So the neighbor has been accessing the brook over your land.  Why do you all of a sudden have a problem with that, and how much is it worth to you to fight it? 

Can't tell what's really going on from what you posted; just guessing.

Sorry, I had difficulties originally attaching info. Survey in Red hatch marks indicates the limits of where I have been parking my cars for 15 years. My property on the left refers to the DEED "keeping 4' easterly". My new neighbors survey shows his boundary line running through the middle of my driveway. Survey Prescriptive indicates a Prescriptive Easement regarding my property in NOTE #1. My hostile new neighbor rang my bell and told me to get my cars out of the driveway. I explained that I fortified the Brook Foundation Wall & Paved the driveway to the drop curb 15 years ago, considering it was my drop curb. He then maliciously showed the police a copy of his surveyed property line and coerced them to issue me parking summons and a threat to be towed. After being threatened to be towed, I removed my cars. At the time the police did not recognize the Prescriptive Easement note #1. Later the tickets & the threat of towing was dismissed by the Police Chief who recognized that this is a Civil Matter. Since then, my neighbor has verbally accepted a $6000 Lot line purchase, however, he said it has to go before the Zoning Board.


Looks like the prescriptive easements grants you access on your neighbor's driveway. Is your neighbor asking you to buy the driveway? What are you trying to show with red lines? Seems that is part of the easement. If this is the case then you are in the clear. Neighbor can't force you to pay for an easement you already have rights too. But he does own it and pays taxes on it. You should hire a surveyor, or speak with the surveyor that your neighbor hired.

Hi Lee - I left another comment under the attachments. Yes. my neighbor is asking me to buy the driveway land. Thank You for expert help. I did try to hire a surveyor, and spoke with the surveyor that my neighbor hired. They said consult a lawyer, I have consulted 3 lawyers that stated that I have a 50/50 chance of winning an Adverse Possession Court Case. Thanks Again 

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An adverse possession case is a step beyond prescriptive easement and has an uncertain outcome.  Why don't the l*awyers help you enforce the easement you already have?

Thanks Bill- God Bless you.


In Adverse Possession cases, the unwritten title is passed at the moment all the statutes have been met. Which means you may already own it. But you have to prove the statues have been met, including but not limited to such things as: Open, Notorious, Hostile, for a period 10 years, etc....

The court's job is to determine if and/or when the title transferred to you based upon the land surveyors report. You would need to prove that all statues are met, while your neighbor must defend that they were not met. Being they are "new neighbors", it could be difficult on their part. But, I'm not sure if the clock restarted at the time they purchased the property. Perhaps, you should have dealt with this 5 years ago, with the old neighbor. Maybe you did. What is the date of the survey map you have shown us?

If you wish to go that route, you should look for an attorney who specializes in real property law. Most do NOT.  A mortgage attorney handling thousands of property sales and transfers is NOT your answer. Same is true with a land surveyor. Neither of which are going to be cheap. A land surveyor needs to determine by their professional opinion if Adverse Possession exists before you get an attorney.

With all that said, it is always BEST to keep this out of the courts. Ultimately I recommend you resolve this with a Boundary Line Agreement, which is what your neighbor is proposing to you. $6000 will be much less than attorney fees. Negotiate that the $6000 covers all survey fees, filing fees, and any attorney fees. Then move on.

This post was modified 1 year ago by leegreen

Thank you Lee- You are Awesome


Looking at the site in Google Earth, and assuming that your property is that noted on the posted survey as "Wyman"  - it appears that your house is about 24 feet wide. The 28' 4" width described merely encompasses your house, with the boundary being 4 feet easterly of the east wall and 10 inches westerly of the west wall. I cannot see on the aerial 

The deed makes reference to an 1892 agreement with the water company. Just possibly that has something in it about making use of the area to the west of your house? Unlikely, but possible.  I'd like to see that document. Also, the other 2 deeds referenced in your posted deed should be examined pro forma. 

If you have been parking in that area to the east of your house for many years (I don't know what the statute of limitations period is in NY, perhaps 10 years, perhaps 20...) you may have a prescriptive right to continue to do so. The surveyor noticed your use of the parking area and slapped a note on his survey to that effect. If so, your neighbor wishes to terminate your occupancy of that area, to either prevent it from becoming a legal prescriptive right or to terminate such a right - in time - if it has matured. 

It appears to me that the circumstances and the law are on your neighbor's side. If you have not been using that area for as long as anybody can remember then you are probably out of luck.  You don't own it and you don't have legal rights to it.  Perhaps the best solution would be to agree to pay some rental on it if you can't afford to buy it outright.

Thank You Norman

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Lee is spot on. 6K is a pittance compared to litigating a dispute. You are also more likely to get pumpkin pie on Christmas as opposed to daily tension.

Never underestimate the value of friendship with your neighbor...

Thank You



I agree with the others, $6000 is pretty fair.  I am not sure why you were using the ground, if you really thought it was yours or not, but it looks like he deed says he owns it and yours says you don't. 

Thank You Dave- Historically, I did this work on this land over 16 years ago. I rebuilt the foundation with huge boulders on the foundation of the brook, followed by paving the driveway to the curb cut. Nobody contended against my activity. Afterward, my neighbor built a spite shed declaring the line of his property possession. I have used this driveway for 15 years. Thanks Dave I appreciate your input on this extremely difficult matter. Thank you GW


I'm not trying to beat you up over this, but did you have it surveyed when you bought it?  The deed says 4 feet from your house.  What made you think you owned further over?  Its not a spite shed if he owns the ground.  I'm just trying to point out the other side of the situation from his point of view.  Its a tough situation.  I usually have someone come in my office once a year with something similar.  I would just do what you can to avoid the bad feelings between neighbors.  Not just because it makes you a good or bad person but because as you are finding out, its expensive.

Thank You Dave - I am grateful. George

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