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Easement Issues  

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Ask your lawyer about easement by prescription.  If the utility has neen there for a while it may have ripened into an easement where it is, in addition to where the words say.

 
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Just as a side note here I'd like to interject something from my experiences with utility easements.

The public utility providers I have as clients are not at all in the business to make life miserable for folks; they generally attempt to be accommodating.  I have seen many, many cases where a previously placed termination can or transformer wound up at a location that eventually caused a property owner a little heartburn.  In every one of the cases the utility owners did everything they could (it's a safety issue) to keep their facilities out of the property owner's hair.  There are a few instances where the property owner was responsible for a small amount of the cost.

I did a quick survey the other day to move a termination can because the property owner wanted to widen his side drive to park an RV.  The REC moved the can and kept out of the owner's way even though it was within an existing easement.  However seeking damages for a "loss of buildable area" for some future project when the obstructing appurtenance is within an existing easement is like pissing up a rope. 

Another point I would like to make is that although utility companies don't like it, there is usually nothing to keep a property owner from full enjoyment and use of the underlying fee.  That can include paving or building "over" an easement.  The big hurdle to clear is usually the governing municipality and the permitting process, not the utility company.

  

“I won't take my religion from any man who never works except with his mouth."
- Carl Sandburg

 
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In this case, apparently the facility is in an easement that was not brought to the buyer's attention by the TC but if it was out of the easement then the property owner has a cause of action in inverse condemnation.  I researched it, as far as I can tell the statute of limitations for Adverse Possession applies so if the property owner doesn't either convince the utility to remove the trespass or pay for the easement or bring an action in inverse condemnation within the statutory period then the invasion is permanent without compensation.  The case I was researching involved a fee simple invasion, I'm not sure how this works in the case of an easement which is less than a complete invasion of someone's private property.

While we are on the subject of hard work, I just wanted to tell you that I am a man who likes hard work.
I was born working and I worked my way up by hard work.
I ain't ever got no where, but I got there by hard work.
Work of the hardest kind.
I been down and I been out
I been disgusted I been busted and I couldn't be trusted.
-Talking Hard Work, Woody Guthrie

 
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