Doesa waterline right-of-way easement also cover the installation of fiber optic lines?

An energy company installed a waterline through my farm in 11/10 and in 03/11 they re-dug my land again without my agreement or a contract. The landman from the company told me that he would sue me if I stopped them from putting the fiber opticline in the ground. He said a few lines in the agreement says that he has a right. These are the lines, “A permanent easement and right of way for the purposes of laying constructing, maintaining, operating, altering, repairing, replacing changing the size of and removing a single pipeline, with all convenient valves, fittings and appurtenances”. Does this cover the installation of a fiber optic line?

Asked on March 26, 2011 under Real Estate Law, West Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for writing in that portion of the easement for us to read.  But I think that areal estate attorney will need to read the entire document to see if it says "but not limited to" anywhere in there. The guy from the energy company was attempting to strong arm you and I would not take kindly to that.  Easements are common for utility lines and for other energy sources.  But courts are still protective of the rights of land owners and the "run of the land" is generally not the intent of the easement in the first place.  Maybe he threatened you to scare you in to not inquiring further.  Not a smart move.  Get help her.  Good luck.


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