What recourse do I have regarding an abused right of way?

My neighbor has a right of way across my property, however uses this right of way only as overflow parking, and never to access his property. In fact, even though I have numerous signs posted stating that no parking is allowed in the right of way, he continues to leave a junky vehicle parked in my yard so as to block access to the right of way. The neighbor has owned his home for many years before I bought mine, and believes that by virtue of

Asked on July 4, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Maine

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that an easement holder does not own the property. An easement is the right to access or use the property; it conveys no rights beyond that. Therefore it cannot be used to interfere with, or restrict the rights of, the property owner. Accordingly, the easement holder cannot block access to it; he may not park his car on your property if this is an easement for access only. Since he won't confine his use of the easement to access only, you'll have to bring a lawsuit and file for a "declaratory judgment". Basically, the court will need to instruct him of his rights and the limits of those rights and also issue an order prohibiting him from doing what he should not. At this point, you should consult with a real estate attorney; they can best further advise you.


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