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samlock 04-04-2011 05:03 PM

electric easement
 
13 years ago while I was on vacation my new neighbors crossed my property five feet to bury their electric line (which belongs to them not the electric company)and hooked up their meter box on my electric pole.
The electric company has a easement onto my property, but the neighbors do not. I have to dig a trench where their line is buried because of a flooding situation and their underground line is now in conflict with my property. They say I can not make them move it because they have been there 13 years. Do I have any rights? I live in oregon and there is electric poles on the road they can hook up to.
Thank you
Sam

Leah Frances 04-04-2011 06:12 PM

- Is your neighbor's line in the electrical easement for your property? I was unclear by your post.

You may be up a creek. Your neighbor has had 'adverse possession' of an electrical easement on your property for more than the Oregon Statute requires (10 years) ORS 12.050. Start googling 'prescriptive easement' and 'adverse possession'.

Probably the easiest solution would be to offer to move your neighbor's line for them and give them an express easement.

There are a lot of statutory requirements that may or may not have been met you are best advised to talk to an attorney. The Oregon Bar Association will be able to refer you to someone.

I am licensed in OR, but no longer practice. If you are in the PDX area, PM me with some more details and I may be able to suggest someone for you to talk to.

Leah Frances 04-04-2011 06:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samlock (Post 623321)
13 years ago while I was on vacation my new neighbors crossed my property five feet to bury their electric line

Sorry, Sam. It won't matter that they did it while you were on vacation.

nap 04-04-2011 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leah Frances (Post 623356)
- Is your neighbor's line in the electrical easement for your property? I was unclear by your post.

You may be up a creek. Your neighbor has had 'adverse possession' of an electrical easement on your property for more than the Oregon Statute requires (10 years) ORS 12.050. Start googling 'prescriptive easement' and 'adverse possession'.
.

I occasionally get into these discussions and I have yet to figure out how an underground unknown installation can be considered open and notorious. I have heard arguments for both sides in such a matter. Any particular position on it yourself Leah?


and just to clarify; if samlock knew they did it at the time, there would be no question of it being open and notorious, at least to samlock. It's the situations where it is unknown to anybody but the desseisor that make me wonder.

Leah Frances 04-04-2011 09:43 PM

Nap - the unhelpful but honest answer is 'open and notorious' is whatever the judge you are in front of on that particular day says it is. Corollary to this is the determination of what the judge had for breakfast.

OP has been put on notice somehow - or we wouldn't hear about it until after he cut the lines. Knowledge of covert or hard to determine use (like being 6 inches over the property line) makes it open use.

If OP is just now finding out, then he can make some legal arguments that might change the tolling of the statutory time limits. But if that is the case then he has to take action to stop the use. Hence, he should talk to an attorney.

Prescriptive easements are actually very hard to earn - lots of legal hoops must be jumped through. So it's possible the neighbor may have no rights.

It's time to spend some money talking to an attorney.

LordOfChaos 04-05-2011 08:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leah Frances (Post 623511)
Nap - the unhelpful but honest answer is 'open and notorious' is whatever the judge you are in front of on that particular day says it is. Corollary to this is the determination of what the judge had for breakfast.

OP has been put on notice somehow - or we wouldn't hear about it until after he cut the lines. Knowledge of covert or hard to determine use (like being 6 inches over the property line) makes it open use.

If OP is just now finding out, then he can make some legal arguments that might change the tolling of the statutory time limits. But if that is the case then he has to take action to stop the use. Hence, he should talk to an attorney.

Prescriptive easements are actually very hard to earn - lots of legal hoops must be jumped through. So it's possible the neighbor may have no rights.

It's time to spend some money talking to an attorney.

Or go to the neighbor and say "Look I need to dig here for <x> reason and the line you put on my property without my consent is going to have to move. If you don't want to move it off my property then I will start the legal process. I would like to avoid that, but if you require it, then that is the path we will go. Of course the longer this situation goes, the more damages will occur to me and I will be forced to add those into the lawsuit along with any punitive damages that my attorney and I calculate."

Maybe the threat of an attorney will get the wheels moving with the neighbor and the OP wont have to spend anything.

gmhammes 04-05-2011 09:15 AM

I would still consult an attorney first to know your legal rights on the situation. It's never good to threaten or bluff your neighbors considering you will be living next to them for years to come.

Leah Frances 04-05-2011 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gmhammes (Post 623711)
I would still consult an attorney first to know your legal rights on the situation. It's never good to threaten or bluff your neighbors considering you will be living next to them for years to come.

:yes::yes::yes:


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