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Old 12-03-2012, 02:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Adverse possession of city easement

I live in Dallas Texas in my home for 29 years. We have a 10 ft easement which the city has never used. Our fence line when we move in took in the whole easement. I need to know if by adverse possession this 10 feet of easement is ours. We have a new neighbor behind us who has built a house too close to our current fence and is now claiming that 5 feet is their property. They chain sawed part of our fence on a day I happen to be home from work. I called the police. They came out and said I needed to have an attorney, this was a civil matter and not a police matter. Everything about this neighbor thus far has been so rude that I would like to pursue the matter. Someone told me that adverse possession is 20 years in Dallas. If this is true then what is my recourse?
Thank you
Webbhaus
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hard to say different states have different requirements for example in California you need to pay property tax on it and it is 5 years, but many states require 10 years.

Also the more likely course of action is a prescriptive easement explained here, http://www.legalmatch.com/law-librar...n-lawyers.html , which is essentially the same as adverse possession, but it involves easements. Here is an article explaining adverse possession. http://www.legalmatch.com/law-librar...n-lawyers.html
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Adverse possession of city easement

The doctrine prevents someone who has used land for a long period of time, believing it to his/her land, from being ejected by someone who discovers a technical defect relating to the original boundaries.
A typical example is where a fence is incorrectly placed inside the proper boundary of a property. The properties on either side of the boundary may have been sold numerous times before someone discovers the mistake. The owner of the land that has "lost" because of the mistake, cannot now force the owner of the land that has "gained" to move the fence back to the original boundary.
Surveyor required
Making a claim on the basis of adverse possession is no simple matter, and the services of a qualified surveyor will be required.
The role of the surveyor is to perform what is known as a "check survey", to determine the proper boundaries of the property according to the original plan of subdivision or survey plan.
The surveyor's drawings will usually show the boundaries according to the plan, together with the fencelines as they appear "on the ground", so that a comparison can be made.
It is important to use a qualified surveyor who is prepared to give evidence in court if necessary.
Choosing a surveyor
When choosing the surveyor you should consider using a surveyor who is familiar with the local area. It is often the case that the surveyor will be familiar with the property, particularly if previous owners or neighbours have consulted the same surveyor in the past.
In Victoria, surveyors must be licensed by the Surveyors Registration Board of Victoria. (To visit the website of the Surveyors Registration Board of Victoria, just click on the following link: Surveyors Registration Board of Victoria.)
The website of the Surveyors Registration Board of Victoria includes an Onlne Register of Licensed Surveyors, so that consumers can readily find a properly qualified and licensed surveyor.
Cost of a survey
It can be very difficult to determine the cost of a survey, as land will vary in size, shape and other characteristics.
The best way to find out what a survey will cost is to contact a number of different surveyors, explain the nature of the problem and the type of survey required, and obtain a quotation.
Remember, that the cheapest quote is not always the best. Full surveying qualifications, membership of a professional surveyors association, and good local knowledge are all important considerations when choosing a surveyor.
If the survey confirms an adverse possession issue
If you have had a survey conducted and you believe that there is an adverse possession issue, contact us for initial legal advice. Making an adverse possession claim is not a straight-forward matter, and the process of making and substantiating a claim can be quite complicated.
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