Access to public road

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Access to public road

My mother owns her property. There is a public road bordering her property. Our driveway was ran into the public road. A neighbor has put up a livestock fence blocking our access to the public road. The fence is installed in a manner that completely cuts off any chance of access to the road without crossing neighboring

properties. Is this legal and how do we go about having the access to the road unrestricted?

Asked on February 20, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Obviously, if the fence was put up on your land, the neighbor had NO right to do this. If on your land, while you should give the neighbor a chance to remove it, if he won't, you can tear it down and then sue him for the cost to remove it.
2) If it was on his land but you had an existing easement to cross his land and acces the road, he cannot violate the easement. You can bring a legal action for a court order enforcng the easement and requiring him to restore access and may be able to recover legal fees in this case, since his action was wrongful from the beginning. You have to bring the legal action however; you cannot simply tear down a fence which, even if violating an easement, is on his land.
3) If the fence is on his land and there is no existing easement, you would have to file a lawsuit against him in county court to have an "easement by necessity" created by the court--that is, to have the court grant access rights because there is no other access to your property. There has to be no other access directly to public roads, which is what you indicate. In this case, you'd have to bear your own legal fees.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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