Am I obligated to give a right of way/easement to property located behind my property?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Am I obligated to give a right of way/easement to property located behind my property?

One of my brothers and I own land once owned by our father. It is a total of 1.33 acres. My brother owns 1/2 acre and I own the rest. There are currently 3 houses, 4 metal 2-car portable sheds, 3 stand alone car sheds and a portable storage building. My stepbrother approached us a while ago about a right of way to get to 3 acres of property he owns behind our property. We explained that there is just no room for a right of way. He is now suing us for the right of way. Do we have to give him the right of way?

Asked on June 28, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It depends on whether he has any other access, even if longer, expensive to build, and inconvenient, to a public road. If he can get to a public road someother way, such as builing a private road or long driveway across his land to connect to a small, local public road (e.g. not a highway or main street), he has to do that. But the law does not allow someone to be totally "landlocked" and have no way to access his property. If there is no other way for him to get access to a public road, he can bring a lawsuit, as he has, for an "easement" and the court will give him one. If he has no other options, you should try to settle this with him before going to the expense and trouble of a lawsuit: for example, you could offer to sell him an easement. for some modest price.

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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