does the village I live in have any responsibility to help me stop tresspassers on land they formerly maintained as public property and now deem priva

UPDATED: May 20, 2009

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does the village I live in have any responsibility to help me stop tresspassers on land they formerly maintained as public property and now deem priva

I have land next to my house in the village of Depew, NY that the village had maintained as a “street” since I bought the property. Last winter the town stopped plowing the “street” and the village advised they now consider it “private property” My deed shows an easement to the village to maintain this “street” and they said that allows them to do so if they choose, it does not say they MUST maintain it. My problem is that this “street” is considered by other residents to be public property and is used as a shortcut to a playground. I have been threatened by some who I asked to not cut throug

Asked on May 20, 2009 under Criminal Law, New York


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

You should talk to an attorney who is familiar with real estate law and, if possible who also has some knowledge of local government law.  One place to find qualified lawyers is our website,

Right now, it seems to me that you have the worst of both worlds, the town's easement is still on your land, but you're getting nothing for that.  You might want to see if you can get the town to give up the easement officially.

Another question you will want to talk with your attorney about is the people using it as a shortcut.  There is a possibility that their use of it, over the years, might have given them some rights, although the town's easement should make that less likely.  But I still would not put up a fence or anything like that without making sure you were in the clear.  Mistakes, in real estate, can become very expensive, very quickly.

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