Most people have heard of an easement and the phrase "adverse possession." Both pertain to property rights and the right of one person to use or take another person's land. A lesser known legal action in line with the concepts of an easement and adverse possession is the prescriptive easement.
A prescriptive easement is based on prior continuous use and grants a right to use the property of another.”Rogers v. Moore, 603 N.W.2d 650, 656 (Minn. 1999). The purpose of prescriptive easements is “to encourage the prompt resolution of disputes before evidence is destroyed or relevant events pass out of memory and thereby stabilize long-continued property uses.” Id.
If a prescriptive easement is established and awarded, the rights, terms, and obligations of the easement pass to subsequent property owners. Like adverse possession claims, the time and use of prior owners can be used to prove the required elements of a prescriptive easement cause of action.
Land use and boundary line disputes are fact intensive and require significant, careful development and presentation of the case. If you have any questions on these concepts or your potential claims, feel free to call me to discuss your case.
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