Butler, PA asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania

Q: I have several questions about a land dispute and trespassing so I will do my best to be as clear as I can.

I have about 80 acres of land with a 2 acre pond in Mercer County PA. We own approx. 75% of the pond and the neighbor owns the other 25%. We have never had any trouble with that land owner.

However, he recently sold his land and the 25% of the lake to someone else and it has been trouble from day one. It was vacant land but now the new land owner is building a house on that land. He believes that since he owns 25% of the pond, he is entitled to use the entire pond which we don't agree with. He has 2 kayaks sitting on his side that he and his family now take out anywhere on the pond.

My concerns are what happens if someone from his family is injured or worse on "our" side of the pond. What can I do legally, if there is anything, to stop him from going onto our side of the pond and can I press charges for trespassing if I have video proof of them being on our side of the lake?

2 Lawyer Answers
Nellie T Schulz
Nellie T Schulz
Answered
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Philadlephia, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Your question gives no explanation of a number of facts which may prove decisive. A few of the facts needed: how the 75/25 split in ownership of the pond was initially created and when; whether the pond is man-made or of natural origin; how it is fed, such as by run-off, stream, an underground aquifer; how the county maps describe the pond; its the surface area and depths; whether any title insurance policy has insured your ownership of the pond in the way you’ve described it. I don’t think your question is the type can be answered in a limited Q&A website such as this.

Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN

A: You definitely need to perform title searches of both adjacent properties, probably going back to a common grantor. Both present Legal Descriptions need to be compared to establish a Common Boundary if there is one. That Boundary's Corners needs to be monumented , with the Boundary's edge to the water monumented. A Boundary Line Survey will probably be necessary.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.