Freedom, NH asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maine

Q: My father in law owns a parcel of land he inherited from his father. The man who owns the adjacent property has put up

A locked gate on the easement. My father in law has been unable to access this land for many years. He is an elderly man and this neighbor has been intimidated him. My father in law is scared of this neighbor so has not done anything about this.

My father in law wants to gift my husband and I this land. Can we legally sue this man? If so should we keep the property in my father in laws hands to sue this man before he gifts it to us?

1 Lawyer Answer
Elliott R. Teel
Elliott R. Teel
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Portland, ME
  • Licensed in Maine

A: There are a couple of issues here. First is if the easement is in the deeds, and what the stated scope of it is. If there is clear language in the deed granting the right-of-way that is being blocked, then there are grounds to sue. If the right-off-way is only based on past use, that is more difficult to address. As to who can sue, generally, it would be the owner of the land who has standing to sue. If you have a written purchase agreement, that might give you standing to sue also.

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