Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Neighbor takes advantage of parking offer

By
From page C2 | November 17, 2012 |

Q: We live in the county on about one hilly acre with a level spot extending to our neighbors’ house. Our neighbors sometimes have guests or visitors so I said they could occasionally park on our property if needed, in an effort to be friendly. Now it appears they are using it as a regular parking place. While we don’t mind occasional use, is there something I should do to ensure this doesn’t become a regular habit and legal right for them?

A: It’s great to be a good neighbor. Unfortunately, mostly due to a variety of very old laws that were designed for a different purpose, the nice guy really can finish last in situations like this.

The “legal right” issue you identified is properly known as the law of prescriptive easement. A prescriptive easement is remarkably simple to obtain.

If you use someone else’s land for a particular purpose and without their permission, in five years you can go to court and have a recordable easement issued in your favor.

That easement then lasts, with a few exceptions, forever.

The purpose of the law is many centuries old. It was developed to prevent otherwise useful land from lying unused.

Back then, people were thinking agriculture. Now they can think parking.

The key here is the concept of  “without permission.” Giving someone permission to use your land means they can’t acquire an easement.

Most of the time, it really is that simple.

It’s perfectly legal to give someone permission by just saying, “hey Fred, feel free to park there anytime,” or “just on Sundays,” or “only when you’re having a big party.”

However, five years from now Fred may completely “forget” about that conversation. Even more troublesome is he may sell the property or die and leave it to his heirs.

Neither the heirs nor the buyer know anything about the permission you gave and they are free to continue using the land, just like Fred did, and counting up the days until the five-year period.

So, here are a few ideas just to cover your bases.

If you really want to get extreme, you can record something called a Notice of Permissive Use at the Recorders Office.

This becomes a public record document that grants whatever permissions you want to grant to the owner of Fred’s property to use the land for parking. It would explicitly state that the permission is revocable at will.

However, that requires a legally prepared document and the cost of recording. It also involves recording another document down the road when you revoke your permission.

Typically, all of that is more trouble than it’s worth.

Next on the “pain-in-the-rear” list is to draw up a simple document granting permission to the neighbor and get him to sign it.  Should someone else later own Fred’s property, you will need to expressly revoke your permission.

Now, all of this assumes that you don’t mind neighbor Fred parking there, you’re just concerned about him acquiring a prescriptive right.

If you don’t want him parking there I’d suggest you send him a letter saying so. Keep a copy in your file and note when you mailed it to him. The letter should expressly revoke any permission you have given him in the past.

But if Fred keeps parking there, at the end of the day, the only way you keep him off is to file a lawsuit and get an injunction from a judge. What you’re really doing is suing him for trespass.

All of this sounds complicated, but what is really going on is simply this: It’s the property owner’s (that you) responsibility to keep people off of his property.

If people come onto your property who don’t have a legal right to be there, it’s the owner’s job to force them off. In modern society, that means filing a lawsuit for trespass.

Since you obviously have a pretty good relationship with your neighbor  which, I assume, you don’t want to screw up by suing him, I’d first recommend you sit down and talk with him.

I commonly have clients who come in wanting to sue so-and-so for something. But when I ask if they’ve tried talking to so-and-so, the client looks like a deer caught in the headlights.

Obviously talking doesn’t always work. And sometimes emotions are running too high for the parties to talk to each other and they need someone else to do it for them.

But if you’re going to be living right next door to someone for the foreseeable future, I think it’s a good place to start.

Tim Jones is an attorney in Fairfield. If you have any real estate questions you would like answered in this column you can contact him at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 38 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo youth wins county spelling bee

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Symphony opportunity, scholarships available

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Searchers find 84-year-old missing nearly a day

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Music teachers receive program grants

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Vallejo woman hit, killed by vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

 
Workshops offer information on child support process

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Fairfield police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Suisun City police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Man struck by car, injured

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

.

US / World

 
Family: Man dead at Hollywood Hills home is Andrew Getty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Tuskegee Airman Leslie A. Williams dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
3D print technology provides ‘robohand’ to 7-year-old girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Defense rests in 1st phase of Boston Marathon bombing trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend after salsa argument

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Dress-wearing man killed by NSA police had lengthy record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Nigerian troops prevent Boko Haram attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Iran nuke talks extend past deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Transportation strike shuts down Argentina

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Relief program paid millions for ‘flawed’ work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Buhari defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigerian election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: April 1, 2015

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
Should we sent wedding invitations to relatives we know can’t come?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

Dressing up spring asparagus with an easy brown butter sauce

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Olympic champ Gabby Douglas’ family to get reality show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Randle sets record, leads Stanford past ODU in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vanden’s Orme strikes out 16, tosses no-hitter

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep boys golf preview: All 4 city teams are young

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1

 
Short-handed Miami rallies to beat Temple 60-57 in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Patriots owner: Aaron Hernandez told me he was innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders release DT Antonio Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee hires former Texas coach Rick Barnes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Thunder star Kevin Durant has bone graft surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey showing off versatility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Barry Zito’s scoreless streak ends; A’s beat Angels 13-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn’t disturb fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lincecum pitches into 6th in Giants’ win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP’s Run to the Roses: Mubtaahij No. 8; Dortmund still No. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michigan State title would be worth $1 million to Vegas man

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
University of North Dakota begins campaign to find nickname

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky’s platoon system gives way to traditional rotation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chris Mullin returns home to coach St. John’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Soccer player at center of search killed crossing LA freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Frozen Four will be old home week for BU coach David Quinn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Olympic tickets go on sale despite football uncertainty

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tiger Woods plays practice round at Augusta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US gives up another late goal in 1-1 tie at Switzerland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR finds Ryan Newman’s race team for manipulated tires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Online craft retailer Etsy preps for IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Many trucks being driven beyond designed top speed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Buffet expected to buy dealerships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
San Bruno supports higher fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Google to release their cheapest laptop yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

 
Several charged in Medicaid shoe fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Fast food organizers expand their campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

Gordon Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carlos Penados

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7