We moved into our house over 26 years ago and have always had a great relationship with all of our neighbors. The neighbor who lived directly next door to us moved a few months ago after living in the house for 25 years. Since the new owner has moved in, we've had nothing but problems with him (and it doesn't help that he has a record and is currently going through a very bitter divorce). Immediately after moving in, he upset most of the neighbors by having all of the properties surveyed so that he could find where his boundary lines were. When we first moved into our house, we had the property lines surveyed and built our driveway and structured our lawn accordingly. At the time, we were told that 3 inches of our driveway ran over onto the neighbor's property, but we both agreed that this was not a problem. 25 years later, the new neighbor says that our driveway runs over 6 inches onto his property, and he drove an iron rod into it to prevent us from using our own driveway! He installed the rod one day while we had a plumber fixing something in our house, and the plumber had to drive through our entire lawn to get out. We're now left with a useless driveway and a completely ruined front yard. The big question is that we've been told that the previous owner's lack of care and concern would enable us to claim the 6 inches of property as abandoned and would allow us to get an easement on it, granting us use of that property. Is this possible? Is there anything we can do? -- Amanda from Coopersburg, Pa.
I am sorry to hear about the treatment you are receiving from your not-so-nice new neighbor. In Pennsylvania, easements are either "express" or "implied." Since there was nothing written down, the agreement you had with your former neighbor did not create an express easement. An implied easement is inferred based on the intention of the parties. Courts look at several factors to make that determination. There is also an easement by prescription, which involves a claim that the use of the land has been open, notorious, adverse, continuous and uninterrupted for 21 years. You need to consult with an experienced real estate lawyer. You might have to ask a court for an injunction to stop your neighbor from doing what he is doing. Sounds like a judge is going to have to get involved in your dispute.
I live in Montana but entered into an email agreement to purchase a used vehicle from a Utah dealership based on an Internet ad and both verbal and email communications that the vehicle was safe. Warranty or "as is" were never discussed. The dealership accepted full payment from my mother and entered into a written sales agreement with my husband when he picked it up. They failed to provide temp tags, which were part of their sales agreement with me, so I registered and drove the vehicle for the first time one day outside their "three-day buyer's remorse" window. I immediately notified them of an antifreeze leak (fumes are toxic), but they have refused liability stating the vehicle was sold as is. This was on the paperwork my husband signed but was not on their website or told to me in our many verbal and written discussions. Who was their contract with: me, my mom who sent payment or my husband who signed the contract? Can my mom demand her money back? Can one of us sue them for deceptive practices? Can I sue them for not informing me it was sold as is? Do I/we have any other legal options? -- Tanya from Choteau, Mont.
People have problems when buying a car in person from a dealership. Your experience highlights the difficulties that can be encountered when buying a car online. The contract is the controlling document. You said that the words "as is" are on the contract. That means the vehicle was sold without any warranty. A contract is an agreement between the signing parties. If your husband signed the contract, then he is the party to the contract, not you or your mother. I suggest you file a complaint with the Utah DMV about your experience with this dealership. Here is the contact information: Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division Utah State Tax Commission; 210 N. 1950 West; Salt Lake City, UT 84134. Or call toll-free at 800-662-4335.
(Jackie Glass is a lawyer and former district court judge from Las Vegas, Nev., who is the new host of CBS's daytime legal affairs program, "Swift Justice With Jackie Glass." Visit www.SwiftJustice.com for more information, and submit your legal questions to Jackie by emailing email@example.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @theJudgeGlass.)Copyright 2012 by Tribune Media Services, Inc.