Easements! What me worry?

Posted on October 16 2009 by admin

Who needs to worry about easements?

Well everybody!

The county has joined the environmentalists in their effort to close Ocotillo Wells by abandoning any and all support for public roads that have existed for nearly a century.  All in false assumption of excessive liability.

So It is up to you and me. See the page on fencing!

If you have a parcel on Split Mountain or hwy 78 the parcels further in generally cannot be landlocked.  (Only one parcel has been landlocked in the history of California and that case is really weird. More on that later.)

If you have to travel over others parcels to get to yours you certainly need to get your easements in order.

Proper declared legal access will foster cooperation between neighbors.

Emergency vehicle access is necessary to all parcels. Let’s help our great all volunteer fire department out here!

Proper Easement creation will allow power to reach all parcels.

SO:  In Ocotillo Wells there is likely an easement from the 1920’s that the title company failed to uncover because they often do not research all the way back to the original land grants or patents.  If there is not a recorded easement then typically the courts grant them by implication or necessity which is a type of implied easement that is created when the properties were split up.  (See all about easements page)

Some landowners that would be the subservient tenant (having the easement across an edge of their parcel.) want to extort cash from dominant tenants (those who would use it) for the granting of an easement.  I often wonder how this works out over time as the person that had to shell out some cash instead of going to court drives on and past the others property on a regular basis.  If civility did not prevail in the creation of the easement then it will likely not prevail in the use of it.  It’s just my opinion but I think we reap what we sow.  .

So I have my own little set of Easement etiquette that I try to follow.

The edges of my property are for the use of easements. (Unless I am trying to utilize several parcels as one. )

I do not build fences to the edge of the property or to the edge of the easements.  We all have big parcels and do not need every inch of them.

If there is an impassable point in the easement then find another way that works for everybody.

Always grant utility access but only for those parcels that need it not for something like sunrise powerlink.

When asking for an easement I do not lead with “I need” they do not give a damm about what I need.  Instead I try a softer approach like “I can help all of us by putting together this instead of several folks working on a Hodge-podge of documents”. I take my time and allow others to review my proposals and the documents.  For some folks this is just business and they get right to it.  For some folks this is unknown territory and they are unsure of how to proceed or if someone is taking advantage of them.  Time, patience, and a willingness to supply lots of information and let people to get to know me always helps.

When asking for easements offer to cover all costs.  Notary, Recording, Legal, Fence Moving, and such.

I do not gun the engine on the buggy, quads, bike, or truck because I know that some folks passenger cars have to drive over the same road. (tearing it up is for the BLM and OHV lands.)


Ask for Kencove’s catalof there is a lot of great installation information in it.

High tensile wire is probably the least expensive and easiest fence to put up.


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2 responses to “Easements! What me worry?”

  1. With that said IN MY OPINION it is a lawyers job to tell all clients that they have a chance at winning. If they told you that you had no chance you would not pay their retainer and start writing checks every few weeks for thousands of dollars.


    Easement Law is one of the least understood legal areas. 99.9% of people have never heard of Implied or by Necessity Easements but almost everyone claims to be an expert in Prescriptive easements. (The worst and hardest kind to obtain)

    A smaller percentage of people know what the average cost is for litigation of easement rights ($73,000 for EACH side).

    Almost no one knows that the courts in California have only left one parcel landlocked.

  2. vince says:

    Dear Bill,

    Thank you for the informative letter. My name is Vince Bruno, I have a 10 acre parcel about 5 miles down split mt.road from hwy. 78. I am located accross from the Hewet propety. I share your views on the topics you mentioned in your letter. I believe the Hewets and the Olsens would also concur. Mr. Hewet is quite knowledgeable on most thing Ocotillo, he told me years ago about the existing easements. Lucky me, my neighbor just fenced off the easement !!!!! My Cell # is 760 271-6905 Thanks,