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View Full Version : Unmaintained Road Law?

07-12-05, 10:44 PM
I have a dirt road that is on my property, but is also used for neighbors to use to get to their homes.
I also have a nasty neighbor that likes to dust out my property occasionally when she feels like it.
Many times she has blocked other traffic on the road as she sits in her vehicle and carries on a conversation with her family members in their vehicles.

So.. today I was at my mailbox getting the mail which is on the same road next to my fence when this nasty neighbor got as close as she could to my car then drove by about 45.

My question is: what law is she breaking if any or is there no law since this is not a city maintained road?


07-12-05, 10:47 PM
If it is private property (like most of those types of roadways here) then they can't get her for speeding. But if she poses a threat or drives in a manner that places someone in danger (including herself) then we could get her for Driving to Endanger which is a misdemeanor in Maine.

07-13-05, 12:06 AM
If it is Private Property then in ohio she could be charged with Reckless Operation. If it is a twp road she could also be charged with the same!

07-13-05, 12:07 AM
If you own the property and they have rights to it for access to a residence then you could install speed bumps! (easily done with 4x4's)

07-13-05, 12:51 AM
If you own the property and they have rights to it for access to a residence then you could install speed bumps! (easily done with 4x4's)
That may be the best.

We could fence off the road, but that wouldn't be very neighborly. Everyone would have to take a long ways around.

I'll think about the speed bumps and do some googling on it.

Only problem I could imagine us having is this neighbor taking her back hoe and smooth them over afterwards.

07-13-05, 03:16 AM
If it is on your property and a neighbor is TRESPASSING, send them a certified letter with a diagram of the property indicating the "road" and your property lines and tell them that they are no longer permitted to drive on your property under penalty of trespass. If they fail to heed, call the police.

THis way you won't need speedbumps or do anything to disturb your goos neighbors.

07-13-05, 04:03 AM
Im not sure Mcsap but I think they have a right-a-way through his property! If this is the case do what I said Get some 4x4's and burry them you can even cement in the ends so that they can not pull them out! IF THEY DESTROY THEM THEN PROCEED TO CALL THE LAW.

07-13-05, 09:31 AM
You must first be sure about who owns the property.

In Virginia there are plenty of road in rural areas that are gravel or dirt and still owned by the town, county, or local government. If this is the case, the local law enforcement agency can and should enforce laws on this property, and in Vigrinia, unposted rural roads have a speed limit of 50 mph. If the area is populated enough to be considered "residential" then the unposted speed limit is 25 mph.

If the property is privately owned, the plice can write for Reckless driving on Private Property. If the behavior is reckless enough and they see it. If the neighbors do not have a deeded right-of-way using that roadway, you can indeed tell them that they are not welcome to use it and charge them with trespassing if they do. If they have a deeded rigt-of-way, the only solution may be the speed-bumps, which is a great idea and I wish I have thought if it.

If they don't like the speed bumps, you can always dig a 3 inch deep, 6 inch wide "drainage ditch" across the driveway. My Dad has a couple of these for drainage and they serve the same purpose as speed-bumps .... plus they are free :)

Good luck

07-13-05, 01:07 PM
Check your deed and make sure there isn't an easement there that gives neighbors the right to use the road. Sometimes those are written in.

But even at that, a shallow ditch wouldn't hurt.

07-13-05, 01:36 PM
I like the speed bump idea. Matter of fact, since I didn't have a 4x4 I went out in my Grand Am with front wheel drive and made a couple 2 inch bumps. Came back and read this thread again and realized I only needed wood. :o

The property is ours and there is nothing on the deed that says to give anyone rights. But...after 26 years of giving the loveable neighbors access to it, wouldn't want to change it now.
Also, there is only two ways out and our road is one of them.

I will make some speed bumps this weekend. The road is about 5 acres long. Not sure what that measurement would be in feet.

Now I will have to find out if I can or have to post a speed bump sign.

07-13-05, 02:43 PM
Now I will have to find out if I can or have to post a speed bump sign.

I can't imagine you would have to on your property. But it would be nice to put up something that says "SLOW" "SPEED BUMPS AHEAD". If the neighbor give you **** about it, put up a gate.

07-13-05, 05:13 PM
Many times she has blocked other traffic on the road as she sits in her vehicle and carries on a conversation with her family members in their vehicles.

Its a public drive, don't forget impeding traffic.

07-25-05, 02:58 AM

I called the police tonight after the neighbors were ricky racing up and down the road and dusted my mother out in her yard.
They police said I could not put speed bumps on the road because it is a public access road.
Also, they could not just cite them for wreckless because there would have to be more than one violation.
They suggested I see what the town could do for me and they would try having a friendly talk with the neigbor.

But...I can have drainage holes.

07-25-05, 04:57 AM
It would not be a "public access" road unless there is an easment on your property deed. Your best bet is to contact your neighbors with a letter and give them notice that if they continue to not behave on your propery you will officially tresspass them and put up a gate.

As you said they already have legal access to their land and they can't get an easment then. As you said if you have already done everthing else to ask them to slow down it's time to get tough.

The other way you can tell if it's a minimum maintance road is who takes care of it. Does the city come though with a grader every so ofter, is their a sign saying minimum maintance road, or a street sigh. If not it's not a road and the propery owner can do what ever they wish.

If the neighbors really want to raise the issue after then, let them go to court and try to get an easment.

07-25-05, 05:01 AM
You know I forgot to add this too.

The local police would not be the ones to decide if it was a public road or not. You would need contact your city's Public Works and property records and they'll be able to tell you if it is considered a road.

If they say no. Then you again can do what ever you wish and if the neighbors don't play by your rules put a gate across it or something like that.

07-25-05, 12:23 PM
Thank you Ranger_101!

There are no signs and the only time the road gets graded is when one of the
neighbors drags a board behind their truck.

When I called dispatch they asked if they were going 35. I'm assuming since
there is no speed posted or any signs that that might have something to do with why the officer could not cite for one violation.

I'm going to check with the city today. Maybe they can put a sign up that will help or check in to what exactly they can do. I'm also going to contact USPS and check on having the mailboxes moved from our fence line to a safer place.

The officer that responded last night was training the officer with him and they just got done with responding to a shooting. He said he would come back today and speak with the neighbor, but not mention whom the complaint was from. Though this my first call regarding her, I think she will figure it out. ;)

08-02-05, 08:20 AM
Any good news about your road issue of the neigbors behaving themselves?

08-02-05, 08:43 AM
Michelle, do you live in the City or County? Make sure before you head down to the City offices. If you live in the County, then you need to go to the Planning & Zoning or Engineering Department to find out what you can do on that road. I'd be putting up a fence and giving your nicer neighbors access if that woman is such a snot. You probably still need to head down to the proper office for a permit if you are putting up a fence or changing the topography of the land (speed bumps). You might need a fence permit or a land disturbing permit. They can also give you an aerial view of your property with the property lines drawn. You'd be able to see an easement clearly on that, if there is one. Your property is probably zoned agricultural and there wouldn't be an easement on that.

Like Ranger said, a police officer can't tell you where the property lines or easements are unless they have a zoning map. What he might have done is call Emergency Services to see if they have an emergency grant to go down that road. That's different.

08-03-05, 03:41 PM
Be careful, as California has some odd laws about access. If they have had unimpeaded access for X years, they have permanent access. We had to block a road across our club property for 24 hours one day a year to keep it from becoming a public access.
I would start out nice (with a note, keep a copy), and slowly bring it up from there. Sounds like you played neighbor roulette and lost.

08-04-05, 12:34 PM
There is a lot more traffic at all hours of the day and night, but they have been driving nicely ever since the officer had a talk with them last week.
The officer was very understanding and great about handling it.

I live in a town. The town does have some very strict zoneing and code enforcement laws.

So far I have not called the code enforcement out about the road. Last time I had called them out about a problem, "I" got in to trouble for having a gas can next to my lawn mower, my garden wind breaker fence was almost 2 feet over the limit so I had to take it down. A few other code violations that ended up costing around $2000 to fix. This time, I want to have a bit more money in my savings just in case. Along with some more time to study all the code enforcement laws.

I will have to put some more ditches for a water run off later.
I'm just content that they are driving nicely now.

Thank you all for your great advice!