I'm having a land boundary dispute in Missouri. What laws govern property easements in my state?

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Question:

I'm having a land boundary dispute in Missouri. What laws govern property easements in my state?

Answer:

Missouri easements are governed by common law as well as Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 228, Section 342 which allows the owner of a landlocked property to create a right of way on someone else's property for the sake of viable access to the landlocked property. Missouri law also permits easements for public utilities such as water, power and sewer services. An easement is merely a permission to use someone else's real property without becoming the owner of the easement property.

There are a number of types of easements. They are:

  • Express (the easement was given through the property deed or other paperwork)

  • Implied (the easement exists based on the intention of the original parties and the use of particular property)
  • Necessity (the easement is needed for someone to use their own property & only exists through a court order)
  • Prior Use (an easement was intended but wasn't mentioned in the paperwork & has been used for a long time period)
  • Prescription (the easement exists because the true property owner never enforced the property line & the new owner acquired this by adverse possession)
  • Estoppel (the promise of an easement exists, was relied upon by the person claiming one & use was interrupted; this also exists through a court order)
  • Government (the easement occurs through government powers of eminent domain; however, the property owner must be given fair market value for the taking of the property

In a land boundary dispute, an easement may or may not exist on the land.

References:

LA-NOLO1:DRU.1.6.5.20141022.29090