Need Help/Opinions on Neighbor Issues
This is a long read. I am sorry to put you through it, but it is a complex issue. Everything detail is necessary to understand and describe the situation. There is just no other way to put it.
My family purchased a piece of property about 15 years ago. The land resides on top of the mountain with no running water, sewer, or electric. Our land is also land locked on all sides. In order to access the property, it takes a 4 wheel drive vehicle and a half an hour trip up the mountain road, which is very narrow and unpaved; there is no other way or option to get to our property. The road cuts along property lines and, in some cases lower on the mountain, through private property. This means the road is privately owned by various property owners on the way up the mountain. This is where our problem resides.
The neighbor below us (which I will refer to as neighbor 1 to avoid confusion) owns the portion of the road that leads to our property. The portion of road that neighbor 1 owns has three drive ways off of it (one being ours and 2 being other neighboring properties), before continuing on to other properties on the top of the mountain. A dispute occurred about 6 years ago between neighbor 1 and us and we stopped going up to the property to avoid the headache/harassment. Well after the dispute, neighbor 1 blocked off the road at his property line, preventing any property owners, including us, from passing to access their properties. That didnít last long for some reason and neighbor 1 took the block down.
I went up there for bear season last year; the first time I have been there since the dispute 6 years ago. I learned that after neighbor 1 took the road block down, they forced one cabin with a drive way adjoining to the portion of the road to cut a new driveway that would adjoin the road below the portion of the road that they own. They (neighbor 1) also told the other property owner (who stopped going up there because of the antics of neighbor 1) with a drive way adjoining the section of road they (neighbor 1) own that he had to move his driveway to the other side of his property pin; not even 2 feet from the existing driveway. When I was up there last year, I was confronted by neighbor 1 while I was on the road and he told me that I was trespassing and we had to also move our drive way (which is literally on his property line) to the other side of his property line; once again not even 2 feet from the existing driveway. The right of way to use the road, which has been established for quite some time now (my best guess being close to 50 years, if not longer) is clearly specified in the deed.
There are a few other things that you should know about the situation and neighbor 1, to further illustrate what we are dealing with. We have had other disputes unrelated to the road issue with them throughout our ownership of the property. They have cut trees down, big valuable trees, on our property. They have chased a lumber surveying crew off our property. After the dispute 6 years ago, family members and others from cabins continued to us the property. On more than one occasion while hunting on our property, they (family and friends) ran into members of neighbor 1ís cabin that claimed that they were trespassing and that neighbor 1 bought our property! Two years ago my brother in-law shot a bear on our property. The Game Commission wanted to see the gut pile and found nothing suspicious, just a routine check; the Game Commission turned around and left. Last year, when I was confronted by neighbor 1, he accused us of bring the game commission up the mountain and that we told them neighbor 1 was baiting and that neighbor 1 was harassed about it by the Game Commission; all false. Also, last year during bear season, members of neighbor 1ís cabin were hunting on the bottom of our property, sitting right atop his ATV. Then about 8:00 am two hunters from their cabin came walking through our property on a drive to the fellow sitting on the ATV!
That is as clear and simple as I can put the situation. I know your probably think that this is nuts and it is. We donít utilize the land because of neighbor 1. Now that I am older, I would like to start hunting it again but donít want to deal with neighbor 1. We have thought of many ways to deal with the situation including legal resolutions. But just donít know how to go about it. Please let me know what you think on how to go about resolving this situation.
Thanks for the help, advice, and reading