Tech Tips in California>Question Details

Nanyme, Other/Just Looking in California

What is prescriptive easements or adverse possession. Give the meaning of one or the other and give an exampl

Asked by Nanyme, California Fri Mar 7, 2008

What is prescriptive easements or adverse possession. Give the meaning of one or the other and give an example please.

Help the community by answering this question:


Since I don't have my legal dictionary on hand, nor my basic real estate book....let me wing this in layman's
off-the-cuff terms.
prescriptive easement is just as it indicates - there is some party that has some type of limited use for a easement which is part of a specific parcel of property. This may be an ingress-egress easement for a road,or utility easement or a number of things.
adverse possession is a situation where a non-owner of a property claims rights to the property based on his/her long term use of it. This is old common law, as I remember. It requires some form of documentation of use of course. Or if you're on the owners' end--proof of their non-use.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
The difference can be blurred. Essentially, an easement is a nonpossessory interest in land, such as a right to use or cross. Adverse possession is a possession excluding all others from the right to use or possess. Also, adverse possession requires paying of taxes per cal code of civil procedure 321-325, whereas prescriptive easement does not. This is not a complete analysis.


Daniel Bakondi, Esq.

The Law Office of Daniel Bakondi
870 Market Street, Suite 1161
San Francisco CA 94102


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This communication may contain confidential information, privileged information, or attorney work product. If you are not the intended recipient or received this message in error, any use or distribution of this message is strictly prohibited and unlawful. Please notify the sender immediately, and delete this message. No attorney-client nor confidential relationship is created through this communication. Nothing communicated or provided constitutes legal advice nor a legal opinion unless it so specifies and written agreement for attorney services has been entered into. Your issue may be time sensitive and may result in loss of rights if you do not act in time. Thank you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
N -

An easement is the right to use property of another. A prescriptive easement (adverse possession) means the property is being used without the true owner's permission. An example could be a side driveway, a road across a property to reach another part of another property, a pathway to the pond...etc.. The test for prescriptive easement normally includes descriptions such as "public", "hostile" and "continuous".

I recently had a client where the fence had been built (nearly 30 years ago) about 2 feet onto the neighbors property. This was a case under continuous condition of a prescriptive easement. (Fences are probably the most common examples.) Normally, a quiet title lawsuit is used to end a prescriptive easement.

Of course, I have to add that I am not a real estate attorney and it is always best to consult with a professional in real estate law.

Here is more detailed link to help.

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer