Question: We just completed construction of a home on five acres near Prescott. We have a right of way easement to use a dirt road that goes from our five acres to the main highway. This dirt road is in poor condition, but when we called Yavapai County to get the dirt road repaired, they informed us that they could do nothing because the dirt road had never been dedicated. What does Yavapai County mean when they say that the dirt road had never been dedicated? In addition, our neighbor’s driveway cuts across a corner of our front yard. Should we tell our neighbor that his driveway cuts across our front yard?
Answer: First, Yavapai County was telling you that, because the dirt road was not dedicated by the former owner, and the dedication accepted by Yavapai County, the maintenance of the dirt road is not the responsibility of Yavapai County. Therefore, the maintenance of the dirt road is your responsibility as the current owner of the easement. Second, you should immediately tell your neighbor that his driveway cuts across your front yard, and give your neighbor permission, preferably in writing, to use the driveway. Alternatively, but not very neighborly, you can block part of the driveway off to prevent your neighbor from driving across the corner of your front yard. Otherwise, if your neighbor continues to use the driveway for more than ten years, your neighbor may acquire a prescriptive easement to use the driveway across the corner of your front yard.