Update on cutting a telephone wire.

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by got_nailed, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. got_nailed

    got_nailed DIY Senior Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    This was the post.

    They ended up buying the right away and my expenses for $43,000. The right away $25,000, lawyer cost was 10,000, and $8,000 to move a fence 12’ to satisfy my need of not having any of there wire inside my fence or need to come in side my fence to work on it. There strip is about a 1.5 miles long and 20’ wide.

    The right away has written in that...That they have to put in manholes for there splice boxes they can not have anything above ground level.
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    Sounds good, were you happy with the outcome?
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  4. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    Of course you realize by moving your fence 12' you gave up the use of that land, you should have sold them the land and then you wouldn't be paying taxes on it.

  5. got_nailed

    got_nailed DIY Senior Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    I’m happy with the outcome. I did get everything I wanted out of it. The one thing that I didn’t want was for them to be able to come into my fence line to fix or put more cables in. I know that if the fence would have been in there way then they would have been able to cut it and they would never get it fixed worth a crap and then I would have to deal with some cows getting out.

    I do know that I will be paying taxes on land that I’m not ever going to use and I will still have to bush hog it every month or so. I did think about sell the land but in my county you can not subdivide land unless it is at least one acre per plot and it has to be at least 3000’ wide on every side. I would of lost 2 barns and my well and part of a creak.

    I did find out that they are planning on adding another trunk line (or something like that) in July of 08. The fun part is when they get to my driveway. Its 15’ wide and its 2 feet of concrete; where the two 18†culverts are at the concrete is even thicker (there is a lot of fill mixed in with it). They will have to go under it and not through it.
  6. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Jun 18, 2007
    Plumber, self employed
    Licensed Grump
    I been waiting to hear this outcome...great news.
    Humorous note, keep an eye on yer utility bill for hidden charges.
  7. Bobrobert

    Bobrobert New Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    Retire Oct 2007 from AT&T
    Central Kentucky
    Great news - was happy to see you came out on top.

    I just retired from 37 years with the telephone industry, and most of my time was spent in OSP Engineering and Right-of-way. For future reference for you and any others here that may be following your story there are couple of points to consider if this happens again.

    Based on what you stated in your initial post, I feel you were never at fault and the phone company didn't have a leg to stand on. Obviously that was true from the outcome that you posted. The phone company use to fix damaged cables for free and go about their merry way. Not the case anymore and the phone industry, if they can, will take "any and all" to task over the cost of repairs. Simply stated if you are in the wrong then you will pay. If you are in the right, like you were from the start, you will get the outcome you did and hopefully you are pleased with all that went on.

    BUT CONSIDER THESE THINGS: (Please note that all this is simply written and none of it is cast in concrete – it may be different where you live.) - In some states there is what is called a "prescriptive rights" which is the same as an easement but there isn’t any written document. In the state where I am currently if the phone company, or any utility, places their facilities (cable, poles, pedestals, etc.) and it is "obvious" that that cable and/or structure is on private property they could have a "prescriptive easement" -IF- that cable has been on the property for 15 or mores years without any complaint from any property owner. In some cases if you purchase the property with the cable on it, and do not challenge the rights of the Utility to have this cable on your newly purchased property, then they "may" have a legal "prescriptive easement" and again it does not have to be on paper. All the phone company has to do is prove that the cable was placed more than 15 years ago, or was on the property when it was purchased, and it’s a legal easement buy law.

    Secondly - You mentioned that the power company was on your property and maybe had an easement. Some Utility easements are written to include "ALL UTILITIES." So be watchful of "ALL" utility easements that may be on your property. They could give license to others to place their facilities within their easement and it is perfectly legal. The phone company easements we used years ago stated this very thing. It allowed any and all Utilities to get in the easement that we purchased. But they have moved away from that in the past few years and the phone easements of today are for the phone company only.

    AND ABOUT YOUR LAWYER: If your lawyer took one look at your situation and stated that you would probably end up paying for the damage, then I highly suggest that you, or anyone else in this situation, search out an attorney that is knowledgeable about Utility companies and their rights and easements.

    LASTLY: On phone company utility easements, and I would suspect most Utility easements, they do have the right to place and maintain their facilities. But as someone stated in you thread, you pay the taxes on that land where the easement is located and you have a right to use that land. You probably can not build any permanent structures, but you can plant crops for instance, and if the Utility that is holding the easement needs to place another cable, or dig up and repair a failing cable, then they are obligated to pay you “damages†(money) for any crops they damage while making those repairs or additions, unless specifically stated otherwise in the easement. AND - They DO NOT have the right to cross your property to get to their easement, unless so stated in the easement. That means if you have a rear property easement they have NO RIGHT to take their large trucks down your driveway to get where they want to be. These trucks will damage a normal driveway and have lots of times. If you give them permission to drive on your driveway then any damage done to your property is on you. If they trespass then any damage is on them.

    Please use any of this as a guide only and not to head to court with. There is tons of “legal ease†written into these documents and different states have different laws. But I do hope there is some helpful information in here.
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