Say someone has an easement across my land to access their property.

They have an easement, so I am not allowed to interfere with their use of my land. I can't stand there and block their way.

If two hundred other people come into my land to stop the easement holder from using the easement, can I tell the cops I am happy with those people being on my land? Or am I obligated to have them removed as trespassers? Or can the easement holder have them removed as trespassers because they are interfering with the actual use of the easement?

  • it might be easier to take a sewer construction company example: The waterworks want to extend the sewers and have an easement. Your neighbor fears stench and tries to halt construction by standing in the way of the machinery.
    – Trish
    Sep 15, 2023 at 7:27
  • You need to ask a lawyer qualified to act in your particular jurisdiction. Beneath that it seems the easement holder could have them removed as trespassers interfering with the easement. Doesn't any duty you might have to support the holder defending the easement depend on the details of your contract? Similarly, whether 200 people are allowed on your land is a different thing from whether they're allowed near the easement, and again from what they might do there. You need to ask a lawyer qualified to act in your particular jurisdiction. Sep 15, 2023 at 19:22

1 Answer 1


can I tell the cops I am happy with those people being on my land?

You're assuming that a police officer will accept your formulation of the question as being about whether you are "happy" or not about the presence of the protesters.

The most likely structure of the interaction is that your easement-holder will ring the police to say that a trespass is occuring which interferes with his rightful use of the land (via the easement).

The protesters may be asked whose permission they have to be present. They will either indicate that they have none, or they may say they have permission from you.

The question will then be put to you: are these visitors present with your permission, or are they indeed trespassers? Or, if they came onto the land without explicit permission, do you ratify their occupation of the land by granting them permission now, or are they present without your permission now?

If you grant permission, then you may become liable to your neighbour for frustrating the use of the easement. And if you do not grant permission, then the police may well remove the protest.

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    You don't need active permission for it not to be trespassing in most jurisdictions. You just need not to be told to leave. Suppose that the property owner is merely indifferent (or claims to be) to their presence. The question then remains "Can the easement holder trespass the protesters if the property owner can't be bothered or isn't available to do so?" Sep 15, 2023 at 13:42
  • I would think that your granting permission wouldn't confer any liability on your part, but that if the utility can show the police that they have authority to work at that location, the police should view the property as temporarily belonging to the utility, rather than to you, rendering your wishes irrelevant.
    – supercat
    Sep 15, 2023 at 15:10
  • @supercat, I don't think it's that permission would necessarily imply liability for other visitors if they did something unexpected, it would only in this particular case imply conspiracy or joining with the protesters.
    – Steve
    Sep 15, 2023 at 17:58
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    @supercat I imagine that this situation would be very ambiguous to the police, and so they would make a judgement call and it would need to settled in or out of court afterwards. Sep 15, 2023 at 20:26
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    I don't see how the question of the property owner's permission even arises.
    – user207421
    Sep 16, 2023 at 8:55

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