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Highway

Extended Use Or Prescription

One method of establishing a highway or public road is through prescription—the extended use of a piece of land for a certain length of time by the public, absent the owner's consent.

The actual number of persons using the road or the frequency or extent of such use is immaterial provided the property is openly and continuously used as a road with no restrictions. In addition, such public use must not be interrupted by acts of the owner that are designed to stop the use of his or her property as a public highway. For example, the posting of several "no trespassing" signs around the land and the erection of a fence would most likely prevent a highway from being recognized. Verbal objections alone, or unsuccessful attempts to curtail use as a highway, are ordinarily insufficient.

Any property subject to the right of the state to lay out a public way over it can become a highway by extended use if the conditions prescribed by statute are met. The public is given an EASEMENT in the land as a highway, and the width and extent of a highway are determined by the extent of its actual use for such purposes.

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