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Jacksboro Woman Is Landlocked

A woman in Jacksboro has shared her driveway with her neighbor for 10 years. She is now losing her driveway after her neighbor passed away.
A property dispute gone wrong has a Jacksboro woman without a driveway and unable to even reach her home.

Maggie Coughlan is sixty-six years old and right now has no way to park her car in her driveway, or even pull up to her house.

A driveway that was once shared by Coughlan and her neighbor is now being blocked off after her neighbor's death, and Coughlan and her family are looking for legal help.

Coughlan has leased the house for nearly ten years.

"Well this old man and I shared this driveway for years and he explained it is on his property and that he didn't mind if people used it and it was wonderful," Coughlan says. 

Maggie's neighbor recently passed away and the owners who now own the home next to her have started building a fence, preventing her from having any way to pull up to her home.

Maggie claims she has a prescriptive easement which gives her full right to use the property because of how long she has lived there and had the agreement with the previous owner.

Now, without the driveway, she's landlocked.

"They just started digging up my yard my garage is over there. I can't get to my garage and my friend's truck has been cemented in," Coughlan says. 

The city of Jacksboro simply says this is a civil issue and there isn't much they can do, and Coughlan says she feels helpless.

"If I have a fire, that fence is going to keep us from getting a fire truck back there," Coughlan says. 

Maggie says she can't afford a lawyer and is looking for anyone that may be able to help her.

There are five requirements under Texas law in order to create a prescriptive easement, where the driveway agreement she had before would continue.

It must be begin and continue without the consent of the current landowner. It must be open, obvious and apparent, be exclusive and be in the same place or within definite lines. It also must be continuous and uninterrupted for ten years.
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