Current through 2023-2024 Legislative Session Chapter 353
Section 44-9-40 - Authority of superior court to grant private ways; filing of petition as declaration of necessity; when proceeding enjoined(a) The superior court shall have jurisdiction to grant private ways to individuals to go from and return to their property and places of business. Private ways shall not exceed 20 feet in width and may be as much less as the applicant may choose or as the court may find to be reasonably necessary. They shall be kept open and in repair by the person on whose application they are established or his successor in title.(b) When any person or corporation of this state owns real estate or any interest therein to which the person or corporation has no means of access, ingress, and egress and when a means of ingress, egress, and access may be had over and across the lands of any private person or corporation, such person or corporation may file his or its petition in the superior court of the county having jurisdiction; said petition shall allege such facts and shall pray for a judgment condemning an easement of access, ingress, and egress not to exceed 20 feet in width over and across the property of the private person or corporation. The filing of the petition shall be deemed to be the declaration of necessity; however, where it appears that the condemnor owns a right of access, ingress, and egress to his property over another route or owns an easement to a right of private way over another route, which right or easement is not less than 20 feet in width and which alternate route affords such person or corporation a reasonable means of access, ingress, and egress, or where the judge shall find that the exercise of such right of condemnation by the condemnor is otherwise unreasonable, the judge of the superior court is authorized under such circumstances to find that the condemnation and the declaration of necessity constitute an abuse of discretion and to enjoin the proceeding.