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Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation June 2017 Issue
InAgLaw Hdr

Easements: What You Need to Know

Amy Burbrink Legal Intern 2017
Amy Burbrink
INFB Legal Intern

A situation encountered by many rural landowners: waking up on a typical Monday morning, looking out over your fields and seeing a utility company truck pull up to work on power lines. Suddenly you notice the workers are not just working on the poles or existing structures. Instead, utility workers begin digging a trench in order to lay cable.

This scenario often raises the all-encompassing question: “Can they really put that there?” The Indiana Ag Law Foundation wants to help landowners clarify their rights regarding easements and licenses. If you’ve ever found yourself asking the above question or if you generally want to learn more about easements and other property rights, check out the following attachment.

Additionally, if you live in an area covered by a rural electric co-op, now is a good time to be aware of your property rights where easements are concerned. Senate Enrolled Act 478, which passed during the Indiana legislative session earlier this year, allows for the alteration of privately negotiated easements in order to expand broadband coverage. SEA 478 allows REMCs to add pole attachments to existing power lines, and it does not provide additional compensation to landowners. While Indiana Farm Bureau and other ag groups support the expansion of broadband internet to the last mile, supporting this bill was challenging because it provided legislative authorization to circumvent the negotiation process between utility companies and private landowners.

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