What are the legal requirements for maintenance on a lane used by me to access my home but is owed by my neighbor?
Question Details: When I moved into my home some years back, the neighbor, who is above my home on the lane, made it clear that the lane belonged to him and that he plows it in the winter. Which sounds great, the problem, it's about 1/4 mile long slopped dirt lane which runs up the mountain and has ruts and at times large rocks on it. Is he obligated to maintain this lane so that it's safe and passable? What are his responsibilities for maintaining this lane? Is he liable to injuries and/or damages due to the poor maintenance?
The neighbor does not have an affirmative duty to plow or maintain the lane; that is, you cannot sue him for failing to do so, seek a court order requiring him to do so, or have the city ticket him for not maintaining it.
However, despite not having an enforceable affirmative obligation to plow, they can be held liable for any injuries, car damage, etc. caused by their failure to maintain or plow the road. All property owners are liable for the damage and injuries caused by unreasonably dangerous conditions (e.g. ice; potholes) they allow to persist on their property and do not remedy. So you can't make them perform maintenance--but if the don't and their failure to maintain causes injuries or damage, you can sue them.