Easements and Rights-of-Way in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is crisscrossed by miles of crude oil and products pipelines, natural gas pipelines,
electric power lines, telephone lines and cable television lines. See Real Property: The Effect of Floating Easements Held by Pipeline Companies on Marketability of Title and Land Values, 37 OKLA. L. REV. 180, 181 n.7-8 (1984). The owners of such lines almost always install them across lands owned by someone else. Their rights to place the lines on lands owned by another exist in the nature of a particular kind of easement: a right-of-way. Those rights-of-way are acquired through several different methods. They are perhaps most frequently granted through the use of an instrument voluntarily entered into between the fee owner and the person desiring the right-of-way.
Some rights-of-way were retained by the State for roads. Some are acquired through prescriptive use of the property of another. Finally, some are obtained by exercise of the power of eminent domain. This presentation will examine various aspects of the nature of rights-of-way in Oklahoma, the construction of rights-of-way, the rights of the dominant and servient estates and special issues with rights-of-way across Indian land.
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