DEAR JEFF: My friends own property that is landlocked — they have no way of accessing their property without crossing over other privately-owned property.

The owners of the surrounding property granted my friends an access road, but have refused to allow them to have power lines run across their land, even if the lines are buried on the access road.

Is there anything they can do? Are they allowed to go ahead and run buried lines on the road that was granted to them? Thanks, “Do Unto Others”

Dear “Do Unto Others”: It sounds as if your friends were granted an easement by necessity by their neighbors. This sort of easement allows access to property, but if your friends were to bury a power line on that access road, they would be in violation of the easement.

Their best option would be to check with local power companies, and determine if there was ever a utility easement filed on the property at the time it was platted. If so, the power company has the right to run lines to your friends’ property using that easement.

DEAR JEFF: I am pregnant, and my husband has filed for divorce. I was told a divorce cannot be granted if the woman is pregnant, and I would like to prolong things as much as possible to try to work it out with my husband. Is this true? Signed, “Baby Don’t Go”

Dear “Don’t Go”: As a matter of custom, judges will often not grant a divorce while a woman is pregnant, for the reason that any child born during a marriage is presumed by law to be the child of the husband and wife.

At the divorce hearing, you will be asked whether there are any minor children as a result of the marriage, or whether one is expected. However, there is no specific requirement in Texas law requiring that a judge deny a divorce based on pregnancy.

Jeffrey Bates is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, but is not board certified in any area of specialty by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

This column is meant for general information and educational purposes only, and neither this column nor the transmittal of a legal question via email constitutes the creation of an attorney/client relationship between the reader and Jeffrey Bates and/or Southern Newspapers Inc. For specific advice regarding legal matters affecting you, consult an attorney.

To submit a question, send it via email to, or via regular mail to Ask the Lawyer, 101 S. First St., Lufkin 75901, or call 639-2900.