Real Estate Disputes and Other Civil Litigation

Contract disputes, insurance companies that deny valid claims, and boundary disputes with neighbors are all examples of civil disputes that regularly occur in Coeur d'Alene. When you are involved in a dispute of any kind, your financial future as well as your peace of mind may depend on the outcome.

My depth of experience as a skilled civil litigator and proven record serves my clients in the following kinds of disputes:

Real Estate Disputes

The real estate market in North Idaho, and in particular Coeur d'Alene, has changed dramatically since the early 1990s. In many areas of our beautiful state, what was once farmland and lakeshore has become commercial properties, residential developments, resorts or condominiums. With these changes, the number of real estate-related disputes has risen dramatically.

These cases are usually fact-intensive, and can involve many detailed questions and investigations into the history and prior use of the property or properties at issue.

The sooner you see me to resolve your real estate dispute, the greater the likelihood that the outcome will be favorable and cost-effective.

Boundary Disputes

Boundary disputes between neighbors can be emotionally charged experiences. A great deal of my time is spent working with people to resolve a boundary dispute.

Please be aware that I will not tell you what to do. You make the final decision — whether that is litigation, negotiation or simply let the matter go. This is your case, your property and your decision. I am keenly aware of how important these matters are for people involved.

I have been involved in cases where the individual chose to spend more than the value of the real estate itself pursuing a dispute over a six-inch strip of land. By contrast, there are those in which the landowner decides not to pursue any action at all. Every legal matter must be addressed according to your needs and goals.

You may be wondering why a real estate boundary dispute cannot be cleared up simply and economically by a survey. Sometimes, the recorded survey for a specific area is unclear. Provided these discrepancies, obtaining another survey will not solve the problem.

When a real estate boundary or easement dispute cannot be resolved using a survey, or if the property has been used by a neighbor for years, the court will determine the boundary through historical examination of the property's use. If your property is at risk, it is wise to seek the services of an attorney with experience in real estate litigation.

Easement Disputes

Unlike a boundary dispute, an easement dispute concerns only the right to travel over land, not possession. Property easement disputes typically arise when there is no recorded ingress egress easement, but a person has been traveling over another's land for a number of years, without any objection or permission from the landowner. In these situations a prescriptive easement, which allows that person to continue crossing the property, may be established.

An easement dispute might involve a shared driveway, an emergency vehicle access road to a property, access needed to maintain the property, or simply a walkway to a mailbox. A claim may be based on expansion of use over the course of the history of the property.

If property which belongs to another has been continuously occupied (for 20 years), enclosed, and improved upon by someone other than the actual owner, the court may declare that the person who is using the property has established title through "adverse possession." The adverse possessor may then bring a "quiet title" lawsuit to establish their title against any past, present, or future claims.

The early stages of a boundary or easement dispute are critical. If you need a lawyer, or would like to discuss an issue with me, please contact my Coeur d'Alene office at the first opportunity and make arrangements for an initial consultation.

Probate, Trust and Estate Planning Disputes

Go to Estate Planning to learn more