Legal Question in Civil Rights Law in Washington

can you please give me some opinions on how to settle this case:

we have a neighbor who built a pen that overlapped my family's property line by 1 meter. he refuses to settle this is our barangay (town office).

they say if we were to take this in court , it would be a long process and we would not benefit from this because the man who owns the pen does not a any source of income. i would like to know if this is an illegal/ criminal case, and if so how serious? can you please give me some options on how to settle this in a good manner. we have the evidence that he is trespassing and want him to remove the pen immediately.

Asked on 3/17/13, 1:54 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Amir John Showrai The Pacific Law Firm, PLLC

I'm not sure what county in Washington you are located, but your situation is common. If I were you, I'd find local counsel to write a letter to the offending neighbor, explaining how they are trespassing, and explaining that if they do not retract their pen by the 1 meter they are trespassing, that you will seek relief in court.

If you need to go to court, you will be seeking "ejectment" which is the legal term for removing a trespasser with no legal right to be there, from your land. I think most law enforcement agencies would not see this as a criminal matter, and would refer you to the civil court system if you filed a complaint.

To do this the easy way, your attorney could write a "kind, gentle" letter stressing that you do not want to fight, that you are sure this was an oversight on their part, and that you are willing to work with them to give them a reasonable period of time to move the pen. Then wait and see how the neighbor replies. If they tell you to pound sand, well, then you really have no choice but to file suit seeking a court order to have the pen removed from your land.

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Answered on 3/17/13, 8:50 pm

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