What types of property ownership litigation does this firm handle?
My firm represents clients involved in property ownership litigation and adverse possession claims. Examples of some of the matters I have handled include, but are not limited to:
- Claims from family members over the ownership of a property in the name of someone other than the person who paid for the property
- Disputes over the location of the property line between two properties
- Title defects resulting from issues in the chain of title
- Claims based on the continuous use of property owned by another person
- The partition of property jointly owned by more than one person
What actions can be taken to resolve ownership disputes or adverse possession claims prior to filing a lawsuit?
I generally recommend starting with a demand letter. A demand letter is simply a letter that outlines the basis for claiming ownership of the property and asks the other party to consent to the same. The purpose of a demand letter is to see if there is any possibility of settlement prior to incurring the costs of litigation.
If you have already received a demand letter from the other party, the next step is to respond to that letter. Depending on the dispute and your likelihood of success if it went to trial, the appropriate response may be a response letter or simply a phone call to discuss the matter.
Ownership disputes and adverse possession claims can often also be resolved through real estate mediation, which is an informal process where a mediator helps to encourage both sides to find a resolution to the issues.
Why is it important to use an experienced real estate attorney for a property ownership dispute?
The legal process related to ownership disputes is different than other types of litigation. Some disputes may be uncontested and others may require experts to testify about the property line or title history. Having an experienced attorney helps to ensure these claims are resolved as efficiently as possible and with the best possible result. Furthermore, even a small mistake can prevent the property from being eligible for title insurance, which makes it difficult to later sell the property. An experienced real estate attorney has dealt with these issues before and knows how to ensure it is done right the first time.