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How to deal with a boundary dispute with a neighbor who's also a city council member in San Diego?

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Hey folks, I’m in a pickle over a property line squabble and I could use some sage advice from anyone who’s been through the wringer on this.

What's the deal with property lines anyway?

So, here’s the sitch: I live in San Diego, and my new neighbor happens to be a city council member. We're talking about a guy with connections and some pull in the community. The problem started when he decided to put up a fancy new fence that’s clearly encroaching on my property by a good two feet according to the deed I got when I bought the place. Now, I’m no land surveyor, but I did a bit of measuring myself, and it sure as heck looks like he’s overstepped.

Why can't we just talk it out?

I tried the neighborly approach, brought it up over a cold one, but got the brush-off. Said he had a survey done that says otherwise. I haven’t seen this survey, mind you, and he’s playing his cards close to his chest. I'm concerned there's a conflict of interest because of his position with the city.

Isn't there a legal way to sort this?

I'm not itching for a fight, but I’ve got to stand my ground, right? I’m thinking of getting my own survey done, but I’ve heard that can be pricey. And let's say my survey disagrees with his—what then? Do we duke it out in court?

Here’s what I need to know:

  • How do I get a reliable survey done without breaking the bank?
  • Is there a way to address the conflict of interest since he's a city official?
  • What legal steps should I take if his fence is indeed on my property?
  • Any advice on dealing with neighbors who have political clout?
  • Should I be talking to a real estate lawyer or someone else?

Any advice would be massively appreciated! Thanks in advance, folks.

Commonly posted questions...

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1 month 2 weeks ago, civil litigation & trial law attorneys, Romney

Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to civil litigation & trial law attorneys in the jurisdiction of San Diego. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

Boundary Disputes

Relevant Legal Provisions

When dealing with boundary disputes in San Diego, the following legal provisions may apply:

  • California Civil Code Sections 829-834: Governing boundaries and ownership.
  • California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 2077.010-2077.060: Addressing boundary agreements and related court actions.
  • San Diego Municipal Code: Local ordinances may also have specific provisions regarding fences and boundary lines.

For local ordinances and additional legal information, visit the City of San Diego Official Website.

Possible Solutions to the Boundary Dispute

A boundary dispute should be approached methodically. Here are the steps you may consider:

  1. Survey: Obtain a professional land survey to establish the exact boundaries of your property. If cost is a concern, consider getting quotes from multiple survey companies or inquire if a less detailed boundary report could serve the purpose.
  2. Legal Counsel: Consult a real estate lawyer who specializes in boundary disputes. They can review the survey and advise on the best course of action.
  3. Mediation: Before litigation, consider mediation. An impartial third party can help resolve disputes without the need for court intervention. Look for local arbitration and mediation attorneys.
  4. Litigation: If an agreement cannot be reached, litigation may be necessary. A court can adjudicate the dispute and issue an order to resolve the boundary issue.

Cost of Boundary Dispute Services in San Diego

Service Average Cost in San Diego Percentage Difference from National Average
Professional Land Survey $3,500 +10%
Consultation with Real Estate Lawyer $400/hour +15%
Mediation Services $1,500/day +5%
Boundary Dispute Litigation $25,000 +20%

Please note that these are estimated costs and actual prices can vary. San Diego has a higher cost of living and legal services which might reflect in the above percentages. Always confirm fees directly with service providers.

The Complexity of Boundary Disputes

Boundary disputes are complicated due to emotional investment, legal complexities, and the technical nature of land surveying. Here are three brief case studies and their resolution approaches:

  1. Dispute Over Natural Boundaries: A homeowner believes a river forms the natural boundary of their property, but erosion has altered the landscape. Resolution: A surveyor can establish the historical boundary line, and an environmental lawyer may address the changes due to erosion.

  2. Discrepancy Between Deeds: Two neighboring deeds seem to overlap. Resolution: A real estate attorney can examine the history of the deeds and may suggest a quiet title action to clear up the discrepancies.

  3. Encroachment by Structures: A neighbor's garage is built partially on another's property. Resolution: If a survey confirms the encroachment, a lawyer can help negotiate a remedy, such as an easement or removal of the encroaching structure.

Questions for the User

  1. Have you had an official land survey done, and what were the findings? Understanding the precise legal boundaries ascertained by a professional surveyor is crucial before taking any legal action.
  2. Do you have a copy of your neighbor's survey? Reviewing their survey can provide insights into the basis of their claim and its validity.
  3. Have you experienced any direct losses or damages due to the fence construction? This information can be essential for a potential legal claim or negotiation.

Common Questions in Boundary Disputes

Q1: What are my rights if my neighbor builds a fence on my property?

Your rights include demanding removal of the fence, seeking damages, or requiring your neighbor to purchase the encroached land. Legal counsel can help enforce these rights.

Q2: How can I prove the real boundary lines of my property?

A professional land survey is the most definitive method to establish legal boundary lines.

Q3: Can a city council member use their influence in a boundary dispute?

A city council member should not use their position to influence a legal dispute. If you suspect a conflict of interest, this should be reported to the city's ethics board and addressed by your attorney.

Q4: Is mediation a good alternative to court in a boundary dispute?

Yes, mediation can be a cost-effective and less adversarial way to resolve disputes.

Q5: How long does a boundary dispute take to resolve?

The time frame can vary greatly, from a few months to several years, depending on the complexity of the dispute and the willingness of both parties to reach an agreement.

Disclaimer

This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

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Legal question "How to deal with a boundary dispute with a neighbor who's also a city council member in San Diego?" has been changed 3 months 2 weeks ago. Demonstrate your legal skills and willingness to help and answer right now! Issue is related to the location of San Diego & area of law: civil litigation & trial law attorneys.
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A wide photo depicting a detailed and realistic representation of a residential boundary dispute in San Diego, with a focus on legal documents such as property deeds with visible boundary lines, a professional land surveyor's map, and measuring equipment like a theodolite or surveyor's wheel. The documents should be spread out on a garden table in the backyard near the disputed fence, which is visible in the background, indicating the seriousness of the situation without showing any people.
A wide photo depicting a detailed and realistic representation of a residential boundary dispute in San Diego, with a focus on legal documents such as property deeds with visible boundary lines, a professional land surveyor's map, and measuring equipment like a theodolite or surveyor's wheel. The documents should be spread out on a garden table in the backyard near the disputed fence, which is visible in the background, indicating the seriousness of the situation without showing any people....

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