Archives: Basic Issues

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Quit Claim Deed – Remedies Clinic Option I

A Quit Claim Deed (“QCD”) for the titled boundary holder provides a permanent resolution with the greatest ease. The time and cost associated with its production – once having become the agreed solution – are also the lowest of all remedy methods. Also, if this approach can be established instead of a lawsuit, the signal … Continue Reading

Remedies Clinic Commencement

Surveyor has been out and now you either want to tear your neighbors’ heads off because they have “stolen” your land (i.e. you are the title holder who believes you are being short-changed). Or perhaps you have “always owned” land beyond what the surveyor indicates and you darn well want to make sure to protect … Continue Reading

King County Washington Property Research Part I of III – Start with the Parcel Numbers

When doing research on your own and your neighbor’s property, start (and follow through) with some tools related to the properties tax parcel numbers by using King County Geographical Information System (“KCGIS”) Center’s Parcel Viewer 2.0. Once you have arrived at this screen, continue with the following steps; Click on the green, “Start Parcel Viewer 2.0”; … Continue Reading

Hey Everybody – Matt’s Got a Great Idea!

Robert – Adverse possession to a property owner is legalized theft. The new law [RCW 7.28.083] should have struck it down completely. Adverse possession is archaic and with today’s ready access to surveys, there is no reason absolute boundaries cannot be confirmed and legal boundaries protected by the very authorities property owners fund with their … Continue Reading

How Bad Do You Want It? – [Is It Worth It?]

Big game next Sunday. For those folks who will be out on the gridiron, for what is likely the majority of their lives, they have likely been asked: How Bad Do You Want It? It’s quite likely that many of them want it pretty-darn bad. So much so that if it were legal to do … Continue Reading

New Year 2013 – A Rededicated Approach to Quieting Title

If you have a boundary issue with your neighbor, you probably are not in such good cheer. Well, now is the time to do something about it. Justice Smiles has refined its process to further assist you. This is how it lays out. Spend a few moments to fill out Justice Smiles’ Initial Assessment or call 206.216.5878 so you can decide whether or not pursuing … Continue Reading

Remedying Failing Walls

In the last couple of days, I have had not one, but two inquiries as to what possible remedy might be available when an adjoining wall is listing over onto one’s property. I find it rather amazing, but to my knowledge Washington State doesn’t have a specific cause of action. Washington case law does include situations in … Continue Reading

How believable is the previous real property owner as a Witness?

The scenario is this. You and your neighbor have purchased properties. Neither you nor your neighbor had a survey prior to purchase. So, the result is when either of you later do have a survey, it is discovered that there are in fact some [potential] encroachments. However when you purchased your home, you found out – verbally of course – … Continue Reading

What are “Wars of Reasonableness”?

“Wars of Reasonableness” – as defined here at Justice Smiles – are generally conducted by providing choice: a ‘hard’ choice for the opposing party; a ‘soft’ choice for the client; an exceptionally fair choice for all; and the consequences of a non-response – the filing of a complaint and proper service and continuing with necessary follow-through. Justice … Continue Reading

Is a Boundary Line Adjustment Right for my Neighbor and Me?

A Boundary Line Adjustment (“BLA”) requires that both your property and your neighbor’s property be surveyed. Surveyed not just as to the boundary line. Surveyed not just as to their respective ‘footprints.’ But instead, surveyed as to all of that – as well as all fixtures. Q: What’s a fixture? A: Anything that wouldn’t fall off … Continue Reading

Survey Says the Fence Encroaches – Now What?

 Your survey indicates that the fence encroaches your way; your neighbor’s survey indicates that the fence encroaches in their direction; or perhaps you split the cost of a survey and you found that the fence encroaches one way or another … what should be done now? First try to find out the following facts: Who … Continue Reading

What is a Lis Pendens?

A Lis Pendens is the filing of notice that a lawsuit has been commenced against a real property owner. This is a recorded document that is filed against the property, not at court, along with all the other documents such as deeds, boundary line adjustments, easement, covenants … at the county auditor or recorder’s office which normally receives … Continue Reading

Open & Notorious’ Constructive Notice may be an Elemental ‘Surprise’ in Adverse Possession and Prescriptive Easement Cases

Open & Notorious is an extremely difficult element to understand and prove (and yes, despite the required burden – disprove) in Adverse Possession and Prescriptive Easement cases. In my humble opinion, much of this relates to an overall misunderstanding of the fact that this single element is actually two elements combined into one. I liken … Continue Reading

Common Grantor

Common Grantor is a doctrine used in land subdivision situations which basically suggests that the way that the land is actually used is more indicative of ownership than that which is recorded between the original, full parcel owner (i.e. grantor) and the subdivided parcel purchaser (i.e. grantee). As a general vignette of boundary dispute law, this suggests that it is not so much … Continue Reading


Laches, very similar to Estoppel in Pais, is an equitable doctrine and as such it also garners my disdain. The reason for this is that it is a sloppy doctrine which is often tucked into a claim or answer in order to preserve a case that otherwise ought to be aborted. Laches is the assertion that a party has been so dilatory (i.e. … Continue Reading

Estoppel in Pais

Estoppel in Pais literally means “by act of notoriety” of something which is “solemnly acknowledged.” Right. So, yet again we are going to delve into what is noticed on the ground. Here are its elements – ehr “requirements”: An act, an admission, or a statement is made by the first party which is inconsistent with the subsequent claim; The second … Continue Reading

Parole Agreement

The transfer of land generally requires a written document, which is then recorded. This is per a body of contract law called the Statute of Frauds. The Statute of Frauds emerged in common law to protect against situations in which someone might make a claim based merely on what was purportedly spoken. The idea is to … Continue Reading

Why is my Neighbor Doing this to Me?

Whether directly expressed or not, my boundary dispute clients often ask: “Why is my neighbor doing this to me?” The answer to this seemingly simple question lies in the fact that someone believes that they have a superior position.   Notably, superior position does not necessarily mean superior rights. No, no, no, no. Superior position is … Continue Reading

Mutual Recognition & Acquiescence

Mutual Recognition & Acquiescence is a legal doctrine, which though much less used and developed than adverse possession, sometimes serves as another means to settle a land fight between adjoining property owners. The doctrine of Mutual Recognition & Acquiescence may be adequately summarized as: (1) an express or implied good faith definition of a boundary; which (2) is bilaterally recognized; … Continue Reading