Land Fights, the most common of Boundary Disputes, occur any time it is (1) discovered, usually by a land survey, that there is at least one encroachment upon neighboring lands; (2) both neighbors become aware of the encroachment(s); and most importantly (3) the neighbors decide to fight over the matter. It’s that simple, but here are some of the details and some conclusionary comments regarding this firm’s philosophy.
For any number of reasons, landowners will decide to have their land surveyed. And regardless as to why, the famous words from TVs Family Feud will ring out: “Survey Says?” Assuming that there is an encroachment – What’s next?
Well, not all encroachments become known by both parties; Right? Heck, if the party that went out of the way to pay for that survey finds that they are encroaching on the land of their neighbors, perhaps its best to just let sleeping dogs lie. However, if the encroachments are coming toward the neighbors who arranged for the survey, and it is deemed important, they are going to inform the other party.
Once both parties are aware of the issue, the real gritty question becomes – is there going to be a fight? The will to fight is the most important ingredient necessary for a boundary dispute. And sadly, often one party has a much greater will and the accompanying resources to conduct it.
Because of this, Justice Smiles generally advise clients to follow the Chinese philosophy of: 先礼后兵 [Xian Li Hou Bing]. This literally means: “First Politeness, then War.” However, this might be more properly translated to: “try peaceful means before resorting to force.”
This saying is similar to Teddy Roosevelt’s American hegemony policy: “Speak softly and carry a big stick”. Regardless, and to put it succinctly, Justice Smiles generally encourages clients to not attempt a boundary fight at the outset. Instead, Justice Smiles usually attempts to first help clients seek to work things out peacefully with their neighbors.
Unfortunately, this act of graciousness may sometimes be misperceived by some parties. These parties are generally those who, even if represented by counsel, do not have have much of an understanding of boundary dispute law. And using what little that they do know, they perceive attempts to work things out amicably – as weakness.
Well, woe unto these poor souls. Because, if a matter is decidedly not going to work out peacefully … its time to start trading “body blows.” What’s more, Justice Smiles, and the clients on whose behalf Justice Smiles acts, will almost catagorically not back down from a healthy “dust-up.”