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Old 09-08-2013, 08:26 AM   #31
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Retaining Wall Responsibility


how about a further back pic ?

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Old 09-08-2013, 08:49 AM   #32
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I really appreciate everyone hanging in there with me on this thread. It really means a lot to have a sounding board when it comes to all these issues.

I was thinking about it further last night. These are my facts. I really can't afford an expensive solution to this; at least until I sell my other house in a few years. I am unable to obtain any further financing and I will not have access to my retirement account for another 2.5 yrs. My attorney is reasonable and she always tries to steer me in the direction that would be the most economical. Therefore, litigation would be my last resort. Getting a court involved is not a viable option right now.

The second major issue is that I have no idea what my neighbors official stance is on this. I've laid my case to them why I don't think I'm 50% responsible for this; including the raised grade on their property and that most of the issues are not even on my land. My problem is that they haven't laid out their case as to why I need to pay more. Until they lay out their case, this is dead in the water. I refuse to move forward until they show their hand. In poker, nobody gets the pot until they show their hand. That's how gunfights started in the old west.

In the meantime, I'm going to document everything; including photos that include elevations and wide angle shots showing the whole picture. Actually, I'm kind of a wetlands specialist; considering I was on the board of directors for a local Watershed Association. I will have to walk the land and see if there are any violations. But, from the top of my head, I don't think there is anything serious going on there because their land is mainly uphill from the wetlands. After taking a look at the state wetlands map, their land is a good 100+ ft from a woodland swamp. However, I will explore this further.

Since I've convinced them to put this to bed for the winter, nothing is going to be done until next spring. So, if this thread stops at some point, I will definitely start it up again next spring. You have to admit, issues such as this are interesting. I just wish I wasn't one of the parties involved.

Last edited by crowneagle; 09-08-2013 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:56 AM   #33
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i find this thread interesting. i also have a neighbor that is infringing on my property.
some day, i am going to sic the building dep on him. he will then have to remove 5' of a new deck he just built.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:25 AM   #34
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Unfortunately, a lot of politicians are attorneys. They have no incentive to legislate a clear set of guidelines. Instead, it gets all sticky by going to court and many times, nobody wins.
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:39 PM   #35
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Unfortunately, a lot of politicians are attorneys. They have no incentive to legislate a clear set of guidelines. Instead, it gets all sticky by going to court and many times, nobody wins.
Which means you should do, what? Nothing? This is how bad laws get made and stay un-amended. Make noise and things change, do nothing and get rolled over.

Honestly, in your situation, with how you've described it, you would be much better off having effective representation and the resulting plan.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:11 PM   #36
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imo i see no need for a lawyer. its "cut-n-dried" = your stuff is falling on my stuff = get it off !
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:11 AM   #37
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It's a sue happy world we live in. I tend to be in the camp that suing is a last resort. Bedsides, every state is different and you cannot make a blanket statement that a lawyer is needed. I haven't even exhausted all my negotiations. Besides, if they don't favorably respond to my attempts at negotiation, then I can always, as others have said, choose to do nothing and let nature takes it's course. Besides, I could use some extra fill and it would be delivered right to my front door.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:29 AM   #38
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It's not about suing anyone! It's about understanding just what the true implications are of your situation and how to see that YOUR interests are best handled. I'm only going on 20+ years of exposure to someone that handled screwy real estate situations professionally. Quite often the nonsense could have been avoided had people taken the time to understand the implications of what mishandling their situations would entail.

The law is not nature. It will not "take it's course". But, hey, you've convinced yourself you know better. Good luck.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:38 PM   #39
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Your point is well taken. But, a lot depends what state you are in. In my state, I've had personal experience seeing attorneys on both sides make money and the clients still aren't happy. My attorney, like yourself, is a child of an attorney father. She's been in the field for a very long time. I don't take her word as bible but I trust her judgement very much. If she thinks we should work it out, then that is what I'm going to try to do. She's been my attorney 20 years and she has never steered me wrong.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:34 PM   #40
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If she thinks we should work it out, then that is what I'm going to try to do. She's been my attorney 20 years and she has never steered me wrong.
Do so with a clear understanding of what the law there says the foul lines are. Have (find) an attorney who knows that LOCAL information is to advise you.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:12 PM   #41
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i think some of you guys are over thinking this.

its some dirt and rocks.
its not a tree that is going to fall on someones house.

call the building dept and let them handle it.
your neighbors are trying to sucker you.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:49 AM   #42
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i think some of you guys are over thinking this.

its some dirt and rocks.
its not a tree that is going to fall on someones house.

call the building dept and let them handle it.
your neighbors are trying to sucker you.

Actually, there is a tree involved that might fall on my house. The very big red oak, as shown in one of the pictures, might fall on my house. My neighbor has already stated to me that he is taking that down next spring. He has been advised by a contractor that removing the stump might damage my home because of the large spreading roots.

This is how screwed up this situation is. They came to me and stated that taking the tree down would cost $800 and removing some branches that overhung my house would cost $500. They decided to just trim the branches. I commented that just taking the tree down made more financial sense. The wife stated the tree was holding back the soil. Now, that tree looks like it's going to cost them $500 more than it should have. I think they were hoping that I chip in on that tree cost. I didn't bite at it because the tree isn't anywhere near my property line. I told him when he removes the stump, as I have done many times before, we can dig up and expose the roots and cut them with a chain saw or an ax. I did that on a retaining wall job about five years ago for a silver maple that was twice as big as this red oak.

They say ignorance is bliss. I beg to differ. These people's ignorance is driving them to insanity and making them make poor decisions. By this time next year, this couple would have hired tree contractors no less than three times in a two year period and they still will have many monster oaks threatening their house and adjacent structures. This is freakin New England. Trees get big. I have no idea why people allow such trees to grow so close to their homes or even their neighbors homes. I removed a very large tree near my primary residence a few years ago. My neighbor, after the fact, said she would have helped pay for removing it. I'm of the mind that it was my tree and my responsibility and I didn't mind footing the entire cost. Like "Judge Joe Brown" famously says. "Take care of your own business".

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Old 09-10-2013, 09:24 AM   #43
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Do so with a clear understanding of what the law there says the foul lines are. Have (find) an attorney who knows that LOCAL information is to advise you.
This was my point. Just any old attorney is not the same as one that specifically works in a given field, known for having deep understanding of how to effectively somewhat complex situations like this. I've got friends that are fantastic at their given specialties. And, what's better, is they know there are others that practice in ones outside theirs. The trick is in finding the ones that know how to network.

I'd never expect my friend that does PI work to know real estate, hell, I know more about it and I'm not even a lawyer. But if I'm ever jammed up I know he'll get the first call. Same thing for contract, estates, benefits and the rest.

I wish you luck dealing with their nonsense.

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