Boundary Disputes or Property Disputes Litigation
Not all disputes can be solved through a simple demand letter. In fact, most are not. This is why it is good to have one of our Houston property dispute lawyers involved from the beginning to ensure you are taking the right steps to set up and prosecute your claims with the minimal financial obligation and shortest time period.
There are generally four types of causes of action related to these types of conflicts:
Trespass to real property is an unauthorized entry upon the land of another, and may occur when one enters, or causes something to enter, another’s property In order to recover damages for trespassing, (1) the plaintiff must show they own the land, (2) the entry of the defendant was physical, intentional and voluntary, and (3) the defendant’s trespass caused injury to the plaintiff. Pentagon Enterprises v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., 540 S.W.2d 477, 478 (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] 1976, writ ref’d. n.r.e.).
An encroachment is when a person has a physical intrusion that intrudes on or over another’s land. The physical intrusion can be structural, nonstructural, or vegetative. This can include a fence, shed, tree, grass, or even a house.
Encroachment is very similar to trespass except that a trespass applies to a person making an unauthorized entry onto another ’s land. An encroachment, on the other hand, applies to a structure or some other physical object that illegally protrudes or invades another’s land.
In layman’s terms, adverse possession is when a person uses, occupies, or possesses land or improved property continuously for a certain period of time and takes legal possession of the property. The Texas statute allows for a 3, 5, and 10 year time period. There are different requirements for each time frame but it is possible to legally take another’s land even if you were not the true owner.
This typically happens when a neighbor has used a piece of property for an extended period of time and then eventually makes a legal claim to the property. Upholding an adverse possession claim is not as easy as it sounds as there are many requirements you have to fulfill to be awarded an adverse possession claim. Speak to one of our Houston property dispute lawyers to get more details on the requirements.
A declaratory judgment is where a court declaration is sought when a controversy exists between parties and can only be resolved by a trial in the court of law. These types of causes of action are used when there is no written law on which party is right and which party is wrong.
In many cases these types of causes of action are determined by case law. The Texas Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act governs declaratory judgments and can be found in chapter 37 of the Texas Practice and Remedies Code.
Houston Property Dispute Lawyers
Most boundary disputes and property disputes can be resolved through an agreement or settlement. Unfortunately not all of them can be and require litigation. If you or someone you know find yourself in a boundary dispute or property dispute, you need to contact one of our Houston property dispute lawyers to help guide through your legal options.
Knowing what can be done by getting proper legal advice is important to resolve the dispute in the most cost effective and timely manner. Not relying on an expert can cause further damages and more expense. Make sure and let a professional assist you in resolving your dispute.