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Resolving boundary disputes

People in Seattle may often envision boundary disputes between neighbors devolving into some form of "Hatfields-vs.-McCoys"-type of feud. Few disputes ever go that far, yet still, they can involve a good deal of emotion (often manifested in vitriol). After all, people take great pride in their homes and properties, and thus are fiercely protective of them. If, however, a dispute over property boundaries does arise, the hope is that cooler heads will prevail and the matter can be resolved easily. Even the law has been structured to be help facilitate such resolutions. 

Per Section 58.04.007 of the Revised Code of Washington, owners of adjacent properties have been empowered to resolve boundary disputes on their own. Those affected simply need to draft a written instrument (complete with survey map) that details exactly what the property boundaries are. An effective way to make such a determination may be to call in a professional surveyor to draw up a detailed schematic that can then be used for future reference. Once such an instrument has been completed, all parties involved must sign it. The agreement will then be filed in the real estate records of the county in which the properties are located. That agreement then remains binding even unto future generations. 

Of course, the law also recognizes that not all disputes are resolved this easily. State law also allows property owners to seek legal action when property boundary disputes cannot be resolved informally. However, simply filing a lawsuit does not necessarily mean that a case will get to be heard by a judge or jury. The law states that in the cases of boundary disputes, the court will first review the case and possibly order that the parties involved resolve the matter through mediation.  

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Riach Gese Jacobs, PLLC
7331 196th Street, SW
P.O. Box 1067
Lynnwood, WA 98046

Phone: 425-329-7857
Phone: 425-776-3191
Fax: 425-775-0406
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