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Resolving Neighbor Disputes: Options for California Property Owners

By: LS Carlson Law September 27th, 2023

When living in close proximity to neighbors, disputes can arise that require legal intervention. This article investigates the legal avenues available to California property owners for resolving neighbor disputes, including specific laws and precedents that can guide the process.

Before pursuing a lawsuit, attempting mediation with a neighbor may save money when a dispute arises. Mediation is “a process in which a neutral person or persons facilitate communication between the disputants to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.” Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1775.1. Engaging in constructive dialogue with the oversight of a mediator often helps identify the underlying issues and paves the way to finding a mutually acceptable solution without resorting to litigation.

To prepare a client for mediation, a real estate attorney can assist a property owner by identifying and outlining the legal claims, requesting a mediator, notifying the other party, preparing the needed documents, and advocating during mediation to increase the chances of reaching a satisfactory outcome.

Restraining Orders
In cases where you feel threatened or harassed by a neighbor, you may seek a civil harassment restraining order. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 527.6. Under the Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6, harassment encompasses “unlawful violence, a credible threat of violence, or a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person, and that serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be that which would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the petitioner.”

If you are in a challenging neighbor dispute situation or require legal guidance, LS Carlson Law is here to assist you. Our experienced real estate attorneys can help you negotiate with a neighbor, navigate mediation, or file a lawsuit if necessary. Contact us today to take the first step toward resolving your situation.

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