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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Can one put a lien on a neighbors house after his tree downed

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Can one put a lien on a neighbor's house after his tree downed my power line and short circuited appliance's in my house. Have called and ask him to contact his homeowners insurance (twice) he hasn't responded and now his house is for sale.

Thank you for your question.

The only way to place a lien on a property without a judgment to back up the lien is to file a lis pendens. A lis pendens is only available when you have a claim which involves the title to the real estate subject to the lis pendens lien.

Here, you definitely have a claim against your neighbor, but the claim does not involve the title to the property, so the lis pendens lien is not available.

What you should do instead is file a lawsuit. Approximately what is the value of the damage you received to your appliances?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not sure as yet what the damages are. This concerns my son's house in Chico, CA. He is also thinking about contacting PG&E concerning the care of the lines. Some qualified person will be out to check his house out. His own homeowner insurance said it was his neighbor's problem.

His neighbor is liable if the neighbor was negligent, because if your tree falls and damages your neighbor's property, you are liable for the damage for failure to maintain the tree. Do you know why the tree fell?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No I do not. I don't actual know if the tree fell or if the his branches brought down the power lines. I wish to forward this to my son so that he can reply properly. Would that be alright with you? I'm just trying to find out what can be done legally. From what I can understand the owner of the property has been contacted several times concerning the problem with his trees.

I have no problem with that. However, I think the thing to do is to go ahead and sue the neighbor. To figure out what court to sue him in, we need to know how much damage was done.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So we can't move until we find out the cost of the damages, which makes good sense.I guess that if it's under 6,000 then he can go to some claims. Does he have any recourse with PG&E?

Exactly. If its a low amount, he can file in small claims and then not have to worry about getting an attorney.

He does not have any recourse against PG&E.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So when he finds out the total amount of damages then he can go forward. It's unfortunate that some people just won't take responsibilty for their lack of caring for other's property. If the monetary amount is more six figures does he then have to obtain an attorney or can he file hiimself?


The jurisdictional limit in California Small Claims courts is $10,000 (raised in 2012).

If it is over this amount, he can attempt to file it himself. However, the rules of civil procedure and evidence apply to these claims, so it is much easier to do with an attorney.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The owner of the house next door just put his property up about a week ago for sale. It has been a rental property for awhile now. If in fact the house sells real quick does that mean that he is no longer liable because in fact it is no longer his property?

No, he will remain liable after the sale.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you sir! Step one, get estimate for damages and then go forward. I will recommend that if needed my son can get in touch with you concerning any legal matters. I thank you most warmly..... Cheryl

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
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