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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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My husband and I jointly own our home. A situation has arisen

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My husband and I jointly own our home. A situation has arisen with the neighbor and he has filed a case in small claims court. He has filed the case against my husband only. The case is over a water well that the neighbor has claimed for 17 years is a community well. In February of this year we cut the neighbor off because he didn't feel he was obligated to pay us for the electricity it took to pump the water to his property. He is in the wrong as the well is not legally a community well. I am confident that he will lose the case. The problem is, because of the many years of the neighbor taking from us and the nasty, angry conversations that have occurred between him and my husband , my fear is my husband won't do well in front of the judge. His reading skills are sorely lacking and I have tried to educate him on the laws over this situation but he doesn't hear or understand what I am trying to tell him. My question is, being we co-own the house together can I also go to court and be the one to do the speaking before the judge?

William B. Esq. :

Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. While you cannot represent your husband in court (and in most cases, absent physical or mental disabilities, language barriers, or similar significant issues, you likely cannot assist him in the courtroom). You can find details on these restrictions here:
However, if you wish to appear and represent your own rights in the property, you can do so by "interpleading" yourself into the action. This is a motion you must make to the court stating that you have a property interest in the real property at issue, and that you are ready to file an answer to the other person's complaint (meaning you wish to be in the lawsuit so that your property rights are not decided without you being there).

William B. Esq. :

I do not have all of the information on your case, but if this is a real property dispute over natural resources attached to the real property, all of the property owners with an interest should be party to the case. A failure to name all of the parties will create a very problematic judgment. (If you wish to pursue intervening in the case as a co-defendant with your husband, you can let the judge know of your property interest, and emphasize the fact that without you being named, the judgment cannot fully resolve this matter).

William B. Esq. :

I hope that my answer was of assistance to you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you for your business!


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