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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 110475
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I have a drive way that was built before i bought my house

Customer Question

Hi !!
I have a drive way that was built before i bought my house and now 20 plus years later a city code enforcement officer is telling me i have to tear it down.. how can i fight this .. i think it's unfair and wrong ..
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: I'm in California
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No i have not
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: That a dozen homes in my neighborhood might be going thru the same thing
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If your driveway was in place before you purchased the property AND it was in accordance with the code at the time and was done with whatever permits required at the time, it is legal and they cannot change the law on you now. Furthermore, the equitable doctrine of laches also states that if the city could have enforced the code and waited this long without doing so and it will now cause you extreme prejudice then they will be prohibited from doing so. You need to file an appeal to the code enforcement board and seek an administrative hearing and you should use a local attorney to represent you because it will significantly increase your chances of winning there and because appealing administrative decisions to the CA Superior Courts is much more difficult if you did not use an attorney on the initial case.

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