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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 28800
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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In Oct. 2010, I filed a law suit against a neighbor who excavated

Customer Question

In Oct. 2010, I filed a law suit against a neighbor who excavated a lake onto my property and subsequently built a boat dock that is entirely on my property. Two property pins were removed and a third repositioned. This activity took place before I purchased the home built on this lot. I have an affidavit from the owner of the lot at the time of the excavation and another from a neighbor who observed this activity. We have taken a deposition from the representative of the developer who claims to have done the excavation on behalf of the developer. The offending neighbor also built a patio and fire pit on my property, occupying approximately 2.000 square feet, including the lake expansion. None of this construction was documented, posted to county records, or posted to the community plat. The offending neighbor is vice president of the homeowners' association. He has clearly violated several existing covenants, which I documented and reported to the covenants' committee, only to be ignored. In my opinion, my attorney has not been dilligent in bringing this matter to trial, in spite of collecting over $3,000 in attorney fees since Oct. 2010. I am considering replacing the attorney as I don't intend to drop the matter. The boat dock has blocked my access to the lake, and I moved to this location, in part, for the fishing. My primary question is, what is a reasonable time period to bring a property issue such as this to trial. I live in Kentucky.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

Disputes such as this are usually triable within a year or so of filing suit. Usually, you need a month or so to receive an answer to the complaint filed, and then the parties spend a few months exchanging discovery - maybe 4-6 months - and then the matter should be set for trial at the court's convenience.

That said, there certainly can be delays that would drag this matter out for 2 or more years. However, if the issue just is that the attorney will not file a motion for a trial setting and get an order setting the matter for trial, then you may want to demand that, and if your attorney refuses, then you may want to consider consulting a new lawyer.

USUALLY, in these types of cases, if you can establish the property line with a survey and prove that the development, construction and excavation occurred on your property, then there's really not a lot more to prove. Thus, the case should be pretty straightforward and not really a complicated matter.

Before changing attorneys, you should have a meeting with your current one and try to reach an agreement to get your case to trial - - I say this only because it will cost you even more money to get a new lawyer up to speed in order for him/her to be ready to move forward.
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 28800
Experience: BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
Roger and 9 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for your response. Your note confirms my perceptions on this matter. Before engaging an attorney, I had a survey of the lot that clearly determined the lake expansion, boat dock, and construction was on my property, and the adjacent property pins had been removed. The owner of the lot provided a sworn statement that he confronted the offender when he discovered the alteration had taken place. There is a Kentucky Bar Statute addressing "due dilligence" and the effect of lawyer procrastination on a legal case. I plan to discuss my dissatisfaction with the excessive time this case has taken. I will insist on a written timeline for future action. If my attorney can't or won't follow it, I will likely seek a new attorney and file a complaint with the Bar Association. I don't expect a complaint will have any effect, but at least the attorney will have to respond to it. I believe the excessive time involved has damaged my position in reaching a settlement.

Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
Yes, there are rules of professional conduct that govern a lawyer's responsibilities, and there is a duty to

You can file a bar complaint against the lawyer for the Kentucky Bar Assn. Here's a link to how this can be done and also a complaint form:

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