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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 100053
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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What kind of lawyer do I need to file a lawsuit against a

Customer Question

What kind of lawyer do I need to file a lawsuit against a neighbor who has caused erosion damage to my property for over ten years and refuses to fix the problem and now is selling the property. We have lost about a acre of land due to erosion caused by water running off his property onto ours, subsequently washing away our property in Klamath County, Sprague River Oregon.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information only for educational purposes only, and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. This sounds like a a matter rooted in water rights.

There are three major doctrines that apply in such cases:

COMMON ENEMY RULE

Each landowner has the right to alter the drainage pattern of his land without regard for the effects on neighboring parcels, as long as that water flows to where it otherwise would have naturally flowed.

CIVIL LAW RULE

The owner of a lower parcel of land must accept the natural drainage from those parcels above his, and cannot alter the drainage pattern of his own land to increase the drainage flow onto parcels lower than his own

REASONABLE USE RULE

The landowner can make "reasonable" alteration to the drainage pattern of his parcel, with liability only occurring when the alteration causes "unreasonable" harm toward neighboring parcels.

Oregon generally subscribes to the civil rule and the reasonable use rule, depending on the situation. Anyone who is in breach of this rule may be sued for negligence, civil trespass, and nuisance.

Few attorneys practice exclusively water rights. As such, an attorney in the following areas of law should suffice:

CIVIL LITIGATION

GENERAL PRACTICE

REAL ESTATE (with a focus on development, possibly)

May I recommend the Oregon Bar referral program - HERE. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please rate when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.

Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.
Hello again. I am checking in because you have not rated positively. To me this means you may have another question, or may have just forgotten to rate. Please let me know – I am simply touching base. Thanks!