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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: 2 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
1/25/2016
Real Estate Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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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.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years 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!
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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