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 Post subject: Re: Desperate need of civil law / court procedure advice...
Post Posted: Aug 10, 2017 12:59 pm 
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jonesy wrote:
Let's ask Tim Canty, an attorney who posted in this thread above. Tim, would you make paying clients do their own legal work?


I am going to guess that could be a complicated answer, but would probably come down to this: Would he make them do it? I am sure the answer is no. However, would he need to charge a considerable fee for doing the work for them? Of course. ;)

We did ask the lawyer what we could do on our own to help our case.....

On the other hand, I am very sure any good lawyer would never have told us to go collect neighbor statements without letting us know they needed to be in a specific format and notarized. At the very least, when we turned in the statements, I am sure a good lawyer would have told us right then that they would do no good without being correctly done as sworn affidavits..... not wait for over 6 months and several questions about turning them in before telling us they were no good.

I will admit that while the lawyer seemed really good and attentive for the first few months of the case, there were red flags cropping up after that. But once you are into a case with a lawyer for several thousand dollars, it becomes very hard to justify trying to change horses to another lawyer that probably seems good at first, but could be as bad or worse later. Then as the costs build and build, all of a sudden, you are billed $1500 for a response that the lawyer decided to not file... and he finally tells you that the statements that you thought were your guaranteed "slam-dunk", aren't worth the paper they are signed on.

Shaking with anger, frustration, and completely sick to my stomach.... but again... the cost to get a new lawyer up to speed is even higher now, and I don't even know the percentage chance that I would end up with a worse lawyer that is practicing law in Park county.... but my luck is not good.... as can already be seen. What is worse, this lawyer was recommended to us by an official in the Park County govt. So what kind of lawyer would I end up with that wasn't recommended? I shudder to think. (again no offence to lawyers at all... I am sure there are great ones out there.... finding them though seems to be a total poop-shoot.)

Like I stated before though....... hubby talked to an assistant who actually seems to have his act together and with his help, maybe we can get some of this sorted out and basically do the leg work with the assistant and have the lawyer rubber-stamp the results.


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 Post subject: Re: Desperate need of civil law / court procedure advice...
Post Posted: Aug 12, 2017 8:44 pm 
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a little "comic relief" re neighbor disputes:
This was shown "as is" on our local news. It shouldn't offend those of a more delicate nature.

https://www.upi.com/Google-Earth-uncove ... 499960631/

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 Post subject: Re: Desperate need of civil law / court procedure advice...
Post Posted: Aug 13, 2017 10:12 am 
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chef-gal wrote:
a little "comic relief" re neighbor disputes:
This was shown "as is" on our local news. It shouldn't offend those of a more delicate nature.

https://www.upi.com/Google-Earth-uncove ... 499960631/


Thank you for sharing. :lol: I really need a laugh now and then to get through this.

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 Post subject: Re: Desperate need of civil law / court procedure advice...
Post Posted: Aug 13, 2017 10:20 am 
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Just a couple of questions, How long have you owned the land? At first it read as if you have owned it continuously sine your neighbors moved in in 2001. But then you tells us that you received the deed after your neighbor started using the land. If you recently acquired the land, was there not a survey showing the shed encroachment? is there no title insurance?

From what you have told us, it seems to me,(a layman with some common sense) you have a slam dunk of a case! and I would also think you would be able to sue for damages which should include legal expenses. And in a civil case wouldn't the expenses necessary to bring in witness, ( your neighbors ) also be able to be recovered?

I would be interested in reading a response about the damages, from one of the more legal minded individuals reading this thread


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 Post subject: Re: Desperate need of civil law / court procedure advice...
Post Posted: Aug 13, 2017 2:31 pm 
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Scalawagy wrote:
Just a couple of questions, How long have you owned the land? At first it read as if you have owned it continuously sine your neighbors moved in in 2001. But then you tells us that you received the deed after your neighbor started using the land. If you recently acquired the land, was there not a survey showing the shed encroachment? is there no title insurance?

From what you have told us, it seems to me,(a layman with some common sense) you have a slam dunk of a case! and I would also think you would be able to sue for damages which should include legal expenses. And in a civil case wouldn't the expenses necessary to bring in witness, ( your neighbors ) also be able to be recovered?

I would be interested in reading a response about the damages, from one of the more legal minded individuals reading this thread


No, to clarify, we purchased our home in 2009 and had been trying to figure out the process to locate owners and purchase the lots above us since then. The fact that the thieves have only owned their home since 2001 is public record on the Assessors website. We were in the process of purchasing the two lots in May 2016 when we came home from vacation and were shocked to find the neighbors had started cutting down trees and fencing three properties... the two that we were purchasing, and one that is owned by another guy to the south-east of their property.

We immediately contacted the sheriffs dept, but they said until we had the deed in hand, they would do nothing. Later as we were finalizing the sale of one lot, the thieves backed off that lot and put a fence between the two. However, while we were waiting for the treasurer to process the deed on the other lot, the thieves built a shed on the property line and started running llamas on our property (again the sheriffs refused to do anything). When we got the deed to that lot in hand, we told the thieves they had 30 days to remove their stuff, and move or tear down the shed. The theif-wife reluctantly agreed to this while the husband just glared, but 30 days past and they did nothing. We again confronted the thieves, and their response was that Colorado is a "open range" state and we were supposed to fence their llamas out... they didn't need to fence them in.

So shortly after that, I removed part of the fence on my property (after giving warning to the thieves to put their llamas on their own land so that they would not get out). Sheriffs were called instead, and even standing there with the deed in my hand, one of the deputies threatened to throw ME in jail if they were called back out here for ANY reason. The other deputy was more reasonable, but still could (or would) do nothing and telling us a civil lawsuit was our only option.

We have been embroiled in a court case since then, racking up incredible costs as the lawyers send response after response and motion after motion. And while the thieves have been making wild claims that they have been "continuously and clearly" using the property for 18 years (what is required for Colorado's "Adverse Possession" laws), I have satellite proof from google earth that the land was not being used, photographs, and many neighbor statements confirming that from as long ago as 20+ years, that those lots have not been being used by anyone until the fence was built in 2016. I truly believe that they hope hubby and I will run out of money and have no choice but to sell the lot to them at a fraction of it's worth just to end the case.

I also thought the case was a complete slam dunk... I mean, we have the deed, photos, proof, but getting the lawyer to submit it seems to be the hard part. Despite all the proof, our lawyer has said the judges in park county almost never award legal fees and costs regardless if you win the case or not. The damages that are likely to be awarded are only the damage the llamas are doing by eating all the low growth and destroying the ability of the land to prevent erosion. How that would be quantified, I am not at all sure, but seriously doubt it would even be a drop in the bucket compared to attorney fees.

On top of all this, we contacted the other neighbor to the south east property that the thieves fenced when this all started, and he said he wasn't able to get up here at the time and asked us to take pictures if we saw any trespassing on the land. Just last week the thieves were running their llamas on his property and I walked down the road to take pictures. One of the thieves kids came down and asked why I was taking pictures and I told him "the owner asked me to take pictures if there was any trespassing" so I was trying to take pictures of the llamas. The kid helpfully pointed them out to me but they were still up the hill a ways. Shortly after that, the llamas were down close to the road, so I took some better pictures of the llamas and the thief-wife came down onto the property, so I took a picture of her as well.

NOW, she has been telling all our neighbors that I have been taking pictures of all the children in the neighborhood! #1... I didn't even take pics of her kids, and didn't talk to the boy besides answering his question, and #2 [what]??? That is super creepy... I didn't even take pictures of the kids on the guys land who asked me to take pictures of trespassers... I am certainly not taking pictures of random kids in the neighborhood. Just... no. But someone who is perfectly happy lying to sheriff deputies AND to the court system, sure has no compunction about lying to neighbors to try to turn them against us. I can't even wrap my head around how someone could lie like that.

It isn't right. Not even a little. But how do you reason with someone that has no morals?


For a little more detail, it is common to purchase an unimproved lot through a "quit claim" deed (as was the case with the lot they have now left alone), and a treasurer's deed (the still disputed lot) is SUPPOSED to wipe clean any possible previous claims to the land. So there is no title insurance that comes with the deed because there should not need to be any.


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 Post subject: Re: Desperate need of civil law / court procedure advice...
Post Posted: Aug 13, 2017 3:25 pm 
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another thought, I think there is a 30'set back zoning law in park county. So, unless the neighbor has a zoning variance or can show that the two lots have been legally combined into one lot, there should be a zoning violation. You should ask the Zoning dept to look into that. Also if the shed is over a 120sq', a building permit should have been pulled. Perhaps their is also a building code violation.

A question for the legal minds: If the property was allowed to change hands just a few years ago, how could the courts even entertain the idea of an adverse possession claim? Common sense would tell you the court clerk should have shown them and their claim the door!


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 Post subject: Re: Desperate need of civil law / court procedure advice...
Post Posted: Aug 13, 2017 4:08 pm 
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Scalawagy wrote:
another thought, I think there is a 30'set back zoning law in park county. So, unless the neighbor has a zoning variance or can show that the two lots have been legally combined into one lot, there should be a zoning violation. You should ask the Zoning dept to look into that.


Very interesting, I know they are already breaking about 5 "Land Use" regulations by even having llamas on less than 1 acre residential lot, and they have been reported for that, but zoning may be a different department? Or does "Code Enforcement" cover zoning issues as well?

In any case though, I am trying very hard to only submit complaints if the sheriff deputy or lawyer tells me to do so..... especially since they are trying to claim the land is theirs right now anyway. Don't think it would do any good until the court case is cleared up to show the land is mine and that they need to get off.

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Post Posted: Aug 13, 2017 4:20 pm 
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Taf wrote:
"I also thought the case was a complete slam dunk... I mean, we have the deed, photos, proof, but getting the lawyer to submit it seems to be the hard part. Despite all the proof, our lawyer has said the judges in park county almost never award legal fees and costs regardless if you win the case or not. The damages that are likely to be awarded are only the damage the llamas are doing by eating all the low growth and destroying the ability of the land to prevent erosion. How that would be quantified, I am not at all sure, but seriously doubt it would even be a drop in the bucket compared to attorney fees."

I don't think you can expect the judge to just "award you damages" if all you are doing is defending yourself against their claim, being only the defendant. I think you need to be a plaintive, you should counter sue for the damages.

But you should seek better a better source of info than me! I only thinking out loud on a public forum.


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Post Posted: Aug 13, 2017 5:04 pm 
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Scalawagy wrote:
I think you need to be a plaintive, you should counter sue for the damages.


It sounds very logical. I am only hoping the judge will take out that step when we prove that this whole situation is caused by their false claims. I would probably never be so lucky though.

A suit for damages may be the step after all this is sorted... though I think I will be needing to find some other lawyer for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Desperate need of civil law / court procedure advice...
Post Posted: Aug 13, 2017 5:15 pm 
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It is just.... so.... tiring and stressful.

I really recommend every single property owner go out right now, get a copy of your deed, print a property map from the assessor website, put up "no trespassing" signs, and take pictures of your property, property lines, fences around you, etc and put them in a special folder or burn to disc and keep in a safe.

It obviously doesn't stop someone from spouting lies and making false claims, but at least it will mean you don't have to hunt through tens of thousands of pictures to find the ones that show the property lines in the background. AND.... just maybe if you can call the sheriff department the moment someone trespasses, and have all your paperwork on hand... maybe they will be able to do something about it before it becomes this kind of financial catastrophe.

PROTECT YOUR LAND... no one else will.


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 Post subject: Re: Desperate need of civil law / court procedure advice...
Post Posted: Aug 13, 2017 5:17 pm 
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Taf wrote:
Scalawagy wrote:
I think you need to be a plaintive, you should counter sue for the damages.


It sounds very logical. I am only hoping the judge will take out that step when we prove that this whole situation is caused by their false claims. I would probably never be so lucky though.

A suit for damages may be the step after all this is sorted... though I think I will be needing to find some other lawyer for that.


My opinion, don't wait! you should seek other legal advise, now.


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 Post subject: Re: Desperate need of civil law / court procedure advice...
Post Posted: Aug 13, 2017 5:37 pm 
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sorry if I'm hijacking the thread, and I know this won't help the OP.
It seems to me this in a issue the Legislature needs to take up. Can anyone out there come up with a scenario where having these "adverse possession" laws on the books is of any benefit to our society? In reading through some of the explanations of the concept in the link, provided by 40coupe earlier, it seems as if the laws on this have been written to allow the legal taking of property from someone, simply because of the legal owners inattention, or even their simple human kindness.


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