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Theories of Liability and Remedies for Adjoining Landowners

Generally, there is an exclusive use and enjoyment right along with an ownership of a property.  If there is any unauthorized use of adjoining premises, it would necessarily amount to the trespasser liability for resulting damage.  For instance, if one of the two adjoining owners wishes to raise the grade of his/her lot, s/he must construct a wall on his own ground, or in some way or other must keep the dirt within his/her own line.  Furthermore the land owner is also not allowed to fill up his/her own lot as to let the earth pass over his/her line on to the lot of his/her neighbor.  When this right against encroachment is invaded, it is of less importance under what theory this cause of action will arise, rather if under the facts and circumstances of the particular case, the theory of the cause of action is adapted to the relief sought, it is sufficient.  Peterson v. King County, 41 Wn.2d 907, 912 (Wash. 1953).  However, in certain exceptional circumstances a property owner may be entitled to damages or injunctive relief because of a reduction in the value of his/her land caused by activity on a neighbor’s land.  Any violative activity by the neighbor may reduce the value of the owner’s land, but does not violate the property right of the owner.

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