Roy Earl Morriss’s Answers

Roy Earl Morriss

Everett Real Estate Attorney.

Contributor Level 11
  1. Requirements to establish adverse possession under WA state law, neighbor set up fence 25 years ago

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Roy Earl Morriss
    1 lawyer answer

    The statutory time frame for adverse possession in Washington is generally 10 years (exceptions for having color of title, timberlands, paying taxes, etc.). If someone meets all the elements of adverse possession, the ownership of the land transfers to them automatically - though they would have to quiet title through the courts - or possibly a Boundary Line Agreement (RCW 58.04.007) to get 'legal' title. The adverse possessor has to prove all the elements of adverse possession...and you'll...

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  2. WA state real estate law, is a quit claim deed or deed of trust considered valid if not recorded

    Answered almost 6 years ago.

    1. Roy Earl Morriss
    2. Thuong-Tri Nguyen
    2 lawyer answers

    The documents are still valid for the purpose intended by them...the Quit Claim Deed is still a contract to convey whatever interest the Grantor had in the property and the Deed of Trust would still be a valid document between parties that something was going to be held in Trust until whatever was agreed to happen has happened. The problem with unrecorded documents is that they do not provide notice to others of their existence. The law in Washington gives a presumption to whoever files a...

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  3. Real estate dispute with neighbors regarding easement, use of easements under WA state law

    Answered over 6 years ago.

    1. Roy Earl Morriss
    1 lawyer answer

    Given the language you've quoted, it sounds like the easement property belongs - at least partially- to someone else: the 'together with' language usually means that you have an easement right, a right you don't need if you actually own the land (you can't have an easement across your own land); and the 'subject to' language usually means that you own the easement area and that someone else has an easement right over the property. So, the first question should be, 'Who actually owns the...

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  4. Under WA state foreclosure laws can the bank go after my assets after foreclosing on my home?

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. David A. Leen
    2. Roy Earl Morriss
    3. Thuong-Tri Nguyen
    4. Knute Arthur Rife
    4 lawyer answers

    The simple version of the answer to your question is: YES. Normally, if the bank forecloses on your home, the home is then sold on the courthouse steps - literally on the steps, in most places. If the bank gets more than your loan, they would actually give you money back. However, that almost never happens, so, when they get less than you owe... you still owe them the rest. The big question is: Do you have anything for them to go after? And, usually, people really don't, so the bank doesn'...

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  5. Does a property owner have the right to modify the terms of an easement

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Roy Earl Morriss
    1 lawyer answer

    Generally, no. So, your neighbor has an easement over your land for ingress and egress (and possibly utilities). He has a right to use your property for a specific purpose - but he has a very limited right to do anything else to your property. He can almost certainly maintain the easement road so that it is useful for its intended purpose...but, he has limited ability to 'improve' the road...and even less ability to cut trees within the easement simply for visual purposes (his best argument...

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  6. Easement rights for the property owner under WA state law

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Roy Earl Morriss
    2. John Donald Sullivan
    2 lawyer answers

    The answer depends on who owns the property. For example, if the people who want to 'change' the road (rather than 'maintain' it in the condition it has always been in) own the land the road is on, they can make changes to the road as long as they don't defeat the purpose of the easement - make it so you can't use it. In this case, they might or might not be able to ask for you to pay for the improvements, or pay additional maintanence costs, depending on if you have a maintanence agreement...

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  7. WA state laws regarding dumpster diving, legal to search retail stores garbage, trespass

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Roy Earl Morriss
    1 lawyer answer

    Generally speaking dumpsters are on private property and you have the same rights to protect your property interests as you would with someone trespassing/ damaging any other portion of your property. If the dumpster is on property owned by the overall store/ complex owner they have a right to protect their property. And in the case of the dumpster being in the public right-of-way...not normally the case...the municipality has an interest in not allowing that sort of activity. It might also...

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  8. Easement dispute with neighbor, WA State

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Roy Earl Morriss
    1 lawyer answer

    Your situation is all about the word 'exclusive'. The vast majority of easements are 'non-exclusive', most easements don't even mention those words because there is a presumption that an easement is non-exclusive unless it is stated otherwise. In this case, the grantee apparently has an exclusive easement - though there might be some question of that based on the way the easement is worded, it should probably state clearly that it is an exclusive easement. But, if he does have an exclusive...

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  9. Can Natural Growth Area be adversely possessed?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Roy Earl Morriss
    2. Kevin Lee Britt
    2 lawyer answers

    From the information provided, it appears that property owners adjacent to your condominium complex are now encroaching onto property owned by the Association...an NGPA area which was most likely - depending on the age and jurisdiction - set aside as a seperate tract. The property being encroached upon would belong to the Association. The Association has a couple of duties here...first, they have a duty to protect the NGPA - this is a stautory duty which is either noted on the face of the...

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  10. Washington D.O.T has filed a claim against me

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Roy Earl Morriss
    2. Shawn B Alexander
    2 lawyer answers

    My first question would be - was there a law suit? Were you served with papers at some point? If so, did you answer the law suit? This sounds like they sued you and you defaulted...if not, I am hard pressed to see any legal avenue for them to send some amount of damages to collections. I would be happy to hear the rest of the story and see if there is something you can do...my offices are near you - in Everett, WA.

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