Katie Jean Comstock’s Answers

Katie Jean Comstock

Seattle Construction / Development Lawyer.

Contributor Level 10
  1. If a neighbor cuts down a tree on my property in my absence, without my permission, what is my recourse?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Katie Jean Comstock
    2. Michael Duane Daudt
    3. Peter J Weinman
    3 lawyer answers

    Under Washington law you are entitled to damages. The type of damages depend on several factors (ability to replace tree, whether the tree had sentimental value, the type of tree, etc.) In addition, if you can prove that your neighbor willfully went on to your property (trespassed) to cut down your tree your damages may be trebled. I recommend reviewing your specific facts with a real estate attorney.

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  2. Do I need a real estate attorney?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Katie Jean Comstock
    2. J. Richard Mc Entee Jr.
    3. Daniel Garrett Wilmot
    4. John Christopher Bannon
    4 lawyer answers

    To establish a claim for adverse possession, the claimant must establish that the neighboring property owner had actual notice of the adverse use throughout the statutory period or (2) that the claimant used the land in such a way that any reasonable person would have thought that he owned it. Because you can establish adverse possession by showing that a reasonable person would have recognized your use of the disputed property (as opposed to actual notice), the fact that the lot was vacant is...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. Property was surveyed - neighbor has 17' x 147' of our property. Can we just fence it?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Katie Jean Comstock
    2. Shawn B Alexander
    2 lawyer answers

    Yes, technically you can fence in your property. However, it is possible that the neighbor believes that he either owns it or has acquired it through adverse possession. By simply erecting a fence before speaking with the neighbor you may invite legal action. I would recommend discussing your intention to build the fence with your neighbor first to avoid any unnecessary and/expensive litigation.

    Selected as best answer

  4. Can a unlicensed general contractor hire licensed subcontractors to do work?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Shawn B Alexander
    2. Katie Jean Comstock
    3. Cheryl Rivera Smith
    3 lawyer answers

    I agree with the prior attorneys' answers. In addition, because the contractor is unlicensed he is not an agent for the owner under the lien statutes, therefore, your lien rights will be severely compromised.

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  5. Should I wait to see if the mechanics liens on my home "time out"?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Samuel Michael Meyler
    2. Katie Jean Comstock
    3. Joseph T G Harper
    4. Elizabeth C. Thompson
    4 lawyer answers

    It is true that a foreclosure action needs to be filed within 8 months of the lien being filed. It is also true that the subcontractor would not only sue the contractor for non payment but you to foreclose the lien. Unfortunately, in the event of a lawsuit you may have to pay the subcontractor and go after the contractor for having to pay twice for the subcontractor's work. You do not want to just wait. It is in your best interest to negotiate with the subcontractor prior to involving...

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  6. If a mechanics lien was filed befor a notice of lien what should the company filing the lien do to correct it.

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Michael Duane Daudt
    2. Katie Jean Comstock
    3. Saphronia R Young
    4. Carl H Starrett II
    4 lawyer answers

    I agree with the prior answer. You may still be in the statutory timelines to release the lien and properly re-file, however, you should contact an attorney to review the specifics of your matter (your contract, notice, lien, etc.) before moving forward. It is important that you verify that your lien was filed correctly otherwise you may become liable for impairing the homeowner's title.

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  7. Can an inactive and no longer operating HOA in WA enforce CC&Rs when there has been no meetings for over 7 years?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Shawn B Alexander
    2. Katie Jean Comstock
    3. Peter J Weinman
    3 lawyer answers

    I agree with the prior answer, it is a possibility. However, the HOA must still act in accordance with the bylaws and CC & R's. You should sit down with a real estate attorney and review these documents to determine if the HOA is acting outside of its powers (i.e., assessing fees in excess of what is allowed, amending/altering CC & R's and/or bylaws without proper notice and without proper voting, etc.).

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

  8. Can I sue my home builder to put a drainage system in my yard due to flooding issues? They lead me on and now they wont fix it!!

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. David M von Beck
    2. Katie Jean Comstock
    3. Samuel Michael Meyler
    4. Nathan D Sukhia
    5. Mary Gail Carver
    5 lawyer answers

    You should review this matter with a construction defect attorney. There are several possible claims against a contractor-vendor in Washington that may be available to you depending on the contracts entered into and the facts and circumstances. For example, you may have a claim for breach of an express warranty, breach of an implied warranty, fraudulent concealment, violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act or in limited circumstances, negligence. You may have additional claims...

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

  9. Is there any way of getting out of a personal guaranty of buyers obligations once you have signed it?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Katie Jean Comstock
    2. Shawn B Alexander
    3. Michael Thomas Smith
    3 lawyer answers

    Under a typical personal guaranty, you will be held responsible until the debt that you are guaranteeing has been paid. With that said, a personal guaranty is a contract, and as you can with any contract you can negotiate the terms of the guaranty as to the amount you are guaranteeing, the length you are guaranteeing the amount, and the method for terminating the guaranty.

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

  10. What can be done if a lien was filed against your property past the 90 day period?

    Answered 12 months ago.

    1. Katie Jean Comstock
    2. Shawn B Alexander
    2 lawyer answers

    First, you should demand that the contractor release the lien. If the contractor refuses, you should hire an attorney to file a frivolous lien action.

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

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