An action for ejectment is typically commenced by filing a complaint with a claim for ejectment in the superior court where the real property is located. The named defendant is the wrongful possessor of plaintiff’s property, which is typically the adjoining property owner. In reality, however, most attorneys would file such a complaint with two closely related, but different claims, namely claims for “quiet title” and “ejectment.” The purpose of an action to quiet title is to obtain an order from the court declaring the status of title to real property. In contrast, the purpose of an action for ejectment is to allow a plaintiff who has a superior right to physical possession of the real property, to recover possession from someone wrongfully in possession.
Admittedly, the distinction between these claims has become blurred, not only because both are statutorily authorized by RCW 7.28.010 (which is arcane and difficult to read), but because they have also been shaped by common law and case law. Mercifully, however, because the distinction between these claims has been blurred, in those cases where a plaintiff only brings one claim, and should have brought the other, many Washington courts have been willing to be flexible and consider the action as the underlying circumstances require. However, the problem is best avoided by asserting both claims.
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I agree with the responses of both attorneys. You will also need to obtain a current title report, and possibly a survey, in order to determine a legal description for the encroachment area and to identify all potential parties who may have an interest in the subject land (even if you think the only person is the adjoining neighbor). Hopefully you will be able to negotiate an acceptable resolution with the neighbor since the legal fees associated with a quiet title/ejectment action can be substantial.
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