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News/Practice History

Below you will find a list of some of Boswell Law Firm’s notable past real estate cases as well as news related to the practice including charity functions and more.

For more information on a specific case, click the title to read more.

If you have additional questions on a prior case or real estate law in general, please contact us. Boswell Law Firm handles all manner of real estate and personal injury cases not limited to the cases featured below. To read more about what areas of law Boswell Law Firm practices in please see our practice areas page.

December 2014 – Supreme Court of the State of Washington – Reversing Two Lower Courts!

This is a big one!  Some 20 years after building a golf course near the shores of Lake Roosevelt in Lincoln County, selling residential lots all around it in a self-described “golfing community”, the real estate developers closed the golf course down along with the pro shop, club house and lounge, restaurant and motel, shuttered it and auctioned off the furniture, fixture and equipment.  Left in their residences in the golfing community with no golf course complex, many of the buyers and lot holders banded together and formed the Riverview Community Group, a Washington non-profit corporation.  The group sued the real estate developers.  The group members came to the firm, and when asked what their goal was, replied that they “wanted their community back.”  Without the golf course and its attendant facilities, the community around Deer Heights and Deer Meadows on Lake Roosevelt was deteriorating.  Charged with restoring the community, seeking and a so-called equitable servitude by estoppel and a mandatory injunction compelling them to re-open the golf course complex.  After one trial court judge refused, a second one dismissed Riverview’s complaint saying equitable servitudes required a writing.  Riverview appealed to the Division I Court of Appeals, which eventually disagreed with the trial judge holding that equitable servitudes may be created without a writing in Washington and that Riverview had standing to sue and the individual homeowners did not have to be made parties to the action.  Nevertheless, the Division III Court of Appeals decided it was not going to afford any relief to Riverview’s members and the Deer Meadows communities.  Riverview sought review from the Washington State Supreme Court, which was accepted and argued in February 2014.  Nine months later, the Washington State Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals on the questions of law presented but reversed it and the trial judge and remanded it back for trial.   “Consistent with its holdings,” the State Supreme Court relied on a number of arcane decisions from sister courts, most specifically and recently from Oregon, where a similar real estate swindle was undone by the court and the developers were required to reopen a golf course and rebuild its amenities.  Boswell Law Firm represented the plaintiffs Riverview Community Group in this case; the real estate developers were represented by Spokane’s Randall Danskin, P.S. and Breskin Johnson & Townsend PLLC of Seattle, Washington.

September 2014 – Transgressing Condominium Tenant:

In the first part of April 2012, the client Condominium Association (“Association”) came to the Firm in an attempt to bring a transgressing condominium Tenant into compliance with the Association’s rules and regulations.  After careful and documented observation, the Association determined that there were numerous serious violations of the Association’s Bylaws, illegal drug use, and other willful and wanton conduct being committed by unauthorized tenants in the owner’s unit.  The violations were a nuisance for the entire condominium community and the Association had the Firm write a letter to the owner requesting that he take appropriate actions to alleviate the problems.  Rather than comply with the Association’s requests, the Tenant continued to harbor drug addicts in his unit, who continually harassed the condominium community.  The Tenant was no longer paying his water bill, monthly assessments, fines and was living in filth and causing a health hazard in his unit.  The City declared the premises a “chronic nuisance.”  As time went on, the violations and chronic nuisances kept piling up and the Firm started a lawsuit for a judicial foreclosure of the owner’s property.  The owner retained an attorney to represent him.  However, the illegal drug use, health hazards, filth and harassment of other condominium members escalated so much that a television news crew even reported on the terrible situation, filming the Tenant’s arrest.  The Tenant and his unauthorized drug tenants finally moved to unknown locations relieving the Association and its members of the nightmare they were causing.  After approximately two years, the Firm was able to complete the lengthy and complicated legal steps to schedule the owner’s property for a sheriff’s sale and secure the Association with a Sheriff’s Deed to the condominium unit.  The Association is now the legal owner of the condominium unit and is in the process of repairing the damage so it can be sold and their attorney’s fees and damages recovered.  Boswell Law Firm, P.S. represents several area homeowner and condominium associations.

Timber Trespass In North Spokane County:

This case involved a fence being built along an unconfirmed property boundary and wrongfully cutting down about 22 trees during the process.

March 2014: Home Ownership and Mortgage Lending Litigation

When the firm’s client moved to Eastern Washington from Salt Lake City, Utah, fleeing an abusive relationship, she left a large suburban home that her father had generously purchased for her and her spouse years earlier.  When the husband wanted to borrow money against the home, the client agreed only on the condition that it be made perfectly clear to all, including any lenders, that she owned half of the house and would continue to own half of the home unencumbered.

September 2013 – Road/Easement Dispute

The firm’s clients were sued in Lincoln County, Washington, where they owned a quiet, 40-acre piece of recreational property.  An old dirt road bisected it and, by express permission from the clients, adjoining property owners were allowed, at times, to use the road to make access to their adjoining undeveloped properties for such things as procuring a family Christmas tree, walking, hunting, birding and the like.  When, however, one of the adjoining property owners decided his occasional permissive use of the road was inadequate, he sued claiming he was entitled to a permanent easement in his favor and encumbering the client’s 40-acre parcel.

June 2013 – Recovery of Amounts Claimed Due Under an Insurance Repair Project

Following more than 18 months of contentious litigation, the firm entered judgment against a local repair service and contractor who sued our client to recover amounts claimed due under an insurance repair project.  The case began when the firm’s clients discovered a slow water leak in their upstairs bathroom behind the wall which had saturated some of the interior framing, some carpet and resulted in the sprouting of some fungus inside the wall.  

November 14, 2012: Adverse Possession

This case involved adverse possession and an encroaching fence over the surveyed common boundary .

Lack of Discloser for Easement on A Natural Gas Pipeline

When the firm’s clients purchased their home on some small acreage in the Spokane Valley about five years ago, they had it in mind they would build a shop out-building where they could enjoy their avocation and service building for their acreage and home.  During the permitting process, they discovered that an international, natural gas pipeline existed underneath the ground where they intended to build, and the pipeline company had a recorded easement for its use and maintenance.

17th Annual The Lands Counsel (TLC) Dinner and Auction  

Boswell Law Firm, P.S. was, once again, recognized at this annual charitable event in Spokane, Washington.

Commercial Real Property Fraud Protracted Litigation

Following trial before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Greg Sypolt, the firm’s clients obtained a complete victory in protracted litigation (three years) involving commercial real property they had purchased over a decade earlier, only to discover that the seller had defrauded them.  Judge Sypolt entered a judgment in the amount of $208,000.00, extinguished all indebtedness owed to the seller under a prior real estate contract for deed, awarded more than $125,000.00 in attorney’s fees, and quieted the client’s title to the property.

Life Estates in Real Property Assets

When the father of the firm’s client passed away in December 2010, the daughter and personal representative of his estate contacted the firm regarding its administration.  Upon investigation, the decedent had, through counsel in the Davenport, Washington area, arranged for two life estates in real property assets he’d held and another life estate in a brokerage account.  Despite what should have been a straight-forward administration, some of the decedent’s property was held concurrently with other family members or relatives and a cloud existed on title going back 40 years.

Noxious Weed Control Board vs Client

The firm extends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the friends and family of client Bert Hook, who passed away recently in Arizona.  Bert kept a summer property in Davenport, Washington where he was harangued annually by Lincoln County’s Noxious Weed Control Board.

A Tough Loss

When it is said that anything can happen in a courtroom and that there are no guarantees in litigation, they mean exactly that.  A tough loss this past year.  The firm’s client, sued twice by an adjoining landowner, but with a perfect defense, received an adverse decision from an (unnamed) Spokane County Superior Court judge and, despite recommendation, declined to appeal.

Easement for Ingress, Egress and Utilities Granted

When the principals of Browne’s Mountain Development Company purchased the old Sullivan Farm near Glenrose Road in 1958, they envisioned an upscale residential community with some of the finest view lots in Spokane County.  Having personal ambitions to build and reside in the Browne’s Mountain community — and their pick of the crop of all view lots — they carved out a large parcel for themselves on the leeward side of the mountain, up on a rim looking across downtown Spokane, all the way up the Chewelah valley, at Mt. Spokane on the east, and Turnbull Wildlife Refuge on the west.  This was (and likely is today) the finest residential building lot in the entire Browne’s Mountain area.

Free Speech and Private Property

When signature-gatherers exercising First Amendment rights of free speech (and a state constitutional right to petition for initiative) walked past a “No Solicitation” sign, entered a private, gated, residential community and began door-to-door solicitations for political signatures, the president of the homeowner’s association, represented by the firm, confronted them.  They left, but came back later saying they’d contacted the local police chief, who indicated the Association had no right to prevent their entry.

Timber Trespass In Little Spokane River Valley

When the firm’s clients, Pete and Linda, returned from a Christmas shopping trip in Sandpoint, Idaho to their home on twenty six wooded acres in the Little Spokane River valley in December 2006, they made a terrible discovery.  The neighboring landowner (and the timber company he’d hired) had crossed over the property boundary, cut down and removed twenty five trees in their favorite forest grove and left it littered with slash, debris, deep ruts and destruction.

16th Annual The Lands Counsel (TLC) Dinner and Auction  

Boswell Law Firm, P.S. was, once again, recognized at this annual charitable event in Spokane, Washington.

Significant Division III Court of Appeals Ruling

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Ellen K. Clark returned her decision for an award for attorney’s fees and costs for the firm’s client in an action first reported here on September 25, 2009.  While unfortunate that the case dragged out for four years,  in the end she awarded the client more than 20 times in fees and costs what the plaintiff sought in damages initially — and properly so.

Compromise and Settlement of Plaintiffs’ Claim of Interest

In the years following the Great Depression, Mississippi attorney R.W. Thompson, Jr. provided legal services to the former owners of a local sawmill in exchange, if he was successful, for a contract giving him a one third-interest in the land under dispute.

Coyote Trail Road Timber Trespass: Newport Washington

A long-running timber trespass action between adjoining property owners on Coyote Trail Road ended today in the plaintiffs’ favor, who was represented by the firm.  The case begin Thanksgiving 2007 when the defendant and his friends fired up an 80,000 pound, D-7 Caterpillar with a 12-foot long blade and proceeded to bulldoze over and clear the clients’ property for over a quarter of a mile, running over and destroying their growing trees and ruining the aesthetic pleasure the clients’ took from walking through their lands and growing forest.

Protracted Title Case: Pomeroy Washington

Garfield County Superior Court Judge William Acey, holding court in temporary facilities inside a U.S. Forest Service Ranger Station, heard oral arguments in a protracted title case in which the firm’s client challenged a neighboring landowner’s contention that he had an appurtenant easement over twenty feet of the client’s property.

Vehicle Defect Case

Not long after the 36 month/36,000 mile warranty expired on his new six cylinder two-door Honda Accord, its original equipment ignition coil and spark plug failed, melting into the crank case, destroying the engine.  When American Honda Motor Company Inc. would not repair it, despite express representations that its vehicles’ spark plugs need not be changed for 105,000 miles, the aggrieved owner contacted the firm.

Recovered Possession of Premises

At a two-hour presentment hearing in the Spokane County Superior Court, Judge Salvatore “Sam” Cozza entered Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgment in favor of the firm’s clients, including an award of attorney’s fees and litigation-related costs in the full amount sought by plaintiff in the case, $48,264.

Eviction of Defaulting Commercial Tenant

Spokane, WA – After successfully evicting a defaulting commercial tenant on April 12, Superior Court Judge Salvatore Cozza ruled today, following one and a half days of trial, that the firm’s clients were entitled to an award of $30,000, including sums for past due rent, late fees, accrued interest and damages.

 Transfer of Real Property Between Family Members

A parties’ settlement and dismissal of a family feud over the transfer of real property between some of its members.

Recovered Commercial Property Possession from Defaulting Tenant

In an unlawful detainer case, the firm’s client, owner of a commercial property in Cheney, WA, recovered possession from a defaulting tenant when Spokane County Superior Court Judge Debra Plese issued orders for a Writ of Restitution, which was delivered to the Sheriff’s Office for service before the defendants packed up and vacated.

15th Annual The Lands Counsel (TLC) Dinner and Auction  

Boswell Law Firm, P.S. was, once again, recognized at this annual charitable event in Spokane, Washington.

Motor Accident Injury Case: Spokane Washington

Client was injured in a motor vehicle accident as a passenger.

Easement Dispute on Mt. Spokane

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen entered orders ending a nasty easement dispute on Mt. Spokane in rural Spokane County.

Kalich v. Clark

Division Three of the Court of Appeals filed its unanimous decision (for publication) in the firm’s case of Kalich v. Clark.

Second Class Shorelands at Loon Lake

The Division Three Court of Appeals reverses a Pend Oreille County Superior Court Judge, The Hon. Allen J. Nielson.

Timber Trespass Okanagan 

Following a four-day jury trial in Okanagan County Superior Court, a verdict in favor of the firm’s client for the wrongful cutting of twelve of his trees.