Disputes between neighbors, such as noise levels, misbehaving pets or children, old cars in the front yard, and property lines, are common. Police are sometimes summoned and complaints are made to homeowner associations or to the encroaching neighbor. Even simple disputes can escalate into something serious.
When a dispute with a neighbor occurs, diplomacy is the best course of action, but if that fails you should contact a Raleigh lawyer experienced in resolving neighbor disputes. If no law is broken, the lawyer can draft a letter or other communication to try and correct the situation. If that doesn't work, the lawyer may petition the court for a restraining order or injunction to stop the neighbor's conduct.
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
An attorney consultation should provide you with enough information so that you can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with legal help.
A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:
Depending on your specific legal situation, it's possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.
Pro se - This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.
Statute - Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.
Subject matter jurisdiction - Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.