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Shared Well: Neighbor refuses to pay for new pump

Discussion in 'Easements & Right of Way Law' started by Countri, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. Countri

    Countri Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi, recently my well pump died. I had to buy a new one quick, because we had no water. Our contractor installed it lickety split, and the price was reasonable. We now have water. However, the way our well is set up, our neighbor receives the benefit of a holding tank. We pump to the highest point of the property and we both pressure pump to our houses. Since the well pump did not affect his system because he still had water in his own holding tank, he feels there was no issue. I paid half of the amount and gave the other half to my neighbor. He refuses to pay, stating "we never ask for the work to be completed". Short sighted to say the least. I believe he has no money to pay, only enough to survive. food clothing, housing...etc.
    Do I have the right to file a lien against his property? I have tried to reach out several times during the last 3 months, for payments, help with payment, but he refuses to reply.
    What is my best course of action for this payment, if any. His half of the bill is 2k.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You can't file a lien without first suing and getting a judgment. Then the judgment becomes a lien.

    Small claims court.

    You might try a demand with a small claims complaint filled out (but not filed) and give him a deadline to pay after which you file in court.

    Offer a payment plan if you like but make sure you get the first payment when he signs the note. Make sure that the note includes an acceleration clause where the entire balance is due on default.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You can do as suggested, but be prepared for a defense along the lines of "I didn't get an estimate", "We didn't discuss solutions", "I didn't approve the expense", "You did this without consulting me."

    Even IF you prevail, you'll then have to try and collect the judgment.

    A lien won't yield anyone money until the home is sold.

    If, as you posited, " I believe he has no money to pay, only enough to survive. food clothing, housing...etc."; you might be throwing more good money chasing nonexistent money.

    In the end, you must choose your course of action.

    I am simply pointing out the obstacles that stand in your way, even if you receive a judgment.

    Blood can't be found in a turnip, nor can rocks be cooked to provide a tasty broth.
     
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If he doesn't have assets to collect don't waste your time.
     
  5. Countri

    Countri Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I thank all of you for your helpful advise. I appreciate your time and effort. The message has been received.
     

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