When Can Your Neighbors Legally Take Your Land?

When Can Your Neighbors Legally Take Your Land?

When Can Your Neighbors Legally Take Your Land? There is a concept in real estate law that is little known outside the legal world, whereby a trespasser can gain legal title to someone else’s land. The “trespasser” in these cases is usually a neighbor but, nonetheless, someone who does not own your property can become the legal owner by his use of it through a concept known as adverse possession. Claims of adverse possession are creatures of common law in Illinois, and require a showing of several elements. In order to legally take title to land, a person’s use and possession of the land must be: Hostile (against the right of the true owner and without permission) Actual (he or she exercises physical control over the property) Exclusive (In the possession of the trespasser alone and no one else) Open and notorious (the trespasser must use the property as the true owner would without hiding the occupancy) Continuous for a period of 20 years Adverse possession claims are especially common in rural areas (like most of Southern Illinois) as opposed to towns and cities because it is often more difficult to determine where one piece of property ends and another begins. Example of Adverse Possession Let’s take a look at how a hypothetical adverse possession case might play out. Assume there are two property owners—the Smiths and the Joneses—who own neighboring farms. Mr. Smith erects a barn that he believes is on his property, but is actually 15 feet over the property line on the Jones’s farm. Mr. Jones says nothing about this, and Mr. Smith uses this barn as...
What to do if Your Spouse Files an Order of Protection

What to do if Your Spouse Files an Order of Protection

Spouses can accuse each other of abuse for a variety of reasons. Maybe they are planning divorce and want to gain an upper hand in custody matters and other issues in the divorce proceedings. Perhaps they have themselves been abusive and want to deflect from their own actions. Whatever the reason, if your spouse files an order of protection against you, it is critical to take immediate action. An order of protection may do the following: Force you to stay away from your home Keep you from seeing your spouse or children Give up any guns that you own While an emergency order may go into effect, you will have the opportunity to appear at a hearing to defend against an extended order being granted. It is critical to have the assistance of a highly experienced defense attorney who understands how orders of protection cases work in Illinois. In addition, order of protection cases may also be accompanied by criminal charges for domestic violence and you want a lawyer who can handle both of your cases with skill. Domestic violence charges can result in the following consequences and more: Time in jail Probation Fines Extended order of protection Limitations on your professional options At your hearing, your attorney can provide evidence in your defense that an order of protection is not warranted and can help you avoid the restrictions on your life that an order of protection would create. If the order is granted, your lawyer can help to negotiate for less stringent terms of the order. Contact a Southern Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible Facing...
Penalties for Hunting Violations in Illinois

Penalties for Hunting Violations in Illinois

Hunting, fishing, and trapping are highly regulated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”).1 The DNR has over 160 conservation police officers (“CPOs”) patrolling the state enforcing these regulations. Illinois Law Hunting, fishing, and trapping are extremely regulated by Illinois law. There are over 75 laws and regulations that specifically restrict hunting and trapping. There are also federal regulations that restrict hunting activity within Illinois as well. While the law restricting hunting activity is complicated, ignorance of the law will not protect you from the penalties that come along with breaking these laws. Be sure to review all of the relevant regulations before heading out for a day of hunting or fishing to avoid finding yourself face to face with a CPO. The most common violations include permit violations, license violations, site violations, hunting too close to another and trespassing. Penalties The punishment for most violations is simply a ticket. Tickets come with fines, court costs, and attorney fees, which can really add up. In addition to the financial cost of the ticket, convictions of game law offenses can count against your record with the DNR.2 Just as tickets for traffic infractions can result in points against your driver’s license, the DNR keeps a record of points against your hunting and/or fishing license. Too many infractions can result in the suspension or loss of your ability to hunt. If a sportsman accrues 13 points over three years, they face suspension of his or her license for up to three years. As a general rule: Petty Offense = 3 Points Class C Offense = 6 Points Class B Offense...

Protecting Your Rights After a Southern Illinois Traffic Violation

Many Southern Illinois residents assume that a traffic violation is a minor issue.  In reality, however, these charges can bring consequences that will have a major impact on your life ranging from getting back and forth to work to transporting your children to school or extracurricular activities. Common Criminal Traffic Violations A Carbondale resident or student can be charged with many different types of moving and non-moving criminal traffic violations including: Speeding Running a red light or stop sign Driving Under the Influence Leaving the Scene of an Accident Driving without insurance[1] Expired Vehicle Registration Driving While License Suspended Drag Racing Seat belt/child restraint violations Traffic offenses can range from very minor to very serious. Most minor traffic offenses are considered infractions, and they are not criminal violations of the law. Usually, these types of violations carry relatively minor penalties, such as fines, and/or a point on your driving record. Depending on the violation, an Illinois traffic conviction can result in: Fines; Points on your driving record; Suspended license; Increased auto insurance rates. More serious traffic offenses, such as reckless driving, driving under the influence[2], or manslaughter, are charged as crimes and a conviction can involve penalties such as: Large fines Victim restitution Drug or alcohol treatment License revocation Incarceration Contact an Experienced Marion Criminal Defense Attorney A criminal traffic violation is a double edged sword as it can damage your driving record as well as your personal criminal record.  If you have been arrested or charged with an Illinois criminal traffic violation, a full investigation into your case can reveal the defense strategy most appropriate for your situation as well...

Helping Individuals In and Around Marion, Illinois

Marion, Illinois, a dispersed urban area that developed out of the early 20th Century coalfields, serves as the largest retail trade center in Southern Illinois.  The 17,413 residents of Marion share their home with the Illinois Star Centre Mall and the Southern Illinois Miners baseball team. Marion is also the home of the clock tower above Marion Square and the Lawler Brown Law Firm which offers a full range of legal services to local area residents and members of their families including: Personal Injury Wrongful Death Criminal defense Traffic violations Hunting violations Oil and gas including lost mineral rights DUI/DWI Probate Estate Administration Real Estate Business law Workers’ Compensation Marion Accident Cases  Our experienced attorneys can also assist Marion, Illinois, residents with accident and injury cases including: Automobile accidents Motorcycle accidents Slip and fall accidents Wrongful death If you or a family member have been injured in an accident, it is important to speak to a Marion personal injury attorney as soon as possible to communicate with insurance companies or file a lawsuit where necessary.  If you have suffered property damage or sustained injuries from an accident, our attorneys can help you receive all of the compensation that you deserve. Marion Criminal Defense Cases  If you or someone you love has been arrested or charged with a criminal offense in Marion, Illinois, it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  All criminal arrests and charges are serious and require immediate attention including: Reckless driving Speeding Distracted driving Drug offenses Disorderly conduct Underage consumption of alcohol Driving under the influence Every case will...

Providing Legal Services To Herrin, Illinois, Residents

Herrin is referred to as the “friendliest town in all of Southern Illinois” and is home to the Herrin Doughboy statue at the corner of North Park Avenue and Adams Street, serving as a tribute to all those who fought in WWI. The Lawler Brown Law Firm provides legal services to Herrin families covering many different areas of the law including: Personal Injury Wrongful Death Criminal defense Traffic violations Hunting violations Oil and gas including lost mineral rights DUI/DWI Probate Estate Administration Real Estate Business law Workers’ Compensation Herrin Injury Cases Our experienced attorneys also represent Herrin, Illinois, residents with all types of accident and injury cases including: Automobile accidents Motorcycle accidents Slip and fall accidents Wrongful death Dangerous property If you were injured in an accident, an experienced Herrin personal injury attorney can determine what individual or business entity is responsible for your damages. If you suffered property damage or a loved one was killed or injured in an accident, our attorneys can help you receive all of the compensation that you deserve with our hands-on approach to cases. Herrin Criminal Defense Cases Any criminal arrest or charge, from a simple speeding ticket to a felony, is a serious matter that requires an experienced Herrin attorney to make certain that your rights are protected.  If you are arrested or charged with a criminal offense, contact a Herrin criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.  The lawyers at the Lawler Brown Law Firm represent clients in connection with all criminal matters including: Reckless driving Speeding Distracted driving Drug offenses Disorderly conduct Underage consumption of alcohol Driving under the influence...