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How can you resolve land disputes in Colorado?

A land dispute can put a real damper on your relationship with local businesses, neighbors and communities. Land use disputes could come up because you think you own land between your home and the store nearby, or you could find that you have rights to minerals that someone else is mining. The fact is, these disputes come up, but how you handle them will make a difference.

Land disputes can be resolved in one of several manners. For instance, alternative dispute resolutions, known as ADRs, come in the form of mediation. You may work through a mediator to speak about the area in dispute and to present your side. The mediator will work to help you and the other party come up with an acceptable solution to your disagreement, whether that's limited land use or a new border.

With mediation, both parties can talk to the attorney or mediator without fear of the mediator being biased. The mediator is a third party that doesn't work for either of the people involved. Mediation can be as fast as a few hours or last for many months. These solutions are not legally binding, but you can make them binding by signing contracts with the help of your attorney.

Another way to dispute land use would be to make a formal dispute claim, which can be completed through the courts. At the end of submitting your arguments, a judge can determine who the land belongs to and how it should be used. This is not often the preferred method simply because no party in the case has any control over how the judge will rule.

Source: Colorado Department of Local Affairs, "Land Use Dispute Resolution," accessed Oct. 15, 2015

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