Rowland Factors Used in California Real Estate Disputes

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The Rowland Factors in real estate conflicts may provide the claim with a means of limiting the possible liability in premises disputes. When involving the public sidewalk and a person crossing the street, the person that owns the land may not become responsible for any injury that occurs with invitees granted access into the home once he or she leaves.

The California Supreme Court became part of a case with the Rowland Factors that involved landowners and the limitations on what affects premises liability. One claim in particular explained how the landowner does not have any responsibility when a person is crossing a public street. The person that owns the home or land does not have any ownership over the sidewalk or the street. If the owner does have duties to maintain a parking lot but not over the street where an injury occurs, in California, he or she is not accountable or liable for damages to the victim.

Rowland Factors Explained

For liability in incidents where there are factors of keeping property free of possible injurious spots, the person needs to have knowledge that there are places that need clearing. Warning signs, quarantines to dangerous zones and maintenance or repairs are necessary to keep a property free and clear of hazards. There is often a foreseeability of possible injury and harm to another person. This includes a degree of certainty that something will affect another person. Rowland Factors involve all of these and the connection and closeness of the conduct of the owner or manager of the property and any victim that suffers harm. Then, there is a moral blame upon this owner or management.

Liability and Actions Taken

The homeowner of a property does not usually have responsibility for any land or sections of property that is outside of his or her purview. This generally includes sidewalks and then public streets are almost never part of a land agreement. However, landscaping or lawn concerns could obscure what traffic or other issues may harm someone on the road. If these are large enough to block what a person may reasonably observe on the sidewalk, the owner may face litigation. Any public streets and access are not within the scope of responsibility for individuals that receive an invitation to the home or building.

Sometimes the victim or plaintiff may pursue a legal claim against an entity or person specifically when suffering injury after leaving the property. He or she may explain that a duty of care through assistance owed to him or her is in breach when not carried out. However, in California, such cases fail generally due to a lack of responsibility and liability to the defendant in these situations. The burden of proof lies with the plaintiff in showing the court that the other party was negligent in caring for the individual when crossing the road or providing help getting to the other side of the road.

Rowland Factors and Negligence

Real estate disputes occur when the victim of an incident feels that the business, entity or person was negligent and did not protect him or her from injury after leaving the property. In California, the person is not able to receive protections after traveling onto public property that no specific person owns. The duty of responsibility and care to this individual ends once he or she is no longer on the private property. While some organizations and companies are liable for injuries sustained while the person is on the sidewalk or in a parking lot, any public street access is not part of these proceedings.

For negligence to stick to the case, the plaintiff has the burden to prove that the defendant owed a legal duty to provide care, breached this duty and as a result the injury occurred. When the public street is where the harm occurs, the plaintiff generally fails to show that the defendant was negligent in his or her duty of care. Without these elements connected to the claim and proven in the courtroom, the plaintiff’s case will usually fail. When needing to defend against the allegations, the affected party may have an option to transfer the legal fees to the plaintiff for the need to present a defending case in court.

Legal Assistance with Rowland Factors

For a case to proceed to the courtroom, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant was responsible for the care of the individual. He or she needs a lawyer to explain and show this before a judge or jury.


Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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