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A lawsuit filed over the weekend against the Washington D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) alleges that the agency violated the civil rights of over 20 DC homeowners and residents as a result of a sewage eruption. The residents were all forced to evacuate their homes when, in November of last year, sewage rising from the public system caused each home to be filled with two to three feet of standing raw sewage.

Although authorities made some effort to clean up the sewage eruption and remedy claims for damages, nearly all of the residents have found those efforts to be failing. Those affected by the sewage eruption returned to find destroyed and missing belongings, heaps of sewage damaged items and home fixtures strewn about on their lawns, and homes filled with the aftermath and stench of being covered in raw sewage.

The home selling process can be a complicated one. Between listings, ads, inspections, negotiations, title review, mortgage loans, contracts, and escrow, there are an endless array of moving parts to consider, all creating or affecting the buyer's and seller's rights and responsibilities.

If you're considering putting your home on the market, make sure you go into the process knowing your rights as a seller, as well as your legal obligations.

Across the country, the most heated disputes between neighbors often involve fences and meddlesome trees that straddle property lines. Whether it's a neighbor's dog causing damage to your fence, or sap-dripping tree branches hanging over your driveway, knowing your rights is important before attempting to negotiate an amicable resolution to neighborly disputes.

Here are five frequently asked legal questions about property line disputes involving trees and fences:

Just the thought of getting served with an eviction notice is scary for most people. Fortunately, landlords are not allowed to use self-help, such as changing the locks, making living conditions unbearable, or threats of force, to evict a tenant. Additionally, most states and cities have specific procedures that must be followed for an eviction to be valid.

Unfortunately for tenants, most cities do not have strong rent control protections like in San Francisco or Toronto. This means that in most places, after a lease term has ended, or is on a month to month basis, so long as a landlord follows the law, a tenant can be rightfully evicted with relative ease.

Here are the top three do's and don't's to follow if you've received an eviction notice.

A law in the Missourian town of Maplewood penalizes people for calling the police, even if there is a legitimate need for police assistance. As a result of this law, a mother of two, who is also the victim of domestic abuse, was evicted from her home. In other words, as crazy as it sounds: a woman was evicted from her home for calling the police about domestic violence incidents.

Rosetta Watson, who's now 58 years old, was facing repeated domestic violence in her Maplewood home. Even though she was the victim, she was still evicted due to being a "nuisance." After being evicted, Ms. Watson faced stretches of homelessness due to being unable to find stable housing. While the damage has been done, the ACLU has taken on her case, and has filed a lawsuit not only to get rid of this nonsensical law, but to also recover damages on Ms. Watson's behalf.

The Fair Housing Act, passed as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, protects renters and home buyers from a variety of discrimination based on everything from sex, race, and national origin to religion, marriage status, and pregnancy. But until Wednesday of this week, no court had extended those protections to include lesbian, gay, or transgender people.

That all changed when a federal court in Denver ruled that sex discrimination under the Fair Housing Act includes discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, including discrimination motivated by outdated stereotypes about how men and women should act and with whom they should romantically partner.

Marriage is a good thing -- so say millions of married people and the government, who encourages marriage through tax breaks and other financial incentives. Even landlords might prefer married couples, thinking their relationship and financial status will be more stable.

But marriage isn't for everyone, and even those who might plan to get married may not be married yet. And incentives for marriage can turn into punishments for unmarried couples. So what happens when landlords refuse to rent to unmarried couples? Do they have any legal recourse?

The sale of a home is a complex business transaction, in and of itself. Doing business with family members can be fraught with complications. Naturally then, selling a home to a family member is both complex and complicated.

In addition to the potential emotional baggage and turmoil that can get wrapped up in a business deal or transaction between family members, there may be legal issues as well. Here are five legal tips on how to avoid the complications that come with selling a home to a family member.

While Portland, Oregon has been enjoying economic growth over the past few years, unfortunately, along with that growth, renters in the city are facing increasing rent costs. As Portland continues to grow, the housing supply is not able to keep up with the demand, and while the city can build its way out, that solution provides no immediate relief for those at risk of eviction.

Since Oregon prohibits rent control laws, the city of Portland had to take action to protect vulnerable residents from being displaced by greedy landlords seeking to maximize their gains. In response to the slew of recent no cause eviction cases, the Portland city government passed a law requiring landlords to pay for tenants' relocation costs in order to evict without cause.

The very last step of a real estate transaction, when the sale finally closes and keys are provided, may seem like a simple event. But getting to that closing often involves quite a bit of legwork. Buying or selling a home is an involved process that is regulated by nuanced and complicated state laws that vary from state to state.

While most states do not require an attorney to be physically present on the day you sign the papers and get the key, hiring one beforehand can help make sure you make it to and through closing. Whether someone is a first-time homebuyer or seller, or a seasoned real estate veteran, knowing when to utilize a real estate attorney can be critical to avoiding legal problems, and can even save you money.