Resolving the subversion error: svn: Can't create directory 'sites/default/files/some/path/.svn': Permission denied

There is nothing more frustrating than not having permissions set correctly on a server. I recently tried to commit a bunch of files to subversion and received the following error:

svn: Can't create directory 'sites/default/files/some/path/.svn': Permission denied

This usually indicates your user does not have permission to alter the .svn folders to execute the subversion commit command. The failed command will leave your subversion status with a tilde (~):

$ svn stat
~      sites/default/files/some/path
~      sites/default/files/some/other/path

You'll first need to reset permissions and ownership:

# change directories, you don't want to reset every file permission
$ cd sites/default/files

# use a find command and "-exec" switch to reset ownership and permissions
# NOTE: the group, owner, and permissions will vary on every server configuration
$ find . -exec chown Eric.apache {} \; -exec chmod -R ug+rw {} \;

Now you can revert the files to remove the tilde (~) status:

$ svn stat
~      sites/default/files/some/path
~      sites/default/files/some/other/path
$ svn revert "sites/default/files/some/path"
$ svn revert "sites/default/files/some/other/path"
$ svn stat
?      sites/default/files/some/path
?      sites/default/files/some/other/path

At this point you should be able to re-add the files to subversion and commit.