Attorney John Mlnarik
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My Neighbor’s Animals Are Ruining My Life and Property Value. Can I file a claim?
When a neighbor is being a nuisance, there are some instances where the person affected may file a claim against them. This is often seen when the nuisance affects the quality of life, the value of property or may injury someone through illness or bodily harm.
If the neighbor in question is continuing an act or activity that could cause property damage in any manner, he or she should desist. It is best to first communicate with the neighbor about the grievance before any action is taken. It is only when communication fails with this individual that further actions should be sought. A property law lawyer should be contacted and consulted to determine what to do next.
In some situations, once a lawyer has been contacted, a file may be issued to the neighbor to desist with the activity that is causing the damage. However, while this is a legal document, the person is not forced to follow the order. At that point, it may be necessary to gather evidence of the problem and determine if litigation is the next best route. No matter how obvious the situation may seem that harm has been caused by the person responsible, it is best to obtain as much proof of the incident as possible to strengthen the case.
Usually nuisance laws involve suing a neighbor for a benefit that is provided to the general public. These cases typically include a stipulation of control over the land that the neighbor owns that limits certain activity. This is to restrict what the person is doing to cause the nuisance as it affects the quality of life or value of property. This is a private nuisance action where the individual affected has lost the enjoyment of the property without actual physical invasion of the neighbor on the land. This means there is no trespassing occurring. Any number of incidents cause these lawsuits based on the actions of the responsible party.
However, if the neighbor could be affecting the health, safety or welfare of others or may alter the comfort someone may feel while at home or in the public scene, a public nuisance suit may be issued. Sometimes nuisances are able to be both public and private simultaneously. If animals are involved, the activity may include both types as they may cause excessive noise while in the area and then spread disease or sickness to either humans or domesticated livestock that reside on private property. This means that both one individual is affected as well as the public at large for a roaming danger that might lead to worth situations.
Affected Property and the Nuisance
When a case has been started with either type of nuisance, the damage or affect to a property must be both substantial and continuous for the claim to be valid and possible to proceed. Action may be necessary for the persons that are impacted such as hiring a third-party source to clean, exterminate, investigate a problem or similar matters. When extra steps are taken to minimize the damage caused, the claim may be more valid and stronger to proceed to the next level. However, when presented before a court, the judge may attempt to balance whatever hardships each party face with the involved action. This may mean a reduction of whatever is causing the problem so that the financial burden placed on the plaintiff is less than before. In some instances, this may eliminate the issue.
There are many factors that a court may look at to determine what action is necessary in the situation. This could be how much the activity of the defendant affects the plaintiff or others, the location of the incident, any local or state regulations that are involved and similar concerns. A property law lawyer may bring forth a nuisance action when a neighbor’s actions adversely affect the peaceful enjoyment of another person.
It is imperative a property law lawyer has been contacted to assist from the beginning of this issue for a better chance of success in the nuisance resolution. This is essential for litigation and to resolve the matter. A lawyer can examine the situation to determine what the homeowner’s rights are. He or she can explain different options, such as mediation, arbitration or litigation, as well as discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option. In this manner, clients can make an informed decision moving forward.