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A nuisance: Taking your neighbor to court

Everyone has had one neighbor, at some point, who caused them problems. Maybe the neighbor was too loud, parked in a way that blocked your vision as you left your driveway or insisted on using your property against your wishes.

Whatever the issue is or was, it's important that you know that you have ways to address problems with your neighbors. Neighbors may sue their neighbors over nuisance-causing behaviors. There are two main things to remember.

First, a private nuisance is based on the idea that you've lost the ability to enjoy your property because of your neighbor. However, with this kind of nuisance, there's no physical encroachment on your property. A physical invasion needs to be filed as a trespass action. Public nuisances affect the comfort, welfare and health of the public and are more serious than private nuisances.

The court will look at several things when determining if your case has value. To start with, the court wants to look at whether or not any state or local laws have been broken. Another thing the court looks at is if there's been a loss of enjoyment or injury as a result of the neighbor's actions. If so, then you're more likely to have a case against your neighbor than if you're just "what if-ing" about the potential for a disturbance. Additionally, if you purchased the property with the knowledge that your neighbor could behave in a way you may later find a nuisance, the court may be less inclined to help you depending on the circumstances.

Every nuisance case is different, and you can speak with your attorney about the facts involved in your situation and how they could help or hurt your case. Our site has more on what to do next.

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