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  1. #1

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    Neighbor's Lights, Hockey Pucks, Baseballs, etc.

    After two years of searching for the perfect house to buy we found one. A nice quite neighborhood, nice neighbors (the neighbors behind us were out of town for a while – we now know).
    For the first six months we literally threw back over the 6’ privacy fence we installed hundreds of balls (of every make, size and color) that the kids threw / hit over.
    Tired of doing this we asked them to be more careful with where their balls went and decided to stop throwing them back.
    Then the father put up 15' poles with street lights attached for a hockey court - now we have hockey pucks flying over all the time in addition to all the balls.
    So when the kids ran out of balls and pucks they started climbing over the fence to retrieve them. I have two huskies and don't want that chance of there being a biting incidence (even though it's ours and our dogs’ yard).
    So, one time I caught them in the yard I told them not to come in the yard again. And if they wanted their balls back they had to come knock on the door (mistake).
    So I called the Sheriff’s Dept - Civil Division and explained the situation. They told us to stop returning the balls, pucks, etc. and soon the number would be much fewer - they were right!
    Anyway, in addition to that problem the lights are right on the property line and have lit up half of our back yard late into the night - not to mention the noise from being able to play till past 11pm.
    We asked the father (many, many times) to re-aim the lights so they would not light up our yard at night and to keep the noise down. He said the lights were not lighting up our yard (we have pictures) and that he’d "try" to have them stop by 10pm. They're still out way past that.
    Anyway, after a year and a half of dealing with this and trying to work it out, and not being able to enjoy the use of our back yard, I reported the lights to the local zoning code officer. There are zoning codes about height, setback and light trespass. They were ordered to remove the lights and poles within 30 days, the officer said they were in “gross” violation and were also cited for a number of other violations.
    April 13th makes 30 days. They have fought this all the way and the lights are still up.
    Now they have told other neighbors that "we are making their life a living hell" (because he’s in violation of zoning codes) and they were going to do "all that they could to make our life hell".
    So, three nights ago they shined two bright work lights (the kind you use on road construction at night) at our house all night and then permanently put up a bright Mercury Vapor fixture (unshielded - dusk to dawn) on the back of his rear garage. Said it was for "security" since he said "we climbed over the fence and turned on all the lights just so we could call the cops on him." The same officer (he’s been out twice now) understands our problem and even though the officer doesn’t believe his story, says this is a civil matter – a private nuisance.
    Now the bright Mercury Vapor fixture lights up the part of our yard closer to the house and also the whole house – a bright green light thru all the second story windows – all night. His house sits in total darkness.
    I’m going to report this also – just afraid he will put up a different fixture every 30 days.
    Not to make this any longer – do I stand a chance of taking this to court and being able to stop this harassment/nuisance? What type of Lawyer should I look for? I have many pictures to prove the situation, don’t know if the other neighbors would really be willing to be witnesses – as he intimidates them. I don’t know what else I should do besides moving, and I don’t want that to be an option.
    Any advice would be appreciated!


  2. Registered User New Member

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    Speak to an attorney? I cannot see how they are not disrupting your right to enjoy your property. I am not a lawyer. What a nightmare this must be for you and your family. Sometimes an attorney can make a big impact on a situation. Makes ya wonder what gene pool they swam in! I can't even imagine what utility bill would be worth destroying my neighbors peace and happiness. Have you tried NO TRESPASSING signs on all 4 sides of your property? If they cross you have them arrested. I think your best bet is to get an attorney, show your pictures or other proof....attorney can find out alot as far as filings, violations.....etc. Good luck. I know I was not much help but please keep us up on the events!

  3. #3
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    Found something doing a search.... might help ...never know. It is about private and public nuisance.

    The Law of Nuisance

    Lawsuits invoking the law of nuisance typically involve neighbors suing their neighbors or a public official suing a property owner for the benefit of the general public. By bringing suit, the plaintiff (the originator of the lawsuit) usually seeks to control or limit the use of the land owned by the defendant (the person being sued or, in other words, the person asked to "defend"). The plaintiff is basically saying to the defendant, "Your action is interfering with my enjoyment of my property; therefore, you must stop acting in that manner."

    There are two basic types of nuisance suits. These are private and public nuisance actions. A private nuisance means there has been a loss of the use or enjoyment of property without an actual physical invasion of that property. An action for a physical invasion of property is known as a trespass action. An example of a private nuisance would be where an individual failed to keep his dog kennel clean, causing the next-door-neighbors to experience unpleasant odors when they left their windows open and also prevented them from spending time in their backyard.

    A public nuisance is one that has more far reaching effects. It has the ability to affect the health, safety, welfare, or comfort of the public in general. Examples of a public nuisance would be a factory that emitted bad odors or a racetrack that produced loud noise. Nuisances can often be both public and private. For instance, the lights from a baseball field may shine directly into the home of a neighboring property owner, causing a private nuisance. At the same time, the baseball field might cause excessive noise and brighten up the rest of the neighborhood, requiring the homeowners to keep their windows and drapes shut on summer evenings. This would constitute a public nuisance.

  4. #4

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    Waiting and well lit!

    Sadie,

    Thanks for your advice and research. We have obtained an attorney, and are now waiting for the code compliance date to expire (it has been extended now from April 13 to April 22 - don't know the reason).
    Our neighbors have continued to shine their two bright work lights up at our second story (where all the bedrooms are - and yes, we have nailed heavy flannel sheets over all the windows until we can open them again ).
    Again, we called in the police, although this (purposely shining the bright work lights) does not constitute "harassment" according to the county statutes, the officer was appalled by what was being done and wrote up a report and went over and asked them to either turn off the lights or aim them at their own home.
    Also, the next morning after the police were at their house, they backed a truck into their backyard with a portable generator in it, and turned it on at 6 am and let it run for half an hour (the time it normally take the police to respond), then shut it off and drove the truck away.
    Sadly to say, this is how they are bringing up their four children. And they go around telling the neighbors what good Christians they are. I say practice what you preach!

  5. #5
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    Makes you want to call the elec co (posing as them) and tell them you are going out of town for awhile and need the power shut off..... . Maybe barrow a realtors sign and put it in their front yard....wishful thinking?? Too bad you cant finagle a mirror of some kind to reflect it back @ them...I know you cat do those things but geez...one can think about it...hope this ends soon for you and your family....keep us posted!!

  6. #6

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    Just to update this on-going saga . . . . .
    The matter is now in the hands of attorneys. The local water board's attorney - because the light poles in question are on their easement.
    The County's attorney (where the zoning violations occurred) - because not one violation was ever taken care of, and there was 5 or 6 violations.
    And our attorney - to take care of any loose ends.
    We’ve been warned that this would take some time (maybe even a year), but we’re going to stick it out – we’re NOT moving!
    We’ve even gotten two letters from a real estate agent who goes to their church to buy our home – these letters too have been turned over to our attorney.
    We’ll keep this forum posted as to the out come when it happens.

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