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Taking Your Neighbor to Court

     Most next door neighbors end up in court for one reason and one reason only – poor communication with one another. They don’t take the time to get to know each other or try to stop small problems before they start to get larger and larger. Pretty soon, that issue gets to the point of no return, and what was a simple disagreement in the beginning is now an all-out war. Sometimes they turn into heated arguments and/or physical fights. At the end of the day, many of the parties simply end up bringing their disagreements to court.

    For example, let’s say that you have a neighbor that always plays the music loudly at night when you are trying to get some rest for work the next day. If you are the type that hates to get abruptly woken up from a good, deep sleep with boisterous music, then the first thing that you’ll probably think of is to turn over, turn on your bed lamp, pick up the phone, and call the police. The thing is, if you do that, the first thing your neighbor will be thinking is “If he had a problem with me then why didn’t he just say it instead of calling the cops?” Now he thinks that you don’t like him personally, so a few nights later you hear the same blaring guitars and raucous singing voices again at 2:00 in the morning, and this time it’s because he KNOWS that you hear him partying.

    At this boiling point, the ability to approach this type of neighbor in a peaceful manner without loud talking or offensive language has disappeared. If you’d talked to them in the beginning it would’ve been easier. But now, whether you realize it or not as you’re madly walking next door in your pajamas, you are putting yourself in danger of being prosecuted. Last December there was this case between two feuding neighbors in Flint, Michigan. The cops got called to that area by a resident who reported that their next door neighbor had thrown a rock through the front window of their home. Whatever had made that guy mad enough at his neighbors to do something like that had now gotten him a malicious destruction of property charge on his record. It had also gotten him punched straight in the mouth by one of the residents of the apartment with the broken window. That guy also got an assault charge for his Floyd Mayweather impression.

    Sometimes a neighbor may not actually physically do anything to you, but are just a visual nuisance. That’s what happened to a family in Charlestown, Rhode Island. William and Cheryl Dowdell had a remarkable view of Green Hill Pond to Block Island until their neighbor, Peter Bloomquist, constantly started hanging bright flashy lingerie on his clothesline and had very visible blow-up dolls in his back yard. Not only was his pornographic paraphernalia offensive to the couple (there was also a well-endowed fake pig on the guys roof), but the four big trees he’d planted obstructed their scenic view and also decreased the value of their property. He was eventually court-ordered to remove the trees and to tone the X-rated stuff down.

    The Dowdell’s handled their situation in the right manner – they got a lawyer, went to court, and won their case. If you have a problem with one of your neighbors that you believe requires legal action, you should do the same. Contact the Real Estate litigation lawyers Makarem and Associates directly at 310.312.0299 or via email at info@makaremlaw.com.