Have you ever heard of the “Law of Nuisance”? This concept, which was first adopted from England many, many years ago, is still in play today and likely pertains to many neighborhoods throughout America. When one member of that community acts in a way that disrupts the peace and enjoyment of others, this is the law that gives the “bothered party” the right to file a lawsuit in an effort to say to the “nuisance” that the undesirable actions must stop.
There are two varieties of cases that fall within this category – public and private. The latter is a case in which there has been no trespassing or tampering with the plaintiff’s property, but the actions of the defendant are found to be excessively bothersome. A public case is one in which the defendant’s actions cause the potential for harm or discomfort for the surrounding community. An example scenario would be a person who likes to make homemade horseradish in large quantities as a side business. Of course, the harsh odor would not stay confined to that person’s property and could be very unpleasant to all those within a certain radius of the home.
In order to determine whether or not the case has merit, the court will generally investigate the area in which the disturbance is taking place. What sort of zoning codes are in effect there that would either promote or prohibit the actions of the defendant? The court might also consider how the actions would impact the property values of the surrounding premises. However, it should be understood that winning a nuisance case is not as easy as claiming that the defendant has ruined the “look” of the neighborhood or that an occasional action is annoying. If you chose to move onto a property known to be located in close proximity to a noisy, bright, or busy business, then you will be hard-pressed to win the case against that property’s owners.
If you feel that problems that have occurred between you and your neighbor have crossed the line, making it impossible for you to enjoy your property, then you should speak to an attorney about your rights. A solution may be possible with the help of the judicial system.