My Neighbors Are Throwing Dog Poop In My Yard

Newsweek – “Ask the Experts”

By Lucy Notarantonio On 8/13/23 at 6:00 AM EDT

Dear Newsweek,

I’m 73 years old and I live alone. I have owned the property for 34 years and 11 years ago, my neighbors from hell moved next door. They are in their 40s.

For for the first eight years, at least three or four times a week, I would have 10 to 30 or more kids in my front, side and backyards with the parents outside. They would be having parties and blocking my driveway at all hours of the day and night.

The dad used to walk through my backyard when he pleased so I rang his wife to complain. I have also called the police on a regular basis but that never did any good.

The police would talk to them but as soon as the officer would leave, they’d go right back into my yard. The kids would get bats and start hitting rocks and golf balls at my house. Then they would get mad because I called the police.

The most recent incident occurred a few months back, I was working in my yard and found a lot of dog poop. I had seen the man shoveling dog poop in his yard the night before. I called the police and they told the police that my property line is wrong and that is their property and they can do what they want.

I even took my property survey to the police to prove my property line is where I said. They rent the property so they should have spoken with the landlord about the property line instead of being so mean and evil.

So finally after 11 years they get a citation and I built a privacy fence on their side only because at this time I can’t afford to fence all of my property. But the fence is extended almost all the way to front of my house, about 15 feet away from the curb.

Next time they decide to be a Karen, harass me, bully me or cause me any more mental stress we will be in court. After 11 years of hell it was time to get the owner of the property involved and I only communicate with him. I feel that at my age and with my health, I don’t need this kind of treatment and I need to find a way to legally deal with these people.


Get a Lawyer and Gather Concrete Evidence

Featured Expert:
Andrew A. Zashin is the managing partner of Zashin & Rich where he leads the firm’s family law and international family law practice groups. He has represented parties in some of the rare family law cases heard by the Supreme Court.

Dear Reader,

I am sorry to learn of your situation. Sadly, what you are experiencing is more common than you might imagine. Unfortunately, the steps you have taken to appease your “neighbors from hell” have proven fruitless. I will suggest some additional actions.

First, document everything that happens in real time. If you see your neighbors shoveling dog feces into your yard, take a video of it. Take pictures. Telling anyone about what happened later is one thing. Proving what they did, capturing the offending parties in the act, with verifiable details of where and when—documenting the time and place with background or audio by calling out to them on video—is an entirely different matter altogether. Then, armed with this evidence, go to the police supervisor. It will be much harder to ignore a complaining citizen with concrete documentation.

Second, get a lawyer. Dealing with a matter like this should not be expensive. The cost, however, seems insignificant compared to the misery these neighbors are causing you. A simple letter from a lawyer manifesting your seriousness to neighbors, the police, and the landlord, may resolve the matter. Such a letter, putting the responsibility on the landlord to control his tenants, will take the burden off your shoulders and put that burden on the landlord, where it belongs. The landlord is the person, after all, who allowed these tenants to rent his or her property and behave like this in the first place.

Finally, your lawyer, armed with the video and photographic evidence you have already collected, is in a better position to file a lawsuit if necessary. It is realistic that your lawyer, either through negation or litigation, can recover your legal fees and expenses from the landlord. I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

This article originally appeared on Newsweek – “Ask the Experts.”

2023-11-10T13:38:03-05:00August 13th, 2023|Harassment, Neighbor Disputes|

I Sued My Neighbors, Now They Are Harassing Me—What Should I Do?

Newsweek – “Ask the Experts”

By Maria Azzurra Volpe On 5/21/23 at 6:00 AM EDT

Dear Newsweek,

I have neighbors who were new six-and-a-half years ago. From the very first day they were here, they began harassing me and trying to run me off of my property. I am 58 years old, disabled, and on a fixed income.

After three years of continuous harassment, including directing a high-intensity spotlight into my home for 584 days and nights, I was forced to file a lawsuit, pro se. After Covid and all the usual delays, we were to have a trial in October of 2022.

I was on my own against four grown bullies with good jobs and their attorney, so we settled before the trial and they paid me $2,000. They are not supposed to harass me anymore, but in the meantime, they installed two flag poles next to the property line and the flag clips make a harsh, annoying metal-on-metal banging noise.

It doesn’t affect the neighbors because they are only here on the weekends. I have to listen to it all day long and cannot go in my yard at all without hearing it. I can even hear it in my house. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

The most amazing thing about this is that the two couples, the harassers, who own the property have very good jobs. One woman works for a children’s hospital as a database manager and her husband is a civilian employee at a U.S. Army arsenal. The second couple consists of an advanced-practice registered nurse, and her husband is a business owner.

I would love to know what I am supposed to do about this. They have no intention of letting me live in peace.

Jackie, Arkansas

Document Any Incidents of Harassment

Featured Expert:
Andrew Zashin is an adjunct professor at the School of Law, Case Western Reserve University, and a managing partner at the Zashin & Rich law firm.

Dear Jackie,

I am sorry to hear about your situation. It is unfortunate that you have had to endure such persistent harassment from your neighbors, and I understand how frustrated you must be with the ongoing noise from their flag poles. There are, however, a few things that you can do to address the situation and hopefully find some relief.

First, review the terms of the settlement agreement that you reached with your neighbors in court. If the agreement specifically prohibits them from engaging in any further harassment or disruptive behavior, you may be able to take legal action if they continue to cause problems.

Consider consulting with an attorney to discuss your options and determine if there are any legal avenues available to you. While this may end up being costly, it may be worth it if it brings you peace of mind.

Second, you should try speaking with your neighbors directly, or through an intermediary, and politely express your concerns about the noise from the flag poles. They may not know how disruptive it is for you, and they may be willing to make changes to reduce the noise or relocate the flag poles, especially if they are at risk of violating the agreement that you reached in court. From duct tape to foam or rubber-covered flag clips, there appears to be many cost-effective, noise-reducing solutions for loud flag clips. They may be willing to purchase the same if it means not having to go back to court.

Next, you could consider mediation with your neighbors. A neutral third party can help facilitate a conversation to address the issue and find a solution that works for both parties.

If speaking with your neighbors directly or through a third party does not resolve the issue, you may need to consider taking more drastic action. This could include filing a complaint with your local government or homeowners association, or even seeking a restraining order in court if you continue to feel threatened or unsafe.
In any case, it is important to document any incidents of harassment or disruptive behavior from your neighbors and keep track of any communication or attempts at resolution.

Keep a record of the times and duration of the noise from the flag poles, as well as any other incidents that occur. You could also consider recording the noise with your phone, or another recording device, to use as evidence. This can help strengthen your case if legal action becomes necessary.

This article originally appeared on Newsweek – “Ask the Experts.”

2023-11-10T13:38:03-05:00May 21st, 2023|Harassment, Neighbor Disputes|
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