What can I do about neighbor’s who continually harass my and come onto my property?

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What can I do about neighbor’s who continually harass my and come onto my property?

My neighbor wouldn’t stay off my property. This includes their kids playing with my UPS and FedEx deliveries. I put up a 6 foot fence, signs and cameras but they send their real young kids up my driveway, or park to block off half my driveway, or move their basketball hoop close to my yard so they have to retreive their ball by jumping my front fence. Now they are dropping their juice bottles in the street in front of my house and having their friends and family help them. The court wouldn’t give me a restraining order, so I am out $90. The police say that they have every right to retrieve their ball. The other day they were up and down my driveway 5 times. The parents try to pick fights. What do I do?

Asked on July 6, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First, *every* time they do this, call the police and report them for trespassing--and if the lower-level officers won't help you, escalate to their superiors, then to the chief, then to the town/city council or mayor, if necessary. When the block your driveway, call them in for a parking violation. If you see their kids picking up your deliveries, film them and report them for attempted theft. If they handle your mail, call the post office and report them for interfering with the mail.

However, at the end of the day, if you have town authorities and/or municipal judges who simply will not help you, there is little you can do. If they ever do damage or steal anything, you could sue them for the loss, costs, etc.--but it's hard to have a viable lawsuit just for a nuisance. You could try bringing a nuisance lawsuit against them, but that's an uphill battle--nuisance suits are typically reserved for inappropriate uses (like a manufacturing plant located in a residential neighborhood, or a restaurant playing loud music audible by neighbors inappropriately late at night).

Youcan  fully fence your yard and drive, with a locking gate, to keep them out; you could buy a large dog and keep him/her in the yard, but that will stop determined harassment. Ultimately, there is a limit to what the law can accomplish, especially with uncooperative local authorities--you may need to consider moving, because in my experience, situations like this only get worse, not better.


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