If my neighbor took my dog into their yard and it got into a fight with theirs, who is at fault?

UPDATED: Dec 7, 2011

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If my neighbor took my dog into their yard and it got into a fight with theirs, who is at fault?

My dog gout out of the yard while I was at work. My neighbor stated that their nephew noticed and decided to take him into their yard. their dog got into a fight with mine. we took both dogs to the vet at my expense. My neighbor is now taking me to court for not paying an agreed $50 a week payment on time. I have already payed $100 for both are dogs to be seen at the vet plus $100 “2 payments” this last payment I did not have due to changes made at work. I am a security guard and they move me to different client sites from time to time. Not all sites pay the same wages.

Asked on December 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you agreed, either in writing or orally (also called verbally) to pay a certain amount of money and you do not pay it, you could be sued by your neighbor to enforce that agreement. It does not matter who was at fault in that case, since the agreement you made to pay the money becomes the issue, not who would have been liable or responsible in the absence of any agreement. It also does not matter whether your wages vary or you have trouble paying the agreement--once the agreement is made, you may be held to it.

If there was no agreement, then from what you write, it is likely that both you and your neighbor were at fault--you for not properly securing the dog; the neighbor for taking it into his yard--and therefore the mutual liability should have more or less cancelled out; however, you never know exactly how a case would have been decided unless and until it goes to trial.

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