What should I do if the county cut trees down on my property outside of the “right of way”?

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What should I do if the county cut trees down on my property outside of the “right of way”?

I woke up this morning to see a tractor sitting in my front yard cutting down trees on my property. I approached and asked what was going on and they told me that they were told to cut them down by there supervisor. So I called the Supervisor and asked for an explanation and he told me that they had 25 feet to each side from the center of the road “right of way”. My brother and I went and measured it and it is 78 feet from the center of the road. What should I do?

Asked on October 21, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you believe that the county cut down trees that it did not have a right to cut down, on your property, you could try suing the county, such as for the cost of replacing those trees. If you want to consider doing this, contact a local attorney right NOW--there are usually the following  limitations on suing government:

1) There are  often very short time frames to bring a lawsuit;

2) You usually need to provide the government with "notice" of the suit in the proper way, such as by filing the correct forms or  paperwork--again, usually within a very short time.

So if you want  to consider this option, do not delay. If you have homeowner's insurance, you might also check you policy to see if this loss would be covered; if it is, you may be able to collect from your own insurer, who'd then have to sue to seek reimbursement if they want.


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