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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    2

    Default What to Do About Nuisance Neighbors

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: Texas


    Hi. I hope I'm posting in the correct forum/topic. I have a bit of a different issue here and I've had a lot of trouble finding help with this.

    Short version: I need to know what legal options I have to demand that nuisance neighbors be quiet. Can I hire someone to write some sort of cease and desist letter? What type of lawyer do I contact? Is there a better way to handle this? See videos below for examples.

    Long version:I need to help my mother get an issue resolved with what can only be described as neighbors from hell. She's almost 70 and it's becoming a legitimate health concern at this point. Police have been called for noise complaints probably close to 2 dozen times in the 8+ years. There could have easily been hundreds of calls but she tries to limit it as to not to be a bother to police. They finally got their first noise citation a few months ago, which is fantastic, but it hasn't helped. Loud music, loud parties, and children screaming like you can't imagine.

    We have hundreds of video/audio clips stockpiled over the years and very detailed written logs of everything. This isn't a once per month thing, it's every week, sometimes every single day for hours at a time to varying degrees.

    The holidays are coming up, which have always been the worst. I can't remember the last time my family had a holiday without them being disruptive and it always ends up with her having an emotional breakdown due to the hopelessness of it all, and how long it's been wearing at her. I covertly recorded a video of her having a breakdown, unable to breathe and physically shaking.. in case this ever ends up in court. I won't share that here but it's hard to watch.

    She is already starting to have issues anticipating another ruined holiday and it's not even November yet. Police have been called nearly every thanksgiving and/or christmas for at least the last 5 years. I'm looking for advice on what I can do in the immediate term to demand this stops. We'd love to sue the daylights out of them and we've contacted some lawyers but nobody seems to want to touch nuisance issues.. nobody will even bother to listen to recordings.. once they hear the reason I contacted them, "sorry I can't help with that". It's been incredibly frustrating.

    For now I just need to do something to ensure they get a clear message that this will not be tolerated any longer. There's no landlord or HOA to complain to. This is where I need advice.

    Is there something like a cease and desist I can hire someone to write up? If so, what type of attorney would I look for in this type of situation? I want them to realize that legal contact has been made and that we're serious about this. Do you have any other advice in the near or far term about what can be done about this?


    Thank you for reading

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,667

    Default Re: What to Do About Nuisance Neighbors

    If I understand that these are not your neighbors, but neighbors of your mother, YOU can't do anything. No writing letters. Nothing.

    I take it she has already made a polite entreaty for them to keep the noise level down.
    Has she contacted the police?

    If the noise exceeds 85 decibels in her home, then she may have a private course of action. 85 decibels is about the same as standing right next to a kitchen blender or full sized truck. This would be a subspecialty of real estate law. Call around, get references.

    If the noise isn't that loud, she may be out of luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,336

    Default Re: What to Do About Nuisance Neighbors

    You certainly can write all the letters you like.

    You can hire a lawyer to represent your mother, but it will be your mother's lawyer, not yours.

    Moving will likely be easier and less expensive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: What to Do About Nuisance Neighbors

    She has called many times, I'm just helping her look for advice. We're all trying to help her. If we get a lawyer, it would be her lawyer.. everyone understands that. But she needs help figuring this out, my dad died so she's on her own. I've called a few times on her behalf when she was crying or too distraught/emotionally beat down to do it herself (a decade of dealing with this has taken its toll). Police have had no issues with that and they've been very patient and understanding.

    The noise ordinance in her city is very specific about decibels, and actually favors her in a lot of ways.

    Residential Daytime: 65 dB or 10 dB above the background noise level, whichever is lower
    Residential Nighttime: 55 dB or 5 dB above the background noise level, whichever is lower
    10dB above background noise is the real ticket here. It makes no mention of that being indoors, it just states property in general. But yes it can clearly be heard indoors.

    Noise nuisance shall mean any specific noise that is likely to cause unreasonable discomfort or distress to a reasonable person or to unreasonably interfere with the use or enjoyment of property.
    You are welcome to glance over the ordinance https://library.municode.com/TX/Plan...H14OFIS_ARTVNO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,667

    Default Re: What to Do About Nuisance Neighbors

    The 85 db I mentioned is state law. But yes the muni ordinance helps you. If there are other neighbrors similarly affected, you can band together to split the costs of the attorney.

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