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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    11

    Unhappy Neighbor Cut Large Branch

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Ohio

    Same neighbor as my prior thread.

    Neighbor and we (wife and I) each own lake front lots with a common property line about 180 feet long between roadway and the water's edge. At the back corner of our lot we have a large sugar maple that is about 5 feet from where we all believe the property line is and about 8 feet from the water's edge. There are some indications of a historic property line, a broken line of hedges, but there are no pins or survey makers present. Neighbor had a survey done this spring but intentionally didn't mark the common line.

    A large branch on that tree, maybe 35 feet long and 14 inches in diameter, that headed off toward the neighbor's property AND also toward the water was cut the other day. Neighbor cut this branch without marking the property line or talking to us. Based on where we believe the property line to be IF this branch crossed the corner of the neighbor's lot it would have only been part way over the property line before it crossed over the lake (a lake wholly owned by a park district). Picture a branch crossing over the back corner of his lot at about a 60 degree angle and at worst encroaching the neighbor's lot the volume of a five gallon bucket. I did talk to the park authorities and they did not grant permission to the neighbor to trim the branch on their behalf (95% of the part of the branch taken was overhanging the lake).

    He claims it was dead and/or rotted and he was doing me a favor. The butt end of his cut says otherwise, it was a healthy branch. Photos less than a month ago show it was healthy from one end to the other. He took the wood away so we cannot evaluate its condition now. Overall the tree is old, 65 to 80 years old, but it is healthy with many years left.

    It appears to us that he simply want the branch gone to improve his view of the lake.

    Wife and I are debating our next move. Police? Sue? Survey? Move on?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,336

    Default Re: Neighbor Cut Large Branch

    This is your former thread. https://www.expertlaw.com/forums/sho...t=#post1127393

    Police won't care.

    If you want to sue you will have to come up with a dollar amount of damages, get a survey to prove the property line and prove that the tree wasn't infringing on his property.

    So of the options you mentioned, I'd go with move on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,497

    Default Re: Neighbor Cut Large Branch

    Quote Quoting buzzards27
    View Post
    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Ohio

    Same neighbor as my prior thread.

    Neighbor and we (wife and I) each own lake front lots with a common property line about 180 feet long between roadway and the water's edge. At the back corner of our lot we have a large sugar maple that is about 5 feet from where we all believe the property line is and about 8 feet from the water's edge. There are some indications of a historic property line, a broken line of hedges, but there are no pins or survey makers present. Neighbor had a survey done this spring but intentionally didn't mark the common line.

    A large branch on that tree, maybe 35 feet long and 14 inches in diameter, that headed off toward the neighbor's property AND also toward the water was cut the other day. Neighbor cut this branch without marking the property line or talking to us. Based on where we believe the property line to be IF this branch crossed the corner of the neighbor's lot it would have only been part way over the property line before it crossed over the lake (a lake wholly owned by a park district). Picture a branch crossing over the back corner of his lot at about a 60 degree angle and at worst encroaching the neighbor's lot the volume of a five gallon bucket. I did talk to the park authorities and they did not grant permission to the neighbor to trim the branch on their behalf (95% of the part of the branch taken was overhanging the lake).

    He claims it was dead and/or rotted and he was doing me a favor. The butt end of his cut says otherwise, it was a healthy branch. Photos less than a month ago show it was healthy from one end to the other. He took the wood away so we cannot evaluate its condition now. Overall the tree is old, 65 to 80 years old, but it is healthy with many years left.

    It appears to us that he simply want the branch gone to improve his view of the lake.

    Wife and I are debating our next move. Police? Sue? Survey? Move on?
    The police have no interest in civil matters. This is a civil matter.

    You problem in proceeding is that technically, the common law says that if a tree on one property is overhanging another, the property over which it overhangs is allowed to cut the branch (at the property line) so long as it doesn't damage the tree and lead to the death of the tree. So even though the branch only crossed the neighbor's property for the size of a five gallon bucket, , it did cross their property line according to them.

    If you can't just let it go, your first action is to have a survey done to determine if that five gallon bucket, of the branch was indeed over the land of the neighbor. And if it was, then you could still file a lawsuit based on the impact on the neighbor's land and yours and see what the courts have to say assuming you have deep pockets to try to establish some new standards.

    If the branch did not cross entirely onto the neighbor's property then you have s suit for trespass. And if the branch was both on your property and the neighbor's property at the point it was cut, then you were joint tenants and the neighbor would need your permission to cut the branch. Without your permission, they could be held to a crime.

    901.51 Injuring vines, bushes, trees, or crops on land of another.

    No person, without privilege to do so, shall recklessly cut down, destroy, girdle, or otherwise injure a vine, bush, shrub, sapling, tree, or crop standing or growing on the land of another or upon public land.

    In addition to the penalty provided in section 901.99 of the Revised Code, whoever violates this section is liable in treble damages for the injury caused.


    Effective Date: 01-01-1974
    http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/901.51

    If you have the resources to proceed or the will of principle to make it right, then you have to choose the next step. Or you walk away.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Neighbor Cut Large Branch

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    The police have no interest in civil matters. This is a civil matter.

    You problem in proceeding is that technically, the common law says that if a tree on one property is overhanging another, the property over which it overhangs is allowed to cut the branch (at the property line) so long as it doesn't damage the tree and lead to the death of the tree. So even though the branch only crossed the neighbor's property for the size of a five gallon bucket, , it did cross their property line according to them.

    If you can't just let it go, your first action is to have a survey done to determine if that five gallon bucket, of the branch was indeed over the land of the neighbor. And if it was, then you could still file a lawsuit based on the impact on the neighbor's land and yours and see what the courts have to say assuming you have deep pockets to try to establish some new standards.

    If the branch did not cross entirely onto the neighbor's property then you have s suit for trespass. And if the branch was both on your property and the neighbor's property at the point it was cut, then you were joint tenants and the neighbor would need your permission to cut the branch. Without your permission, they could be held to a crime.



    http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/901.51

    If you have the resources to proceed or the will of principle to make it right, then you have to choose the next step. Or you walk away.
    Dock master is talking with a surveyor and offered to split the costs. He's his buddy and might do it on the cheap. We may only mark two distant corners for now and measure to see how we stand on this common line. The only thing we've said to him, so far is that he better pray that tree doesn't die from what he did.

    Thanks again, talking this out was helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,272

    Default Re: Neighbor Cut Large Branch

    Never pick a fight with a pig.
    The pig likes it.
    You get dirty.


    If you pay for a survey make sure the pins are solid steel and set deep in concrete or the gasbag whiner will dispose of them and you'll be back where you started.

    I agree with the other remarks about moving on and walking away.

    The last thing you want to do is escalate a pissing contest with this character because it's exactly what he wants.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Neighbor Cut Large Branch

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    Never pick a fight with a pig.
    The pig likes it.
    You get dirty.


    If you pay for a survey make sure the pins are solid steel and set deep in concrete or the gasbag whiner will dispose of them and you'll be back where you started.

    I agree with the other remarks about moving on and walking away.

    The last thing you want to do is escalate a pissing contest with this character because it's exactly what he wants.
    I spent 18 years doing civil and structural engineering work, and an equal time as a carpenter, so I know what a capped pin is and the legal consequences for disturbing one. Hope he does.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    625

    Default Re: Neighbor Cut Large Branch

    Quote Quoting buzzards27
    View Post
    I spent 18 years doing civil and structural engineering work, and an equal time as a carpenter, so I know what a capped pin is and the legal consequences for disturbing one. Hope he does.
    Yes, but if something happens to the pins you have to be able to Prove it was him. Of course if they do then it probably is him but probably is not enough to get him in trouble for the pins disappearing.

    I'd suggest getting some trail cams watching over the pins, just in case!

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