Disputes between neighbors can disturb the peace of the entire community. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you feel uncomfortable around your neighbor or their behavior is inappropriate or threatening, you can take legal action.
The primary legal action you can take is to file a police report against your neighbor for harassment. An official police report record can aid you in legal action against your neighbor.
It is crucial to have an understanding of what qualifies as harassment. For instance, if your neighbor accidentally damages your property, such as hitting your fence while driving, it does not qualify as an act of harassment. Harassment is intentional and continual verbal or physical abuse. Here are some general guidelines on what qualifies as harassment by a neighbor:
Before a trial, you can request the court for a restraining order by providing reasonable evidence that your neighbor is harassing you. The restraining order can allow the police to take action against your neighbor if your safety is at risk.
If your request for a restraining order is approved, you should keep a copy of it with you at all times until the court gives a final verdict on your neighbor's harassment case. If your neighbor violates the restraining order, they can be in contempt of court and face serious consequences.
You can take the issue to a local court to sue your neighbor for harassment. You can represent yourself in a local court, which is also known as a small claims court. However, it may take some time to prove that your neighbor is guilty of harassment.
You should provide strong evidence of harassment to win the case against your neighbor. If you do not have enough knowledge regarding legal matters, you can get the help of a professional attorney.
If your neighbor is being offensive or you are a victim of any form of neighbor harassment, ensure that you do not engage or respond the same way to their inappropriate behavior. You should keep your distance and document any proof of harassment.
Use your cell phone to record whatever they do around you. Ensure that you have an entry of the time and date of the harassment. You can write it down in a notebook. You can share the evidence with your attorney if you decide to get professional legal representation for the case.
As mentioned earlier, filing a police report against your neighbor helps you build a strong case and can be used as evidence in court.
Here is what you can expect from a harassment lawsuit:
The type of lawyer you need to contact depends upon the nature of the harassment that took place. For instance, if your neighbor harassed you due to a shared property dispute, you can hire a real estate attorney.
If it is a small dispute that involves a continuous annoying or irrational behavior of your neighbor, it can be a civil case. If your neighbor commits a crime, such as stalking or any other threats to your privacy or safety, you can hire a criminal law attorney to represent you in the criminal case.
If the harassment case involves a dispute with your renters or landlords, it is best to hire a landlord-tenant law attorney. An experienced professional can help you collect evidence and inform you regarding all legal proceedings of the case.