A dog may not be a man's best friend. Indeed, one that constantly barks may be disruptive and may cause your property to drop in value. So, what can you do when your neighbor's dog barks constantly? Well, you may sue your neighbor for nuisance.
Amount to Sue For
A barking dog will most likely be considered a small claims matter. For small claims court, you are limited by the amount you may recover. Even so, determining the amount you are wronged by is always a challenge and difficult to calculate. First, you should factor in all the actual financial losses you have incurred. For example, the cost of replacing bushes the dog broke, and maybe even the cost of putting in sound-proof windows. Second, you may put a price tag on the amount of quiet enjoyment of your property that you have lost due to the barking dog.
If you believe the barking dog has caused you more than the allowable amount in small claims court, you may always escalate your case to the regular court system.
Nuisance laws vary between states. Typically, nuisance is proven where your neighbor unreasonably interferes with the use and enjoyment of your property. For example, loud parties and unkempt front yards are considered nuisances. Also, you may check your local zoning ordinances on what they consider to be a nuisance.
Your Day In Court
Some small claims courts do not allow attorney representation, in which you must advocate for yourself. Hence, you should carefully document your case and prepare your argument to the court.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Possibly. A real estate lawyer can help you prepare all of your small claims court filing, and prepare you for any questions that the judge may ask you. Furthermore, a lawyer can help you assess your case and see whether you have any flaws in your arguments.
Authored by Mabel Yee, LegalMatch Legal Writer