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4ren6, Forensics/CSI
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I live in a suburban subdivision Lauderdale County, ...

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I live in a suburban subdivision Lauderdale County, Alabama. Recently my neighbor has changed the contour of his land and constructed a building which have diverted water from rainfall to my driveway to the point where it threatens to flood my garage. Are there laws stating this cannot be done? What are they?

When you say subdivision. Is this a home sub division with a Home Owners Association.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to 4ren6's Post: Yes it is. Though the covenants do not address water per se, they do state the land elevation cannot be changed. Can these be treated as law in this subdivision and are there county, state or federal laws that address the diversion of water from one's property to a neighbor's?
One other question. Then I can address the other questions. Does the HOA have any provisions or by-laws that require approval of such alteration prior to it being done.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to 4ren6's Post: HOA requires approval of new structures. A garage was built with prior approval. However, now the land is being altered/elevated to redirect the flow away from both the new structure and his home to mine. This change is addressed in the covenants. Is it also addressed in county, state or federal law if it redirects the water previously on his land onto mine?
So the HOA gave approval for the garage.........not any land elevation change. Is this correct.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to 4ren6's Post: Correct

Thank you very much for being patient. Ok, you do have a long hard road ahead of you. What has been done is a Tort. It is a civil wrong compared to a criminal wrong. In short (and it would take me forever to find it again) the laws state that "one that alters or changes the property to adversely effect the others adjoining land is liable for damages" This is a tort. They have committed a Civil Tort. But the issue is going to be that the HOA gave approval. So both parties may be held accountable. The tort would be one of Negligence and/or Nuisance. Your going to most likely need an Environmental Attorney to handle this for you if the below suggestions do not work out.

Tort Law Explanation

Contact the HOA and file an immediate complaint with their approving such and clearly state that you hold both parites liable. Contact your local building inspection and code enforcement to inspect and verify the issues to back up your claims.

Contact the Alabama Department of Enviormental Management to assist you where possible. contact either the land or water divisions.

But most likely your headed to court with this to stop them unless your local county does have specific building codes (and most do) that will not allow for such as this to occur. Contact them to inspect and document.

I have sued an adjoining landowner over the very same situation and from experience I will tell you this is not going to be easy to do without an attorney. A letter addressed to the HOA and the homeowner will most often help. The homeowner is liable and can be made to pay for damages. The more documentation you have to the damage the better your case.

Again, this is a Tort and is civil in nature and they are liable. Both the HOA and the Homeowner.

I suggest that you contact the above people and go from there. Filing suit would be your last course of action due to cost. But legal assistance by way of representation is essential. Please reply with any further concerns or needs. I will be glad to further assist if possible.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to 4ren6's Post: Where do the laws state "one that alters or changes the property to adversely affect the others adjoining land is liable for damages"?
Your going to have to give me time to research it. But I do assure you this is the law. Please give me time to locate. May take overnight. I do request that you be patient. I quoted this law from florida law but it applies to alabama as well.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to 4ren6's Post: Thank you so much.
checking now. I have it bookmarked for florida and my case but I need to find it for Alabama........I will reply just as soon as I can. You will recieve an email notice once I reply back. Thanks again for being patient.

Thank you for being patient. I am not able to find the specific wording for Alabama but I assure you it is there. My book marks from 3 years ago are now most all dead links at this time. But i sued an adjoining landowner for the same reason.

The best I can find to show what I was referring to above is the link below. It is the best I can find for you and I have gone through what I can for Alabama...........that is one reason I mentioned up at the top that it would be a long hard road. As it is tough to find the specific laws for private property owners. They are there in force for State and federal lands. But as mentioned again above........this still falls as a tort.........a claim of wrong doing. The link will address what I am attempting to do.

I again, suggest to make contact with the above...........and to make contact with an attorney that can send a letter out addressing this issue. I am sorry that I am not able to find anything specific to what I have stated but it is applicable to alabama and private landowners. And you can sue. Do not accept this if your not satisfied. But I have gone as far on this one as I can go for research.

Please note the link below at the bottom has a total of 5 pages on this.

The reasonableness rule. In a majority of states, when one neighbor alters the land and damage occurs to another, the neighbor is liable for the damage if the alteration was "unreasonable." If you sue a neighbor over damage you've suffered, judges will want proof that the neighbor did something unreasonable that altered the natural condition and caused your harm.

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