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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I live on 9.5 acres in TN. My neighbor behind me has a legal

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I live on 9.5 acres in TN. My neighbor behind me has a legal deeded easement to his property. A recorded plat of my property shows a fence line to be the boundary of our two properties. The fence, and I use the term loosely is a couple of patched strans of barbed wire and crooked "T" posts. Neighbor has dual residency in another state so he's not here most of the time. He has never to my knowledge trimmed grass, weeds, or briars out of the fence row and that adds to the ugliness and deters I beleive my property value. Mowing my grass along the fence is difficult because of all the loose barbed wire and wild rose bushes grown up in the fence row. Recently another neighbor's horses got out and ran thru the fence, causing barbed wire to be strewn across my lawn. This has happened before, and I had to repair my lawn mower as a result of accidentally mowing over wire.

I was so frustrated, I took the fence down. I have an estimate to replace the fence with a nice 6 foot livestock fence. The estimate is $2900 and I have not asked the neighbor to contribute at all. He's back in town, and insists that I trespassed in taking the fence down. I explained I have a survey (recorded) that clearly shows the fence on the line, and as he was not making an attempt to keep the fence in good order, and I hand no way of contacting him, I took it down. I also told him I had plans to replace the fence with a nice quality fence within two weeks. He said he would be talking to his lawer. I guess my question is, should I be concerned? I have two small children that play in my yard, and i would be devistated if they were to get hurt on the loose wire.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for submitting your important legal issue to Just Answer. I am pleased to have the opportunity to provide you with an honest and easy to understand answer to your question.

I am an attorney licensed in the State of Texas. The following information is a brief answer to your question. However, if you feel that you need further information or that you have other insights which might help me in providing a better answer, please feel free to write back.

In short, you should always be concerned when someone threatens you with legal action. In response to your question, I reviewed several Tennessee cases regarding boundary line disputes and fences. I have not located a case which specifically answers your question. However, I do not doubt that there likely is a case which controls this issue. Based on general knowledge, fences which are on boundary lines are generally treated as property which is jointly owned by the landowners on each side of the boundary, unless the fence is actually within the boundary or one of the landowners can prove that they were the party which built the fence. In your situation, the old fence was actually becoming a nuisance to your right to quiet enjoyment of your property, and was also a danger to your children because of its hidden defects. As this is the case, you had a good right to take the fence down, and have a probably legal defense if you attempted to contact the landowner but he was unavailable.

I would inform the landowner that you intend on building a new fence at your sole cost, and that if he pursues legal action, you will countersue against him for nuisance and seek the costs of the new fence as your damages. Tell him he will spend a lot of money on attorney fees on a case where the court would only tell him that he has no damages, as you have built a new fence.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.

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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Zachary D. Norris or The Norris Law Firm. For complete legal advice and representation, you should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your state.

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