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I am sorry for your situation. Indeed, this is a textbook case of "neighbor tree issue." Every state has a slightly different take on it. NJ is the following.Burke v. Briggs, 571 A. 2d 296 - NJ: Appellate Div. 1990
comes to mind - "This case deals with the standard to be applied to determine liability of a landowner for a tree which falls from his property onto his neighbor's property for no apparent reason."
The Court discusses the matter from all angles and then settles for a rather generic decision:
"In these circumstances the focus should be solely on one's duty of reasonable care which may shift, depending on the changing factors previously noted."
What does this mean? Well, it means that the neighbor is responsible for their tree's crossing into your territory, if they knew or should have know that this would happen and did not undertake reasonable care to avoid it:
"the defendant landowner had planted a tree near the property line and could be charged with knowledge that the roots inevitably would grow onto his neighbor's property. The roots then surreptitiously caused damage over a period of years..."
The same analysis applies to branch as well.
Ergo:From what I have read, should the branch fall and cause damage to anything in our property and we have informed them verbally and will also do so by certified mail, it then becomes their legal responsibility. Correct?
Yes.Can you please answer my question and tell me if there is a statue or something that I can send to them with the certified letter I will be sending?
The case above should do it. Also, please let me know if you need a sample of this letter by pressing REPLY. I would be glad to provide it!
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