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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
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Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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my neigthbor calls the police all the time. even called the

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my neigthbor calls the police all the time. even called the city because my bush is touching the light pole. what can i do? can i file a civil or harrassment siut?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Happy to help you...please give me a few minutes as I pull up the statutes (the legal code) on this. I anticipate it will take approx 10 mins
You ask about a civil lawsuit. There is not a specific common law "tort" (civil wrong) of harassment, but there are several tort claims recognized under KY law that can apply to harassing behavior.


On is the tort of "intentional infliction of emotional distress". It is a tort claim for intentional conduct that results in extreme emotional distress. This tort requires a showing that the defendant’s conduct was “so outrageous in character and extreme in degree as to go beyond the bounds of decency and be deemed utterly intolerable in a civilized society.”

So if the neighbors conduct has caused you "emotional distress" this claim may work.

Now...in order to bring this claim you have to show not only the outrageous conduct, but you also must show "damages"...that you have suffered mentally or emotionally. This would require a doctor to testify in the case and talk about how this conduct has harmed you. So if the conduct has not caused this level of harm, it would not be something you could sue over. But to the extent that her conduct has caused you emotional damages? You can sue to recover.




The next tort that could apply is called "nuisance"

Under the common law, persons in possession of real property (land owners, lease holders etc) are entitled to the quiet enjoyment of their lands.

If a neighbor interferes with that quiet enjoyment, either by creating smells, sounds, pollution or any other hazard that extends past the boundaries of the property, the affected party may make a claim in nuisance. This can extend to harassing behavior

Here, your claim would be against the person who is creating this nuisance...the continually harassing behavior

The key will be proof.

Proof of BOTH the underlying claim (that the actions of the father have interfered with your quiet enjoyment of your property) and the damages.


Proof can be made in many ways. You can testify to what has happened. Video/audio can be very helpful...if you can capture some audio from the next time she does this, yelling/screaming etc that can help show the court what is going on exactly.



Finally, you can look to the criminal law. KY makes Harassment illegal. You can see the definition below

525.070 Harassment.
(1) A person is guilty of harassment when, with intent to intimidate, harass, annoy, or
alarm another person, he or she:
(a) Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise subjects him to physical contact;
(b) Attempts or threatens to strike, shove, kick, or otherwise subject the person to
physical contact;
(c) In a public place, makes an offensively coarse utterance, gesture, or display, or
addresses abusive language to any person present;
(d) Follows a person in or about a public place or places;
(e) Engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which alarm or
seriously annoy such other person and which serve no legitimate purpose; or
(f) Being enrolled as a student in a local school district, and while on school
premises, on school-sponsored transportation, or at a school-sponsored event:
1. Damages or commits a theft of the property of another student;
2. Substantially disrupts the operation of the school; or
3. Creates a hostile environment by means of any gestures, written
communications, oral statements, or physical acts that a reasonable
person under the circumstances should know would cause another
student to suffer fear of physical harm, intimidation, humiliation, or
embarrassment.
(2) (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, harassment is a
violation.
(b) Harassment, as defined in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section, is a
Class B misdemeanor


So if her conduct violates the law? You can ask the police to prosecute...and if they will not, you could use this in a civil claim of "harassment"

See specifically

(e) Engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which alarm or
seriously annoy such other person and which serve no legitimate purpose; or

What you describe, that seems clearly a violation of the law...so you can ask the police to prosecute, or you can file a civil complaint based on this conduct.

Let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can





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