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Ask Irwin Law Your Own Question
Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6768
Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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I have a problem with my neighbor who built an storage

Customer Question

I have a problem with my neighbor who built an storage with no permit three yeas ago and they have been using it to load and unload materials from their work. They have employees to load and unload and they have commercial tracks coming to our residential area. My problem is this is not a full day activity and when I called department of building and safety, they came after three weeks during the time that my neighbor was not working so I had no luck with them. I tried a friendly talk with my neighbor two months ago, but no result. I started to take videos and pictures as a documents.
- What do I have to do?
-Am I allowed to take pictures from their house showing loading and unloading materials?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. I am sorry to hear about this. Can you please tell me: 1) Are they violating an HOA bylaw? Or zoning laws? What exactly?2) How is this bothering/injuring you, exactly? This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
We live in the cul-de-sac residential area.
We have no privacy at home/ workers facing our windows/ noise/ I have to close shutters not facing them sitting in dark/ trucks loading and unloading.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. So it is NOISE and PRIVACY that is the issue - correct? But they are NOT violating any HOA bylaws or zoning laws? Or are they? This is important.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Of Course they do. We are in the residential area. This kind of activity belongs to commercial area. I was hoping that you could help me find this violation.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
I have no ability to look up zoning laws or ordinance laws or HOA ordinances for the most part. I can tell you WHO TO COMPLAIN to about the ordinance/zoning violations, and how to complaint to the HOA. I can also tell you your personal options about filing a suit against them. Would this be acceptable?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I appreciate any advice, but please don't tell me to go to the department of building and safety. If you read my emails, I already tried many things like police department and building of safety.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
No. I wouldn't do that. However, my information would consist of: 1) Your rights to a lawsuit and the doctrine behind it, and2) How to enforce this via HOA (which of course would involve going to the HOA). If this is acceptable, let me know. If not, no worries - I will opt out and another expert may opt in. No hard feelings on my end at all.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Please go ahead and share your thoughts with me.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
PERSONAL SUITTo sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one. Herein, one may have a suit for nuisance. A nuisance is an interference with the interest in the private use and enjoyment of the land and does not require interference with the possession. (See 7 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Law (8th ed. 1974) Equity § 91, p. 5314., Wilson v. Interlake Steel Co., 649 P. 2d 922 - Cal: Supreme Court 1982). The NOISE would be the major factor here. Often the threat of a suit may get results even without needing to sue. A suit can request an injunction, as well as legal/attorney fees and damages. COMPLAINT TO THE CITYYes, you can file a complaint about the zoning/ordinance violation. If this is done, then the city can enforce the zoning/ordinance at its discretion. Sometimes the city can be lax about this. I am sorry. COMPLAINT TO THE HOAAnother way to possibly resolve this is to complaint to the HOA. If there is a functioning, strong HOA, it then should fine the neighbor and/or even foreclose on his continued violation(s) if he does not cease and desist the activity which is in violation with the CC&Rs and bylaws. I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Can I talk to another expert?
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
Sure. Is this because you are not happy with my answer, or, you simply want to see if another expert will agree with my assessment of the situation?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have frankly found your answers very general and would like to get some other advise as well.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 6 months ago.
Hello. I am another expert here and I will be happy to discuss your complaint with your neighbor; however what you are complaining about is very general, and will require a telephone conference in order to obtain all of the necessary details. I will submit an offer for "premium service" immediately following this message. If you click on the "accept" button, I will be provided with your telephone number and I will call you later this evening. I a m three hours later than you, so it might be tomorrow morning.

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