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Jane Doe Deer
Jane Doe Deer, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Atty. since 1986; Plain English answers to family law, employment, landlord-tenant, & other questions
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i am a property owner and seem to have no rights in my city ...

Customer Question

i am a property owner and seem to have no rights in my city (thunder bay) my neighbor has recently aquired a legal burning permit and now eery day she is filling our space with toxic wood smoke fumes. my son is asthmatic and i suffer from envirormental sensitivites. we can no longer enjoy our property or open our windows for fresh air. my local police, fire services and city by-law suggest we have no rights because her buring permit is legal. since when do you have the right to negatively impact a persons health and life enjoyment. I think our right to health and fresh air trumps her right to make smores everyday. please help feel like i''m out of options. Teri
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 9 years ago.

You'll need to file a lawsuit for nuisance.

I know that that is a short answer, but that is what you're have to do.

Best of luck to you,


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
i have just been informed by my local fire chief who was at my door that there are numerous fire pits in my neighborhood so its hard to figure out for sure where the problem is coming from. Do i still file a nuisance lawsuit? Against who? my entire neighborhood? this situation just feels hopeless at this point.
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 9 years ago.

Nothing is hopeless. Some things, however, are a great deal of work.

How long have you lived there?

You have at least two choices. (1) Hire an attorney if you can afford one. (2) Contact the media for help. (3) Try to put together a lawsuit on your own. (4) Move. (5) Live there. (6) Get your community to pass emergency rules temporarily banning the smoke while an expert studies the situation and makes recommendations.

I guess that was six choices. Maybe you can think of other ideas.

What you're going to choose will depend on your temperament and finances. Each choice (other than doing nothing) will require you to expend some type of resource - be it energy or money or both.

Write again if you have follow up questions. :)


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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Jane Doe Deer's Legal Answers's Post: thanks for your answer. i have lived here since 2004 and have never had this problem before and had no idea that this behavior was even legal within city limits. occording to the fire chief there are thousands of people in our city with fire permits. but i will definately be trying effect some sort of change. there are numerous studies and bodies of evidence out there which talk about the negative health effects of wood smoke. unfortunately the wheels of justice move slowly so my son and i will just be held captive inside our home. thanks again
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 9 years ago.

You're welcome, and thank you for paying.

I live in a rural area and this time of year people start burning brush that fell during the winter. We are close to getting an all-out ban, which I support. I think it's a waste, when all that brush could be recycled.

Best of luck to you!


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