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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Since I bought my house from my neighbor, they have continued

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Since I bought my house from my neighbor, they have continued to treat my property as if it was their own. From parking in my driveway (not in front, actually in my driveway) to breaking up part of my driveway because they thought it was their's, they've damaged the roof of my garage by leaning a self standing basketball hoop against it, they've even directed rainspout run-off onto my driveway, they placed a camera with night vision that is directed at my property right outside my bedroom window and covers 90% of my driveway, which I had intended to use for entertainment, but can no longer, I was told that I was observed on my computer (which I only use in my dining room and bedroom) which is the area that the camera faces (now I have to keep these blinds drawn) and they removed a fence that had been entirely on my property and replaced it without my consent. They also continually have workers come on my property without asking my permission. I've paid for two surveys and had the Building Department examine the property line (told this is a Civil Matter). While on site I asked if a built-in gas fed Bar-B-Que on their porch (which is also right outside my bedroom) was safe, my wife and I was verbally accosted by my neighbor's wife, three children and one of their friend's that is taking a class in law school stating that I was harassing them. I was accused of calling the Police when they defaced city property, they spray painted six vehicle rims, leaving the entire image imbedded on the pavement.
Please help, what are my rights. The camera covering my house and entire driveway really bothers me.

Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you with your legal question.

If you own the property, then what your neighbor has done is considered trespass in terms of any unauthorized entrance onto your property (damaging the roof and the driveway, and directing rainspout runoff onto your driveway, parking on your driveway). While your neighbor is free to put up a video camera to monitor his property, that becomes an invasion of privacy if the video camera is aimed at your window and is looking inside your house.

The police and the city are correct, this is a civil matter, and to enforce your rights you will have to sue your neighbor for trespass and invasion of privacy. You will need to ask for an injunction to order your neighbor to stop trespassing on your property and damaging your property. Also, you will need to ask for an injunction that the court order your neighbor to turn the video camera away from your window. Finally, you will need to ask for a judgment in a monetary amount to cover your damages, and as a punitive award for the intentionally invasion of your rights.

This is not a simple matter to prosecute, and you will need to hire an attorney to handle the case for you. It may well be that if you hire an attorney, a simple demand letter to Cease and Desist the trespass may be good enough to end this harassment by your neighbor.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am credited by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Kind regards,
Zachary
TexLaw and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Does the trespass cover the video camera covering 90% of my driveway and only a small portion of their property.

The video camera is an invasion of privacy, not a trespass. A property owner is free to set up a video camera to view places outside of the house, because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy there (no expectation of privacy when you are in your driveway). The fact that the neighbor has pointed the camera so that it also captures you inside your house through a window does violate your rights, as you have a reasonable expectation of privacy when you are inside your house.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The breaking up of part of my driveway and the damage to my garage, why isn't that considered Criminal Mischief, my garage has a slate roof, it is reasonable to think that leaning a freestanding metal basketball hoop against it might cause damage. Neighbor claims he can't watch his workers all the time and therefore he is not responsible for damages they may cause.

Criminal mischief requires intent. In other words, there needs to be an intent to actually cause the damage. If the damage was caused unintentionally, or simply as a result of negligence while they were doing something else, it is not going to trigger a criminal mischief charge.

Regardless, even sometimes where there is an actionable crime against property, the State has the right to decline prosecution and instruct you to pursue your remedies civilly.