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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33554
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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We live in rural MO. Our neighbor started a 4H group target

Customer Question

We live in rural MO. Our neighbor started a 4H group target practice every Wed nite without saying anything to us. There are about 8 kids. We have 2 rescue dogs that are scared to death of the noise which is very annoying . These are either pellet or possibly 22 rifles. This is about 300 ft from our front porch. The sherries office said there's nothing we can do. Is this true?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. 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.

No, but you are limited. You have learned a very important fact, never ask anyone about the law but someone who has graduated from law school.

There is a common law cause of action called "nuisance". In some states it goes by other names but it works the same everywhere. Basically, what that concept says is that a person is allowed to use their property as they see fit except if it interferes unreasonably with someone else's use of their own property.

You can sue for damages and/or an injunction to make the stop doing this. I have seen judges issue an injunction against a shooting range and against a Sporting Clays range so certainly your situation is similar.

As a practical matter you have to have a lawyer to seek an injunction due to its complexities and the reason set out below.

The steps to an injunction are:

1) An Application for TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) is filed along with supporting evidence such as affidavits. Usually the Application for Injunction is made at the same time. The TRO is a temporary measure and is not absolutely required before you get an injunction.
2) An Ex Parte (without the other side present) Hearing is conducted and the judge either issues the TRO or denies it. If the TRO is issued the judge orders a bond set in a sufficient amount to compensate the other side for any damages accumulated while the TRO is in place if the applicant fails to prove their right to an injunction.
3) A hearing on the TRO is set.
4) The TRO and notice of Hearing is served on the defendant.
5) The defendant should immediately begin following the judge's orders.
6) The TRO hearing is held and each side has an opportunity to present evidence and question witnesses.
7) The judge makes the decision on whether to convert the TRO to a Temporary Injunction or not.
8) If the TRO is converted to a Temporary Injunction then the judge sets a new bond to be in place.
9) Discovery is conducted by both sides.
10) A request for hearing date is made on the matter of converting the Temporary Injunction into a Permanent Injunction.
11) The hearing/trial is held on the Permanent Injunction and the judge issues a ruling.

These are what are known as extraordinary remedies and the procedural rules for these as well as the case law are EXTREMELY specific and difficult. If ANY mistakes are made the judge has no choice but to deny the relief and will not likely reconsider it in the future.

Just as an example, getting injunctive relief, both temporary and permanent, requires that evidence be offered of:
1) An immediate need,
2) Which, if not granted, will result in irreparable harm,
3) With no adequate remedy at law, and
4) (on temporary order) The person requesting the injunction is likely to succeed at a full trial on the merits.

If evidence is not offered to meet these four requirements, in a manner that the judge knows this is what the evidence shows, then the petition will be denied.

There are more requirements than this depending on the exact facts of the case but it is very, very easy to mess up one of these and end up having to pay damages to the other side just because your paperwork wasn't done properly.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Approximately how expensive?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

That varies tremendously. On the low end, probably $2500, no upper limit because it depends on how much they fight. I don't think this should be a tremendously difficult injunction to get for a lawyer but be sure and record the sounds, etc. so you can show the judge. Also make a log of when you do the recordings.

It also wouldn't hurt to have a few witnesses, neighbors, etc, who can testify as to the noise.