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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102496
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I am trying to sell my house It has been through all the

Customer Question

I am trying to sell my house It has been through all the processes Inspectors Termite inspection etc. Everything has been disclosed in thr seller disclosure. I have a neighbor who is interfering with my sale. He is coming into my yard uninvited and taking pictures and sending registered letters to the realtors and telling the buye all kind of things. He has scard one buyer off and is trying to make me loose the current contract I have. What can I do
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Texas
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I have filed criminal trespassing
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I guess not
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 4 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.

Wow. I have heard some things before, but a calculated move to foil your sale? How childish!

To 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.

Here, the neighbor is doing several things which can be the basis of cause of action.

1) Civil trespass - self explanatory.

2) Defamation - the elements of a defamation claim are (1) The defendant published a statement; (2) The statement was defamatory concerning the plaintiff; (3) The defendant acted with (i) actual malice, if the plaintiff was a public official or public figure, or (ii) negligence, if the plaintiff was a private individual, regarding the truth of the statement WFAA-TV, Inc. v. McLemore, 978 S.W.2d 568, 571 (Tex.1998). By sending out false/misleading letters to third parties, then this applies.

3) Interference with Existing Contract - the elements of claim for tortious interference with prospective contract are: (1) There must be a “reasonable probability” that the plaintiff would have entered into the prospective relationship or contract; (2) An “independently tortious or wrongful” act by the defendant that prevented the relationship from occurring; (3) The defendant did such act with a conscious desire to prevent the relationship from occurring, or knew that the interference was certain or substantially certain to occur as a result of the defendant's conduct; and (4) The plaintiff suffered actual harm or damage as a result of the defendant's interference. Johnson v. Baylor University, 188 S.W.3d 296, 304 (Tex.App.-Waco 2006, pet denied). By sending out false/misleading letters to third parties with the aim to disrupt the sale, then this applies.

He can be sued for all three above, and a restraining order may be requested as part of the suit (or as stand alone). A letter to cease and desist will normally do the trick without needing to actually file suit, but, if he does not get scared away by the letter, litigation may be required.

Let me know if you need a sample letter.

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