Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight
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I am very sorry for your situation. The fact that they have been hanging over your property line for 12 years does not somehow 'grandfather
' them in. The fact is, you can cut
whatever is hanging over to your side of the property.
Arizona is very clear on this: "A landowner who sustains injury by the branches or roots of a tree or plant on adjoining land intruding into his domain, regardless of their non-poisonous character may, without notice, cut off the offending branches or roots at his property line." Rosa v. Oliveira, 115 R.I. 277, 342 A.2d 601 (1975); McCrann v. Town Planning & Zoning Commission of Town of Bloomfield, 161 Conn. 65, 282 A.2d 900 (1971); Drummond v. Franck, 252 Ala. 474, 41 So.2d 268 (1949); Jurgens v. Wiese, 151 Neb. 549, 38 N.W.2d 261 (1949); Griefield v. Gibraltar Fire & Marine Insurance Company, 199 Miss. 175, 24 So.2d 356 (1946); Michalson v. Nutting, 275 Mass. 232, 175 N.E. 490 (1931); Gostina v. Ryland, 116 Wash. 228, 199 P. 298 (1921); Hickey v. Michigan Central Railroad Company, 96 Mich. 498, 55 N.W. 989 117*117 (1893); Whitesell v. Houlton, 2 Hawaii App. 365, 632 P.2d 1077 (1981); Ogle v. Trotter, 495 S.W.2d 558 (Tenn. App. 1973); Ferrara v. Metz, 49 Misc.2d 531, 267 N.Y.S.2d 823 (Sup.Ct. 1966); Bonde v. Bishop, 112 Cal. App.2d 1, 245 P.2d 617 (1952).
In other words, if the vegetation is trespassing unto your land, you may cut it off. Period.
In fact: "When some actual and sensible or substantial damage has been sustained, the injured landowner may maintain an action for the abatement of the nuisance
." Mead v. Vincent, 199 Okla. 508, 187 P.2d 994 (1947); Gostina v. Ryland, supra; Fick v. Nilson, 98 Cal. App.2d 683, 220 P.2d 752 (1950); Luke v. Scott, 98 Ind. App. 15, 187 N.E. 63 (1933)
In short, you would be in every right to:
1) cut the vegetation on your side of the fence; and even
2) bill him for the reasonable cost if you had to retain someone to do this. One only has to make sure that the cutting is done with
3) minimal damage to whatever is left on his side.
This self-help remedy does not need court approval, but again, the cut must be on your side only, and, must be reasonable in scope and not negligently or maliciously damage the vegetation on his side. If the plants die due to you cutting them on your side, then, that is not your fault as you were simply exercising your rights, arguably.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.
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