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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55314
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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A neighbor fenced in a large portion of land belonging to me

Customer Question

A neighbor fenced in a large portion of land belonging to me - a few acres, in fact. I had a survey done 9 months ago to mark the boundaries, but he still hasn't moved or removed the fence despite previously stating he would after the boundaries had been marked. What notice must I legally provide to allow me to remove the fence myself if he still refuses to do so? Will I own the fence materials if I end up having to remove the fence myself? (I'd really resent having to remove the fence myself and then be obligated to return the materials to him). Could I take him to small claims court to recoup the $1500 I paid for the boundary survey he should have done before he put up the fence in the first place, and maybe even something for the time it takes me to remove the fence myself? This is in Oklahoma, by the way. The fence has been in place about 7 years, so adverse possession is not in play. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon! Yes, you absolutely have recourse here. You want to first send him a letter by certified mail which establishes official notice that his fence is located on your property and demand that he move it to his own property within a short specified period of time. Inform him that otherwise you have no choice but to have it removed at his cost. You have this right because anything affixed to your property becomes your property. Then, once removed, if he doesn't reimburse you for the cost, you would then indeed be able to file a claim against him in small claims court for the cost of removal and all other costs you've incurred in this process. You don't need a lawyer for this. Once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if the losing party doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on the losing party for a debtor examination. That forces the losing party to meet the judgment creditor in court and answer questions under oath about the losing party's assets. After that information is obtained, the judgment creditor has the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, and/or have the sheriff seize other property to satisfy the judgment.

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