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Ask Loren Your Own Question
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33097
Experience:  30 years of real estate practice experience.
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Neighbors tree (that we previously asked them to cut down

Customer Question

neighbors tree (that we previously asked them to cut down years ago) is now causing our retaining wall to lean and creating a major crack and uplifting in the section of the wall near our driveway. She now says (after showing her the damage) that she would let US cut down the tree at our expense. I don't think this is right.
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: San Diego, CA
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Loren replied 6 months ago.

I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and my goal is to answer your question and provide you excellent service.

Expert:  Loren replied 6 months ago.

This is a common legal question, and the answer is that the tree owner is liable for damage caused to your property under trespass and private nuisance theories.

The best practical advice is to hire both a contractor to give you a dollar estimate for the damage done to date, and a licensed arborist to give you a written opinion that the trees caused the damage along with professional advice on what can be done "non-negligently" to prevent future damage.

Show all this to the neighbor, and ask for cooperation again, mentioning that you will have to sue if he/she does not correct the situation voluntarily.

Expert:  Loren replied 6 months ago.

If the damage does not exceed $10000, you can sue them in small claims court. Small claims court is designed to be a "user friendly", simplified process, so that you can present a claim without an attorney. Also, it moves much more quickly than regular court. You can get the necessary forms to start from the clerk of the court.

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