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Question DetailsAsked on 1/5/2018

Can my complain about his car getting dirty because of dirt getting blown caused by us kicking a ball in our yard?

We don't have any grass in our front yard, there's only dirt. Me and my nephew and dog were outside kicking the ball around when the neighbor told us to stop because kicking the ball was causing his car to get dirty. Because of the dirt blowing around

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Unless the amount of blowing dirt was substantial, not the sort of thing most people would complain about, but then I too have a neighbor who seems to wash their car every week or two, so I can see where some might. Certainly, the neighborly thing to do, and probably the smart thing to do to avoid neighbor strife, and for personal safety not knowing if this neighbor might go postal on you next time, is to cease the objectionable activity. In this case, dampen the ground, lant a lawn, or go to a park or school to play ball.


Basically - realizing I am not a lawyer - but anything you do which creates a nuisance to your neighbors or the public which a reasonable person might object to is potentially actionable. Allowing dust from your yard (or even watering spray) to get onto your neighbor's yard is something he can legitimately ask you to cease doing, and can be considered a form of trespass on his property. (On the other hand, "acts of nature" like blowing leaves from your trees, as long as you arenot doing something like stacking them along the fenceline which promotes it, is NOT a form of trespass - dropping tree fruit, twigs, leaves, etc are considered an "act of god" in most or all jurisdictions).


If you refuse his next action could be a trespass civil action (though obviously that seems like a lot of troulbe and cost for some dust), or potentially calling the police to try to have you cited for criminal trespass or for creating a public nuisance. They would almost certainly give you an initial verbal warning to address his concern - repeat instances could result in a citation if the amount of dust was significant.


Of course, makes no sense to let it go that far and start a Hatfield and McCoys spite war - bear in mind when his car is out in the drive you might just avoid making dust (maybe sprinkle the ground 15-20 minutes before playing vigorously on it for instance).


BTW - in many or maybe most cities/counties, in urban/suburban areas your yard is required by law to be vegetated or otherwise landscaped (like rock gardens or bark or planter beds or such) to prevent blowing dust and mud runoff. Again first response (usually by Planning and Zoning code enforcement in that case) if he called you on it would almost certainly be a warning letter or notice first, but in some areas (and in some developments with homeowner association / condo association requiring such) can result in a fine if you persist in not meeting the legal requirements.

Answered 10 months ago by LCD




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