Can I be sued for my son riding his 4-wheeler in our neighborhood?

The neighbors are harassing my son about the noise. There are several in the neighborhood but my son and I are the only one’s being sued. Nothing has been said by the cops, and they’ve been out a couple times. The boys were only told to stay out of people’s yards, which they do, my son anyway. Can he sue for the noise because he says my son riding the 4-wheeler is noisy and she can’t rest. He only rides 3-3.5 hours a day during the week and about 5-6 hours on weekends.

Asked on February 29, 2016 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They may be able to sue you--it depends on your neighborhood. If it's a suburbean or urban area, then they probably can, because a 4-wheeler is not an appropriate vehicle or activity for those venues, and when an inappropriate activity disturbs neighbors, the way the noise of a 4-wheeler can be disturbing in a residential neighborhood, it may legally constitute a "nuisance," which would give rise to a cause of action or grounds for ra lawsuit. 3 - 3.5 hours per pay day is alot of time to subject neighbors to that sort of noise. 
If it's a rural area, with wide separation between houses and large field, you are on much better ground--a 4-wheeler is more appropriate there. That said, depending on the level of noise and how cose your son gets to theri homes, this could still be a nuisance. 
 


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