Can my neighbor take down an existing fence and put up a privacy fence without getting a survey done by someone who is state certified?

He had his friend do some meausring, and he says he is entitled to almost 3 feet of my property. He got a permit and he said the city told him he could take his property back. I didn’t put the existing fence up. Now he is just crushing all my wifes flowers and cutting our trees and he didn’t even get a survey done. I called the cops to get him for trespassing and they told me it was a civil matter. So now every time I leave my house he is in my yard.

Asked on June 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is no law requiring a survey before doing this. However, there is also no law saying that your neighbor is right and you have to allow him to do this. If you feel that he is tresspassing, building on your property, and damaging or destroying your landscaping and fence, file a lawsuit: you would file for a temporary restraining order, which would then lead into a preliminary injunction, to  require him to stop doing this and stay off your land pending a court determination of where the boundaries are; you would then commission a professional survey to determine where you land ends and his begins. If it looks like he's wrong, you'd then  seek a court declaration as to the boundaries; a permanent injunction barring him from infringing and requiring him to take down anything he built on your land; and also sue him for monetary compensation for his trespass and destruction. A real estate attorney or a litigator can help you do this; there's no reason to delay.

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