Was it legal for my neighbor to have my vehicle towed if they got stuck in bad weather?

I live in a rural area on 3 acres. The landowner next door dislikes me because the previous owners had promised to sell to him if they ever sold but didn’t honor it. My son had permission to fish in the pond by the people currently living on his land and got our riding mower stuck just across the property line coming back from the pond. I had purchased a used an SUV the night before and attempted to get it unstuck but ended up getting that stuck as well. Due to rain and lack of a 4×4, they were there for 2 days. You cannot see this from the road, only by the people living on it as it was at the very back. The sheriff’s office came and asked me about it and I told them what happened and that I would move it as soon as possible. The next day I came home from an appointment and my vehicle was gone. The owner used his tractor to get it unstuck and called to have it towed to be a jackass. I am living off disability and did not have the money to get it from storage. I am out $2,000. Can I do anything?

Asked on July 30, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Actually, having your vehicle towed under the circumstances was legal. The fact is that your property was on your neighbor's land without their permission. This constitued a tresspass. It was up to you to remove your SUV ASAP, even if it meant having it towed yourself. Further, your financial situation does not affect this. You'll have to pay if you want your vehicle back.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it was legal: you have no right to leave your vehicle on another person's land, even due to inclement weather, and the property owner could have you towed. The fact that you are on disability does not change this or that you have to pay to recover your vehicle. What you should have done in the law's eyes, once your SUV got stuck, was for *you* to call a towing service to have the vehicle moved off his land.


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