What legal right do I have for neighbor cutting my plants?

I have a bush that is growing next to my fence in my yard. We bought the house a year ago and the property markers are still there. My neighbor hates it and says it is a weed of sorts. I did some research and found that it is an intrusive bush/weed but it looks good and has berries in it that the birds love. It is in all of my neighbors yards. We have talked to this neighbor before and told him he can trim what grows past the fence. Yesterday I came home to my neighbor leaning 2 foot into my yard cutting large chunks at the base of the plant. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was trying to get more light into the corner of his yard and was going to help us out by cutting it down. He said he would pull all the limbs back on his side. He said he was also tired of it spreading babies in his yard. The bush is 12 foot tall. We trim it like all of our other plants but enjoy its height. It looks good. Now it has a large chunk out of the middle of it and looks sad. What legal action and rights do I have?

Asked on May 16, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue your neighbor for trespass which is the volitional entry on to the land of another without consent or legal privilege.  Trespass occurred when your neighbor was on your property cutting the plant.  Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the diminution in value of your property.
 If this is an ongoing occurrence with the neighbor repeatedly trespassing on your property to cut the plant, then you may want to consider obtaining an injunction to stop your neighbor from entering your property because damages (monetary compensation) would be inadequate due to multiplicity of lawsuits and because land is unique.


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