Do I have any legal recourse to stop the townfrom dumping on my property?

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Do I have any legal recourse to stop the townfrom dumping on my property?

Each year, they deposit the bulk of the snow from cul-de-sac into my front yard, going way beyond the easement – 20 -30 feet inside property. I have lost landscaping and each year the lawn is damaged.

Asked on February 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You might want to consider filing a lawsuit for nuisance against the town.  Nuisance is a serious and unreasonable interference with the use or enjoyment of your property.  Exceeding the scope of the easement is placing an undue burden on your property and the resulting damage to your property constitutes a nuisance  as it is an unreasonable interference with your use and enjoyment of the property.

In your lawsuit, you should seek an injunction against the town to stop the dumping of snow on your property beyond the easement.  In order to obtain an injunction, you would have to establish that monetary damages are inadequate.  Monetary damages are inadequate here because of the multiplicity of lawsuits due to the repeated incidents of dumping snow on your property.  Monetary damages are also an inadequate remedy because land is unique.

The court will balance the benefit to you of granting an injunction versus the burden to the town if the injunction is granted.  The court might order a temporary restraining order until a hearing at which time a preliminary injunction may be ordered.  The preliminary injunction would be in effect until a permanent injunction is ordered. 

It is within the court's discretion whether or not to require you to post a bond when seeking the injunction.  This could be very expensive, but the court has the discretion to waive the bond for financial hardship or other reasons.


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