What can be done if a neighbor built his fence two and a half feet past the property line on my side but I really don’t have the money to take it to court?

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What can be done if a neighbor built his fence two and a half feet past the property line on my side but I really don’t have the money to take it to court?

His survey is very vague. Ours shows
fence lines and exactly how many feet
the fence lines are from property line.
Is there anything I can do without
going to court? The city gave him a
permit to build it, shouldn’t they have
checked this during their inspection?

Asked on February 5, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, there is nothing you can do without taking him to court. This is what court does: resolve disputes, when the parties cannot work them out themselves, and issue binding determinations (judgments or orders) setting out the respective rights of the parties, such as where a boundary line is. There is no other entity other than the court with the role, expertise, and most imporantly, power/authority, to resolve where the boundary is and what happens to the fence.
It's not small claims court you need, however; small claims only issues monetary awards or jugments; it does not have the power or authority to settle boundary disputes or issue non-monetary judgments or orders. You need to file a case in chancery court, which is a part or division of country court, and whose function is to issue non-monetary orders and judgments.
The city has no obligation to double check the validity of people's asserted boundaries and surveys, so this is not the city's obligation or fault; this is between you and your neighbor.


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