What can I do to stop an illegal dumping and junk yard next to my house?

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What can I do to stop an illegal dumping and junk yard next to my house?

I live on a 3 acre lot in residential area. Next to my property is a 3 acre lot that owner uses as a dump site. Every day I see a bunch of trucks go in and out of that property dumping dirt and other stuff, filling it with junk like wires, tires, metal and plastic stuff. We reported him to the city about 6 months ago but nothing seems to change. He raised his land several feet up on his side so water now does not drain properly on our side, the smell is horrible from all the dump trucks and bulldozers that work there everyday. I can’t go and play with my kid out.

Asked on June 15, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

Jonathan Pollard / Pollard LLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Very interesting case.  Things like this are why I went to law school.  Here are a couple preliminary thoughts:

(1) Nuisance - Depending on how severe the situation is, how bad the smells, the noise, etc, you may have a claim for nuisance (either private or public).

(2) Trespass - If the dumping s poluting your land (soil, water, etc), then you may have a claim for trepass.  There is solid legal precedent for this.

(3) Specific state statutes re dumping - there may be a specific statute that bans this type of unpermitted dumping and gives you a private right of action. 

It might be worth it for you to go talk to some young, enterprising attorney and ask him to look into your case for an hour or two. 

 


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