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Old 08-29-2012, 07:04 AM   #101
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The last sentenced was meant to read- If there was any overhang, it was nominal and did not warrant this type of action.
OK. That helps to picture the situation. I had previously mistakenly concluded that the tree was more centrally located on your property and the neighbor had trespassed well into your yard to do the trimming.

In that same pic, above and to the right of the recently trimmed branch, there appears to be the stub of a larger branch previously removed. Is that the case? Was there previously a large branch higher up growing toward and over the neighbor's driveway that had already been removed? How long ago did that happen?

How close to the lot line does the trunk of the tree come?

Just trying to figure out what your neighbor had in mind. Most guys don't just wake up one morning with the urge to get out their chain saw, cut off a significant branch, cut it into sections and stack it for pickup, clean and put away the chainsaw, etc.

Are there higher branches that extend out over your neighbor's property? If so, are you looking into being proactive and having them properly trimmed back by a professional?
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:54 PM   #102
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Call the police (not the emergency number), or better yet, go to the station in person and explain what happened. If a law was broken, they will take action if you sign a complaint.
My guess is they will want to interview the person(s) repsonsible and determine what possibly motivated them to trespass (yes, they did) and do damage (ditto) to your property.
A squad car in the driveway can be an amazing deterrent to future nonsense. If the neighbor confronts you, just explain he left you no choice but to involve 3rd parties because he would not communicate to you what his motivation was. And you wanted an official record of the event.

Some of the retired LE folks might want to chime in with further advice if my suggestion is too radical.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:18 PM   #103
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Call the police (not the emergency number), or better yet, go to the station in person and explain what happened. If a law was broken, they will take action if you sign a complaint.
My guess is they will want to interview the person(s) repsonsible and determine what possibly motivated them to trespass (yes, they did) and do damage (ditto) to your property.
A squad car in the driveway can be an amazing deterrent to future nonsense. If the neighbor confronts you, just explain he left you no choice but to involve 3rd parties because he would not communicate to you what his motivation was. And you wanted an official record of the event.

Some of the retired LE folks might want to chime in with further advice if my suggestion is too radical.
Don't think this is too radical. What you're suggesting is handling this in a professional manner, getting local law enforcement involved, and not going into the territory of doing damage to the neighbor's property to get even.

That would likely lead to escalating this already difficult situation with the next door neighbor into who knows what. At the end of the day, the OP needs to live next to these folks.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:17 PM   #104
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Ok, I decided to file a police incident report. I went to the police station because I did not want a patrol car in front of the house. The township police officer was not very friendly, nice or helpful. He was discouraging me from filing a report. I continued to make it clear that I wanted a report written and maintained calm and reasonable throughout the process.

He asked- What's really going on between you and your neighbor? I tried to stick to the facts of this incident, and not go through the laundry list of inappropriate behavior that they have engaged in.

He finally conceded and said that he would put together a short incident report, a couple of sentences. I asked the officer to include the fact that the neighbor admitted to the wrongdoing. I asked if I could give him photos to include in the report, he said no, because he did not take them, but that I could add them to the report myself when it was completed and filed.

I told him that I did not want to pursue criminal charges at this time. I said that I did not want to start WWIII with my neighbors but I did want to create a record in the event that there is an escalation of tension between us in the future or if the damaged tree causes damage to other property or people in the future. He said that there is a one-year statute of limitations for me to sign a criminal complaint on trespass and vandalism. He opined that there may not be a viable criminal charge on trespass because of a New Jersey statute that addresses notice. I attached the statute below. Regardless, I could pursue the trespass civilly.

I also contacted my homeowner's property insurance carrier to find out if I need to report the matter with them. I do not want to be held liable for any future damage that might be caused if the tree was damaged by the cutting. I am supposed to hear back from the homeowner's property insurance carrier in the next couple of days.

I am glad I waited a few days before I pursued this matter further, because I was so angry after it initially happened. I am still angry, but I can address the issue in a controlled manner.


NJSA 2C:18-3. a. Unlicensed entry of structures. A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or surreptitiously remains in any research facility, structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof. An offense under this subsection is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a school or on school property. The offense is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a dwelling. An offense under this section is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a research facility, power generation facility, waste treatment facility, public sewage facility, water treatment facility, public water facility, nuclear electric generating plant or any facility which stores, generates or handles any hazardous chemical or chemical compounds. Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.
b. Defiant trespasser. A person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:
(1) Actual communication to the actor; or
(2) Posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or
(3) Fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.
c. Peering into windows or other openings of dwelling places. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he peers into a window or other opening of a dwelling or other structure adapted for overnight accommodation for the purpose of invading the privacy of another person and under circumstances in which a reasonable person in the dwelling or other structure would not expect to be observed.
d. Defenses. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that:
(1) A structure involved in an offense under subsection a. was abandoned;
(2) The structure was at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the structure; or
(3) The actor reasonably believed that the owner of the structure, or other person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain, or, in the case of subsection c. of this section, to peer.
Amended 1980, c.112, s.3; 1994, c.90; 1995, c.20, s.4; 1997, c.15; 2005, c.100.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:27 PM   #105
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Sounds like you need to post a "no trespassing" sign or two on your property for effective notice.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:23 PM   #106
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Whatever course of action you pursue, sleeping on it for a couple of nights for your blood pressure to lower first is always the right thing to do. There's no need to hurry, as this is not a life-threatening matter.

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I am glad I waited a few days before I pursued this matter further, because I was so angry after it initially happened. I am still angry, but I can address the issue in a controlled manner.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:18 PM   #107
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Vengeance is short lived satisfaction. You now know you have a jerk for a neighbor. Behave like a professional in dealing with this idiot. It may not be the last issue between the two of you.

If the neighbor is renting you should let the landlord know what happened.
+1

As my old Grandpappy used to say "When you wrestle with a pig, you get dirty and the pig has fun."
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:02 PM   #108
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Very good. I would post a "no trespassing" sign.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:07 PM   #109
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Very good. I would post a "no trespassing" sign.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:54 PM   #110
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To the OP. When something appears to be entirely irrational, it helps to try to view the situation from the other perspective. Usually people are not insane, they act based on their perception of the situation. If we had the gentleman who sawed down your limb posting on this thread, what would he say? I still feel we are missing some context. Obviously, given the format, we can only hear your account of the situation.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:47 AM   #111
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+1. Everything is relative.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:49 AM   #112
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To the OP. When something appears to be entirely irrational, it helps to try to view the situation from the other perspective. Usually people are not insane, they act based on their perception of the situation. If we had the gentleman who sawed down your limb posting on this thread, what would he say? I still feel we are missing some context. Obviously, given the format, we can only hear your account of the situation.
I agree with you, Shanky.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:25 AM   #113
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To the OP. When something appears to be entirely irrational, it helps to try to view the situation from the other perspective. Usually people are not insane, they act based on their perception of the situation. If we had the gentleman who sawed down your limb posting on this thread, what would he say? I still feel we are missing some context. Obviously, given the format, we can only hear your account of the situation.
But sometimes they are insane. I would never venture onto someone else's property and cut off a tree limb. What next! I agree that a police record should be made of the intrusion and damages. Not worth it to sue.

I would make sure that everything on their property was up to code though. A call to the local code enforcement people could do wonders. Might want to wait a while before you do it though.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:43 AM   #114
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:23 AM   #115
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I had a man screw me in a deal and made look bad to my boss. I was so mad that I did not sleep for two nights....than I desided two thing: first to forgive him ( without tell him of course) second to never do business with him again. The next night I slept like a baby.

so my advice in your situation is take the path that lowers your anger
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:48 AM   #116
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when I met my wife, the no trespassing sign on her house said, "No TRESPASSING! Trespassers will be shot, Survivors will be shot again."
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:37 PM   #117
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Be careful about communications with your insurance company. Even though you only inquired about the deed done, it may leave a black mark on your record.

2. About CLUE Reports

The CLUE database enables homeowner and automobile insurers to exchange information - without notice to you unless your state requires notice- about claims for loss of property. Here's a simple example of how the exchange system works:

Insurance companies feed information about property loss claims, perhaps even inquiries about coverage, into a central database.
If you file a claim for loss against your homeowner policy, the insurance company adds this information to the national database.
The CLUE database is maintained by an information vendor, not another insurance company.
If you apply for homeowner's insurance with another company - say, you move to another part of the country - the new insurance company can access the CLUE database and learn of your past claims.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:12 PM   #118
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Skippro3: Nice post, but I think the difference here is that (I'd suspect) your neighbor didn't deliberatly set the fire with the intent of burning down your house.

The subtext here is that all too often, nice neighborhoods get invaded by one or two bad eggs.

The house where the nice little old lady used to live is now occupied by (as midnighter mentioned) "....grandparents, adult children, granchildren, boyfriend/girlfriends of adult children all living over there...", a few dogs, junk cars and late night parties (because no one has to go to work in the morning). I think we've all seen situations like this.

Not everyone can live in the country on 'several acres' of land like we do. Many neighborhoods have to hold their breath every time a moving van pulls up, wondering if some urban hillbillies (with apologies to real hillbillies) will be arriving next door and where everyone thinks its just a fine idea to hold beer bong parties on the front lawn.
Yea, it was deliberate. Guilty of arson of an occupied dwelling. We were home asleep at the time.

Not to hyjack but...
Country living has it's downside with neighbors too. The guy who grows pot, (legally I might add) but burns his stems in his fireplace making everyone in my house wake up with sore throats. Or the guy who has a half dozen dogs but not a single foot of fencing with the dogs bothering everything from my cats to livestock not to mention the chicken chasing. Or the flys from their horses they corral in a too small pasture right next to my property. Or the 'hunting' they allow others to do on 'their' land but obviously didn't bother to explain what that covers. (It's a big deal when you hear shotguns out behind the house and the kids are back there playing with their friends.) Or the real sweethearts who set out food for the wild life, attracting deer that eat all the landscape or bears that raid anything because they don't fear people any more. The 6 cars that don't run, the loud teenagers who think they are a rock star drummer, the shooting range out back with invites for all their closest friends to come shoot anytime day or night, weekdays or weekends.

Neighbors seem to find a way to try and get under your skin. We need to find a way to not let them. If it's not wacking off a tree limb, it'll be something else. LEO's rarely want to get involved as the OP has found out. All it did was make the LEO angry at the one doing the reporting, not at the offender.

Remember these observations; getting angry is admitting defeat. Don't get mad. Don't get even. Get ahead.

Time wounds all heels.

Be patient, calm down and relax. A better solution than the one you come up with when angry is always going to be the better option.

And I beg to differ; everyone CAN live in the country on 'several acres' of land like we do. Most don't want to give up what that entails. For me it was a 2 hour commute to work in order to live in the country. I made that choice 28 years ago when living in a residential subdivision and the renter next door turned his back yard into a motocross track after I had just spent all summer landscaping a beautiful relaxing back yard.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:19 PM   #119
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+1. Everything is relative.
Heard this observation the other day;

A man boards a plane and it's taxiing down the taxi way towards the runway. The weather is bad. Half the people are nervous, sweating and fearful. The other half are talking, laughing even, or reading a book, magazine or settling in for a nap, playing solitare on their computer they were supposed to turn off. Both types were in the exact same situation and yet they each were reacting to the situation in totally opposite manners. The man decides to take his queue from the folks who are carrying on with life and not worrying.
It's all about how we react to a situation we do not have control over that is the difference.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:39 PM   #120
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when I met my wife, the no trespassing sign on her house said, "No TRESPASSING! Trespassers will be shot, Survivors will be shot again."

Saw this sign;

Private Property
Trespassers
will be
Violated




However, from the description of your neighbors, this might backfire on you.
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