Individuals may be legally responsible for cutting down trees. For example, if your neighbor cuts down a tree located inmarginalIf you prove that you are both the owners of the tree in question and that they did not get your consent before cutting down the common tree, you can sue them for damages.
When a tree lies on the boundary line between two sets of properties, it is called a "boundary tree". Generally, a tree that is considered a boundary tree is considered to belong to both property owners on the boundary where the tree is located. This means that both owners will be responsible for the care and maintenance of the boundary tree.
This also means that any decision regarding the boundary tree, such as a decision to remove or destroy it, must be made and agreed by both owners. So if only one neighbor allows the demolition, and the other refuses, both parties must seek the help of the court.
The court can intervene to decide what is the best solution and whether one of the neighbors is better able to comply with his request (for example, remove or keep the intervening tree). For example, a court may order the removal of a tree if the tree poses a serious threat or a threat to a neighbor's property.
On the other hand, if there is no rule or condition requiring the removal of the boundary tree, the court may issue an order preventing the neighbor from removing the tree.
It is therefore important to discuss the maintenance and/or removal of boundary trees with your neighbors before taking any further action. Neighbors who fail to obtain mutual consent before removing or destroying border trees can face serious legal consequences, such as paying the neighbor financial damages in the thousands of kunas.
What to do if the roots or branches are damaged?
As mentioned earlier, liability laws for damaged boundary trees vary between state and local ordinances. Edge trees are generally considered to belong to two groups of owners. Therefore, no owner may destroy or damage the tree without mutual agreement.
If the roots or branches of the common tree are damaged, both owners decide how to deal with it. In some cases, the roots or branches of a boundary tree will gravitate more toward one neighbor's property than another. A neighbor can prune a part of a tree that is within the boundary of his property. However, if root or branch pruning causes damage to the entire tree, then they may be held liable for monetary damages.
The only exception is if the tree, its roots or branches pose a serious threat or danger to the health of the surrounding property.
What damages can I claim from my neighbors?
The most common remedy you can get from a neighbor who damaged a shared tree is monetary compensation. Although the amountpenalty for damageThe amount a person can collect for a destroyed stock tree varies from state to state, with the typical value of a destroyed stock tree ranging from $500 to $2,500 plus treble damages.
Depending on jurisdiction and the facts of the particular case, the court may also calculate damages by subtracting the fair market value of the land after the tree was destroyed from the fair market value of the land before the tree was destroyed. This method can help you to approximate the value of the boundary line tree.
In addition, the court may order the repair or restoration of the trees in question, if practicable. For example, if the tree is relatively young, it is possible to issue this type of court order. On the other hand, if the tree is older, the court can use the method described above to calculate damages (ie determine the amount by which the value of the property has been reduced).
Finally, the court can also award material compensation for the moral damage suffered by the party due to the destruction of an ordinary tree. The court may ask for evidence of emotional harm, such as bills for treatment from a psychiatrist. In extreme cases, the court can decidepunitive damagesbut also.
Can I forbid neighbors to cut down a shared tree?
In some cases, individuals can prevent neighbors from cutting down shared trees. To determine if this is feasible, individuals should refer to the laws in their local jurisdiction for tree and neighbor disputes.
Individuals should also consult with a real estate attorney for further advice on this matter. Real estate attorneys will be able to inform individuals of their rights and whether they have a compelling case to stop neighbors from cutting down communal trees.
If the law is on the person's side and the attorney believes that the person does have a compelling case against the neighbor, the next step will be to file for an injunction in a court that has jurisdiction over such matters. Simply put, an injunction is a court order that prevents a party from taking a certain action or compels them to take a certain action. In this case, the ban would serve to prevent neighbors from cutting down common trees.
Although it is extremely difficult to obtain court orders in such cases, courts have been known to issue injunctions to prevent neighbors from cutting down, destroying or injuring a number of common trees. This is particularly the case where the tree serves another purpose for the person seeking the order, such as when the tree is used to protect their property from external elements such as wind.
Should I hire a lawyer to stop my neighbors from cutting down my common trees?
Disputes between neighbors over the division of trees can cause complex legal issues. So if your neighbors are trying to cut down an ordinary tree, consider hiring a local workerreal estate attorneyfor further legal instructions. An experienced real estate attorney will be able to advise you of your rights and remedies in disputes involving property boundaries and community trees.
Your attorney can also help you take the appropriate legal steps to prevent your neighbor from cutting down your shared tree and can make sure the law is on your side before you file for an injunction.
Also, if your neighbors cut down or damaged a regular tree, your attorney can do a legal analysis to see if there are any potential remedies you can recover. Or, if you are the party responsible for the destruction of the trees, your attorney can ensure that your interests are properly represented in court.