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Alabama-Wood fence on my side of property line

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  • Alabama-Wood fence on my side of property line

    Ok, heres the deal. I had a survey done on my property around the first of July. Come to find out, almost the entire fence, which is about 150 feet long is on my property. At one end, which is the front of the property, the fence post splits the property line. At the back, the fence is at least 2 feet on my side of the property line. I've talked to different people and they seem to think that I can do any thing with the fence that I want to (such as completely take it down and put my own fence up just inside my own property line). Talking to the neighbors on the other side is out of the question ( they are hostile neighbors). Has any one here had any dealings with this type of situation before? They made two false accusations in the past that I shot their dog and tried to have me arrested. So you see what kind of people I am having to deal with.

  • #2
    Different people will not pay your legal expense

    Originally posted by bamawildman View Post
    I've talked to different people and they seem to think that I can do any thing with the fence that I want to (such as completely take it down and put my own fence up just inside my own property line).
    You should be talking to a competent attorney regarding this fence and the alleged property line. If you take the fence down without strong evidence and/or agreement from the neighbor, your neighbor might be able to sue you claiming adverse possession. If you are wrong regarding the fence, the lawsuit might have a charge of trespassing. How long has this fence been in existing?

    “The presence of a fence, which is an outstanding symbol of possession, coupled with normal acts of use in appropriation of the land, sufficiently satisfies the requirements of adverse possession.” Bearden v. Ellison, 560 So. 2d 1042, 1045 (Ala. 1990)

    A party claiming ownership of property by adverse possession must prove by clear and convincing evidence that there was “actual, hostile, open, notorious, exclusive, and continuous” possession for the statutory period. (Grooms v. Mitchell, 426 So. 2d 820, 822 (Ala. 1983).


    Read some Alabama case law by goggling the following terms - Alabama Supreme Court, boundary-line dispute, and adverse possession. However, you should consult a competent attorney before making a quick and rash decision in removing this fence. Your professional land surveyor should have explained the evidence and gave you some sound recommendations in this matter to keep you from asking other's opinions on an Internet website.
    Last edited by DrumMajorChange; 09-05-2008, 12:41 AM.
    I am not an attorney. My personal opinions are not legal advice.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." --- Franklin Roosevelt

    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. --- Martin Luther King Jr.

    A trap was set once upon a time; however, the designer fell in himself!!

    Comment


    • #3
      "What to do with Fences?"

      "What to do with Fences?" is an excellent review article written by Dr. Knud Hermansen. Dr. Hermansen is a consulting engineer, a land surveyor, and counselor at law living in Maine. The hyperlink for the review article is as follows:

      http://www.umaine.edu/set/svt/articles/Fences.pdf
      I am not an attorney. My personal opinions are not legal advice.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." --- Franklin Roosevelt

      The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. --- Martin Luther King Jr.

      A trap was set once upon a time; however, the designer fell in himself!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Destroying an old fence

        I've talked to different people and they seem to think that I can do any thing with the fence that I want to (such as completely take it down and put my own fence up just inside my own property line).

        In Holifield v. Smith, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals expressed concerns regarding a land owner destroying an old fence using fire in a recent case before the Court. The Court defined this destroying evidence (an old fence) as spoliation and offered guidance to those destroying evidence with the conquences.

        1. “Spoliation” is an attempt by a party to suppress or destroy material evidence favorable to the party’s adversary (Holified v. Smith, 2008 WL 26005851 (Ala. Civ. App. July 11, 2008))

        2. Proof of spoliation will support an inference of guilt or negligence (Holified v. Smith, 2008 WL 26005851 (Ala. Civ. App. July 11, 2008))


        The moral of the story is that an adjoining landowner should be very careful in destroying an old fence without an agreement with the adjoiner, strong evidence, and/or taking legal action to resolve the issue.
        Last edited by DrumMajorChange; 07-11-2009, 07:23 AM.
        I am not an attorney. My personal opinions are not legal advice.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." --- Franklin Roosevelt

        The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. --- Martin Luther King Jr.

        A trap was set once upon a time; however, the designer fell in himself!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Rather an old posting….but to add-to for reference purposes: You are correct Drum. Ran into this problem while living in Washington State. Judge told me to remove the neighbor’s fence before he had finished it. If I allowed him to finish, I would have to come before him for an order to have it removed.

          So, with a hickory pick handle in one hand, and the winch cable of my Jeep……

          Comment


          • #6
            While the cat is away, the mice will play.

            Originally posted by Buzzard3006 View Post
            Rather an old posting….but to add-to for reference purposes: You are correct Drum. Ran into this problem while living in Washington State. Judge told me to remove the neighbor’s fence before he had finished it. If I allowed him to finish, I would have to come before him for an order to have it removed.

            So, with a hickory pick handle in one hand, and the winch cable of my Jeep……
            Thank you for your response. It was a message for other adjoining property owners rather than the original poster.

            They say that "while the cat is away, the mouse will play."
            Last edited by DrumMajorChange; 01-29-2009, 04:27 AM.
            I am not an attorney. My personal opinions are not legal advice.

            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." --- Franklin Roosevelt

            The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. --- Martin Luther King Jr.

            A trap was set once upon a time; however, the designer fell in himself!!

            Comment

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