Any attorneys out there...?

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by BKS72, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    There is a pond that straddles the property line between my neighbor and I. It's probably a 60/40 split with me having the short end.

    My neighbor has dug a ditch around one end of the dam, lowering the water level in the pond significantly (small pond and he's caused it to drop probably 2'). In addition, he's run the ditch to the edge of my property so the water he's released from the pond is cutting a gully across my land.

    I'm planning on stopping over and discussing the matter with him, but he's not a very friendly person based on past interactions. I'd like to have some legal knowledge in my back pocket prior to my discussion with him.

    From what I've seen on Missouri's interpretation of riparian water rights, I have a leg to stand on on keeping him from draining the pond. If I understand right, we both have rights to "reasonable use" of the water and since our reasonable use is fishing in the pond and his is draining it, we're going to have to compromise. The other issue, and maybe the one that would be a stronger argument would his ditch releasing water on my property, causing property damage in the form of gully that I can't get my mower across.

    I'm not big landscape person, I really don't care what anyone does on their land, but one of the big reasons we bought this house was because of the pond. I knew going in that we shared it, but I never dreamed anyone would make any major modifications without even discussing it with us first. I'm also not a big believer in getting lawyers involved unless it's necessary, but as I said earlier, on past occasions dealing with this guy I'm pretty sure he won't even answer the door, let alone have a reasonable discussion on the matter. It may take a registered letter from a member of the bar to get him to pay attention.

    If that doesn't work, there's always the option of building an ornamental da...rock wall right on the property line where his ditch comes across.:wink:
     
  2. zeboman

    zeboman New Member

    Messages:
    2,883
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    I`m not an attorney but the water causing damage to your property is an issue , you`re right I would try and talk to him before getting an attorney involved.
     

  3. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Dont know about there but in NC you own as much pond as the other fella even if most of it is on his land.
    In other words, he cant drop the water level to deny you access and he couldnt build a fence across his section of the pond to prevent you from using it.
    If it were me I would go ahead and find an attorney familiar with riparian laws of your state. Sounds like you'll need him at some point if you continue to live there.
     
  4. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    Attorney, no, but from what I have read previously, the law is on your side in this. Does this mean that you won't have bait tonight? I've got a pretty good supply of smallish sunfish in my tank I'll bring along.
     
  5. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Just got back from talking with the guy a bit ago. It was civil, but he's dead set on ripping all the trees along the pond on his side out (I don't really care about that, don't understand it, but don't care) and he hinted pretty hard that he was going to have to dig pretty deep to get one out of the corner, which would just about drain the pond.

    His take is that he can fill in his 60% of the pond without consulting me. I'm pretty sure for a couple of hundred bucks in legal fees I can either disabuse him of that notion or tie it up long enough that the kids will be old enough not to care what happens to the pond by the time it's settled. I don't think he realizes what it's going to do to drainage around my property if he keeps screwing around with his skid-steer around that pond.

    Can somebody PLEASE tell me why people move to the county then do their dangdest to make it look it's not?? If the trees, ponds, and wildlife bug you, STAY YOUR A$$ IN TOWN. Sorry, had to get that out of my system.
     
  6. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    I feel for you Branden.

    Several years ago after we started construction of of our house we were served with legal papers. Our next door neighbor had filed the law suit. Claiming part of our property by "Adverse Possession". We then found out that an official survey on file at the court house is just a piece of worthless paper.

    Hope you better luck than we had.
     
  7. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    What annoys me to no end is that there's no reason to even mess with it other than the guy has nothing else to do than play with his stupid skid-steer. I hate to cause problems with neighbors, but that kind of went out the window when the guy couldn't be bothered to at least say something about what he was planning. I've called an attorney, hopefully I'll hear back from him tomorrow and find out if it's worth trying to stop him or not.
     
  8. catgetter1

    catgetter1 New Member

    Messages:
    1,162
    State:
    louisiana
    Good luck Branden, I'm on yer side.....Why move to the country and then destroy it by citifing it..........Stick to yer guns and giv'im H*LL..........:cool2:
     
  9. jedimanhunter

    jedimanhunter New Member

    Messages:
    121
    State:
    Texas
    If I were wearing your shoes I would go talk to the JP ( Justice of the Peace) You have a civil dispute. Here in Texas the JP court hears small claims and minor traffic or criminal cases. If you filed a case it will most likely be filed in their court. By talking to them you might get their opinion hense a heads up if you are going to win or waste your money on an attorney.

    If the case is not going to be heard in their court then you could get direction on where to go or what to do such as the county court at law. As long as those resources are available to you in your area. If so you already pay taxes for them to operate. Small claims civil suits cost 50.00 I believe.

    I hope you can work it out without all the drama, once you take that kind of action the relationship with your neighbor will probably degrade and or at least not repair its self but it sounds like he is not making much effort to be a good neighbor either.

    On another note if he wants to play on that skid steer get him to drain it, dig yours out and bigger if you have the room and build the dam at the property line. You get more bees with honey however it is easy to get p.o'ed at the situation.

    I know there are laws that govern altering waterways for creeks and such, not sure about man made ponds,lakes. In Texas the TNRCC (Texas Natural Resources and Conservation) actually they have a new name that I do not recall, Sorry.

    Good Luck and no im not an attorney either but everyone is entitled to my opinion hehe
     
  10. Phil Washburn

    Phil Washburn New Member

    Messages:
    7,680
    State:
    Shawnee OK
    Branden, talking to your local conservation board can't hurt either..he may be breaking the law by screwing with the watershed.
     
  11. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv

    ponds on your own land are not governed by laws. you can stock it with wild fish keep as many bass ect as ya want. there yours. and you dont in il even need a fishing lisc to fish your own waters. and thats good. its your land, fish ect....

    i like the idea of him digging out his side more. IF he'll agree and actually DO IT after hes drained it. he may say ya then back out after its to late.

    might be worth a shot. i

    de call the lawyer too.
     
  12. Mi11er

    Mi11er New Member

    Messages:
    5,117
    State:
    Independence, M
    Man I feel for you. I cannot wrap my brain around why you would buy 10 acres in the country and then rip out all the trees. I just baffles me why you would want to have a 10ac lot to mow "in the country". this guy and me would have a come to Jesus meeting, and I will promise you that it would not be civil.:angry::angry:
     
  13. slabmaster

    slabmaster New Member

    Messages:
    719
    State:
    missouri
    i hate the fact that your neighbor is draining your pond. i can garuntee you that i would build a berm on my side of the fence and channel the water back onto his place. the other thing i would do is save the money for the shark oops. i mean lawyer and spend it on a new pond on my side of the fence. any good dozer operator can knock you out a pretty fair size pond in 2 days. that would be less than a grand and a lawyer is probably going to squeez that much out of you before you get to court. mo conservation dept will consulte for free on a good design for your area.
     
  14. bootshowl

    bootshowl New Member

    Messages:
    2,288
    State:
    Indiana, J
    Couldn't ya just get an attourney when his skid steer is IN the pond.....
    ya can't call a guy like that a neighbor.
    :angry:
    Let us know how it comes out.
     
  15. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Rex, you're right. I thought about it yesterday as I was coming back from planning and zoning (no help) and the Soil Conservation office (no help). Even if I get a lawyer involved and make him stop what he's doing, he still owns half the pond and I've pretty much sunk any chances of us ever getting along with the guy.

    You're exactly right on the money - no point in paying a lawyer when I can pay a dozer operator to dig me a pond AND build a nice, sturdy berm along the property line where his ditch comes out on my side:wink:

    I don't want a huge pond, all I'm looking for is maybe a quarter acre or less - enough for a bait pond with some 'gills and bullheads and somewhere for the kids to fool around and fish. My wife's friend's husband has an excavating company and he's just down the road. I'd imagine he could dig what I want in a day and since I'm the lowest point in the area if I dig it this fall/winter it should fill over next spring/summer. Especially if I channel the water stupid is causing to run on my property into it:big_smile:

    I'd dearly love to have him served and cause him some headaches, but it'd be cutting my nose off to spite my face. I'm still livid over it, but I'm sure I'll have a chance down the road to cause him some grief. :wink:

    Thanks for the advice and listening to me complain, all!

    Branden
     
  16. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I am very,very nice to such people.Such people breed enemies.When enemies strike such,they do not come looking for the nice people they believe that they have buffaloed.

    Watch,look.listen and think.We are all human.Sooner or later each of us will hang ourselves if we are given enough rope.The thing is to make sure it is them,not you who hang.

    City Slickers move to the country and then do everything in their power to make it like the city they moved from.

    You don't appear stupid.I have faith in you.What ever you do,I do believe you should keep it to yourself.I do believe that you could accomplish anything you wish to.

    Now.A good neighbor is a treasure!There are ways to bring the worst neighbor around.Think about it.

    I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee
     
  17. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Soil and Water Conservation. You got it.
    The folks that will make him turn his water and the same folks that can say yes and no to a stock tank:eek:oooh:

    Keep those guys in the loop whatever you do or it could cost you double what it cost to dig a hole in the ground and you still wouldn't have a pond.

    If it were me I would give the neighbor a copy of the state riparian laws and tell him he has to choices. One is the right one and the other is the wrong one.
     
  18. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    How, why, and who paid to originally construct the pond?

    If it had to have a permit, and/or if Govt funds paid any or all cost/share then this guy has violated the original agreement. He is held to that legally. You may have him by the short hair if you want to push it.

    If he is altering or changing the course of any waterway, impoundment or drainage area he is obligated to seek professional help to make sure he has not created something different than was origionally intended or natural conditions would not allow. Just cause he is in the country doesn't mean there is not a streets and sanitation unit somewhere, only with a different name.
     
  19. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    To give you an idea what soil and water is capable of making a man do there is a man that lives down the road that paid someone to bring in heavy equipment and work for a week laying a beatiful ditch open across a section of field. They laid the banks back all nice and pretty and sewed it in grass.
    Beautiful job.

    Well the man spotted it on a fly over and went to investigate.

    Not only did he have to fill it back in and go find dirt to do it because alot of dirt was hauled off they made him plant trees on it.:wink: Big ooops.
    I know here on the farm you cant do much of anything without having a walk through and the customary jumping through hoops that are on fire dripping hot coal tar.
     
  20. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    A quick visit from the local goon squad could take care of this Brandon. We.... er I mean they have an amazing way of making people reconsider their poor decision making process.

    Just kidding of course, I can't add anything helpful to the good advice offered thus far except humor :0a1: and some sympathy.