Neighbor burns illegally

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Latest post 04-03-2012 12:27 PM by kath21. 22 replies.
  • 04-02-2012 11:46 AM In reply to

    • Drew
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 49,476

    Re: Neighbor burns illegally

    Burning is prohibited in my town but permitted a few hundred yars away --so be it as a local matter ...and there is probably very little you can do about that.

    If its an EPA violation and the enforcement agent is so inclined , a repeat offender should be close to a slam dunk to zap --and some of the EPA zaps can be very nasty go be extra nice to the EPA agent?

  • 04-02-2012 12:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor burns illegally

    Sprockets Inside:
    I wrote the man a nice letter asking him to please stop burning


    That's called notice. Hope you kept a copy. If not, write him again and keep a copy.

    Here's my suggestions.

    When the smoke gets into your house, pay somebody to clean it and sue him in small claims court for the cost.

    And send your husband to the doctor when his asthma acts up, then sue the neighbor for the bill.

    Keep nickel and diming him with small lawsuits. Hopefully he'll get the idea.

    Otherwise, you're looking at a private nuisance lawsuit that seeks an injunction against burning. That'll cost you lawyer's fees that you aren't likely to get back.


    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 04-02-2012 12:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor burns illegally

    When it comes to neighbors, your legal rights are one thing, and the misery of being engaged in open warfare with someone who lives right next door is another.

    Did you call the authorities BEFORE talking to him about it, or did you start by explaining about the asthma and asking him nicely to stop (or at least to choose times when the wind blows the smoke away from your house)?  If the former, then he's probably angry with you and might not even want to talk to you.  I think it would still be worth trying to patch things up, starting with an apology for not talking to him first.  It seems to me that you have little to lose beyond your pride, but it's up to you.

    In the real world, most people will be nice to you if they like you (and won't if they don't).  What do you think this neighbor would do if you were away from home and he noticed that your house was on fire, or that someone was breaking into your house?  Wouldn't you rather he tried to help you than that he mutter to himself it serves his nasty neighbor right?

    If he burns clean yard waste, would you consider taking it from him and composting it, or trying to find someone else to take it?

  • 04-02-2012 1:29 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor burns illegally

    Sprockets Inside:

    I am not at all interested in lawsuits.  I just want the laws to be enforced.


    You can't force the authorities to take action.  That is the reason some are posting alernatives.

  • 04-02-2012 1:37 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor burns illegally

    Sprockets Inside:
      A lot of negativity here, though.  A lot of harsh judgment and assuming facts not in evidence.


    Just alternative views and possibilities.  No point in being overly sensitive; no one is criticizing you.  Neighbor issues can be problematic.

    Probably all you can do is keep reporting it until you become so much of a bother that somebody will respond.  Squeaky wheel.

  • 04-02-2012 2:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor burns illegally

    Sprockets Inside:
    I actually don't give this topic much emotional energy any more, because I ran into walls when I tried to find a solution that would work for me.  "Working for me" does not include lawsuits, because that's not who I want to be.  (I also have no financial losses or actual physical damages, so good luck if I did take him to court.) 

    If you've done everything short of taking him to court and lawsuits don't work for you, there's three more options that I can think of.

    1 - Sell your home and move.

    2 - Kill him.

    3 - Find Harry Potter's magic wand.

    I'm not serious about 2 and 3 but I have done 1 in the past after about 10 years with a crappy, low life neighbor when it finally sunk in that he'd never change and would outlast me.


    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 04-02-2012 2:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor burns illegally

    Sorry if I came across as judging you.

    In my experience, the only way to get what you really want (the neighbor changes his behavior because you want him to) is:

    Step 1 - make friends with the neighbor.

    Step 2 - make friendly request.  Be willing to help him with his issues too.

    Even if the EPA guy tried really hard, he couldn't be there all the time, and he couldn't prevent the angry neighbor from finding new and creative ways to be nasty to you.


  • 04-02-2012 2:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor burns illegally

    Sprockets Inside:

    A lot of people in this area - and, unfortunately, a lot of Americans - have an "it's my land so I can do whatever I want" attitude.  They are utterly wrong.  They can't set up meth labs or keep children as slaves, for example.  There are all kinds of things we can't do on our own property, but quite a few people are too ignorant to acknowledge that.  Unfortunately that includes several of my neighbors. 


    And they stay that way because law enforcement doesn't have the manpower and no one else wants to file a suit because "that is not who you want to be"?

    That atttitude allows the bad guys to proliferate.  Stopping wrong doers is not bad karma, it's GOOD karma.

    There is a song on the drama "The Wire"  about "keeping the devil down in the hole".  I interpret that to mean the same as the saying about all it takes for evil to proliferate is for good men to do nothing, say nothing.  Gotta keep evil in it's place.  He's ruining the air for everybody.


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