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  1. #1
    cjack639 is offline Junior Member
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    Nov 2006
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    Angry Encroaching Neighbors

    What is the name of your state? Michigan
    : confused: I have recently had a survey done on my 11 acre property to be sure of property lines prior to putting up a fence starting with on a 330' section. (I have a 100x330' lot that I now use as a driveway)

    The survey has brought to my attention a 5' encroachment (cement slab) by a neighbor, not to mention their large pole barn inches away instead of the 10' required by my township. I now know why they were so animate about getting my variance with the township turned down to build a house on the lot of which I could also use some advice.
    (Appeal??)

    I stopped progress on the fence after putting up two endposts and running a string across their basketball court. They have threatened me with a stop work order, and litigation claiming ownership by adverse possession. (They have mowed this lot & neighbor's lot on other side)

    My building inspector tells me that I am not required to maintain this lot and make it known to them that this is my property.

    I informed my neighbors of this and agreed not to put up the fence as long as they removed the encroachment. And to no longer mow my property. That was three weeks ago, they have not removed the encroachment and have recently mowed again...and removed the string line from the fenceposts on MY property.

    I would like to know what my options are. I'm tired of being walked on.
  2. #2
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjack639 View Post
    What is the name of your state? Michigan
    : confused: I have recently had a survey done on my 11 acre property to be sure of property lines prior to putting up a fence starting with on a 330' section. (I have a 100x330' lot that I now use as a driveway)

    The survey has brought to my attention a 5' encroachment (cement slab) by a neighbor, not to mention their large pole barn inches away instead of the 10' required by my township. I now know why they were so animate about getting my variance with the township turned down to build a house on the lot of which I could also use some advice.
    (Appeal??)

    I stopped progress on the fence after putting up two endposts and running a string across their basketball court. They have threatened me with a stop work order, and litigation claiming ownership by adverse possession. (They have mowed this lot & neighbor's lot on other side)

    My building inspector tells me that I am not required to maintain this lot and make it known to them that this is my property.

    I informed my neighbors of this and agreed not to put up the fence as long as they removed the encroachment. And to no longer mow my property. That was three weeks ago, they have not removed the encroachment and have recently mowed again...and removed the string line from the fenceposts on MY property.

    I would like to know what my options are. I'm tired of being walked on.
    [url]http://forum.freeadvice.com/showthread.php?p=1507685&posted=1#post1507685[/url]

    double post
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    Dave Stevens is offline Member
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    Ventura County, California
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    Im not sure what adverse posession rules are in Michigan, but in most states they include several criteria: open and notorious, hostile to owners, continuous use for 7 years, paying property taxes. The first two are definitely present in this case. How long has the slab been there? They probably have not been paying property taxes, so that probably isn't valid, but sometimes judges will overlook one or more of the criteria if the situation warrants it. It would seem to me that the slab is the bigger issue than the pole barn with regard to adverse posession. I don't think that encroaching on a setback can allow some one to get adverse posession, but I honestly dont know the answer - maybe another poster can give input. I wouldn't worry about mowing - alot of people are under the impression that cutting weeds some how gives you a right to steal some one's land, but I just don't think that is good enough - you could easily argue that you thought they were being nice to take care of your property for you and you gave them permission (giving some one permission prevents them from getting adverse posession).

    I think you need to fight this. You may win or you may lose, but I think you will win especially if the slab has been there for less than 7 years (or whatever the time is for Michigan) and if it is not a really important structure, like a basketball court vs. a house. It sounds like you have already communicated with him, but if it was verbal, you should do it by mail. First, send them a letter via certified mail return receipt requested, telling them what your survey shows, and demanding they remove the encroachment or you will pursue all means available to you. He wont do anything. If you really want this fixed, you are probably going to have to get a lawyer. IT wont be too expensive to have him send a letter re-stating in more harsh legal verbiage what you have already told him, but it will make much more of an impression. If he still doesn't do anything, which he probably won't, you will have to go to court.

    The most important thing in this case probably is the amount of time the slab has been there.

    One other thing: one alternative is to go ahead and build the fence - right over the slab if necessary and let him try to get a court order to make you stop. That will essentially be the start of the lawsuit and he will have to hire a lawyer and make a case to make you stop. He will probably get you to stop temporarily, but don't worry about it. You are looking for a final ruling, not an intermediate one. You should be aware downfall of this tactic though: sometimes judges think the person who goes to court first without trying to take the law into their own hands is the better person - you run the risk of looking like a trouble maker.

    Good luck
  4. #4
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Dave, do you know what a double post is?
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  5. #5
    Dave Stevens is offline Member
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    Ventura County, California
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    100
    Yeah I do. I dont know what happened, I thought I clicked on the other thread.

    You are a genius!

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