Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Oklahoma

Disruptive Neighbors

I live in the country and we have new neighbors that are loud, cussing, loud car engines. They have started an auto salvage out back (12 cars, 6 1/2 trucks). A man bought the 10 acres and he sold an acre to a man (lives out there) that works for him. The grass gets thigh high and tin and trash is everywhere. They dump buckets of food in their septic lagoon. They don't keep dogs chained up and don't take care of them. They have a tin building right behind their trailer and it has a propane tank and central air conditioning unit. I don't know what goes on in there. What can we do as neighbors to stop all of this. It is in the country, so we don't know what our options are or if we even have any. You cannot be nice to them or ask in a nice way. They scream and cuss and disturb the peace. Please help!! Our road has always looked nice. They have been nothing but trouble. The man that owns the 10 acres will not help. He doesn't care. Can anything be done legally?

Asked on 5/13/01, 11:24 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jimmy D. Turner Jimmy D. Turner , Attorney at Law

Re: Disruptive Neighbors

Nearly all of your complaints relate to activities that may violate laws for the protection of the general public, which are enforceable by the public prosecutor. You just happen to be the "victim."

If you live outside the limits of any village, town, or city, then you fall under the jurisdiction of the county sheriff. Otherwise, the same laws of the State of Oklahoma apply to your situation as to that of a city dweller. (City ordinances, of course, are not applicable outside the municipal boundaries.)

You should make an appointment to talk to someone in the local office of the district attorney, who would be interested in what's cooking in the outbuilding at any rate and who might give you some assistance in dealing with the breaches of the peace, mistreatment of animals, hazards to public health, public nuisances, etc., that may be involved.

Next, you should talk to the county sheriff or one of his deputies and tell him or her what is going on next door. Sometimes, just a visit from a law enforcement officer will be highly persuasive.

There's probably not a lot you can do about aesthetic concerns, such as failure to mow the grass, by a private, civil action, unless it constitutes a public nuisance that needs to be abated or unless you have suffered monetary damages proximately caused by the neighbor's acts or omissions.

This response does not establish an ongoing lawyer-client relationship, which will require further arrangements. I will have no further involvement in this matter unless you contact me in person or by telephone and I accept your case.

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Answered on 6/24/01, 2:34 pm

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