Nuisance

Shooting range may be a nuisance unless state statutes say otherwise

Construing a state statute, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia held that a shooting range cannot constitute a nuisance if it complies with local noise ordinances. However, that statute could not be applied retroactively without violating vested property rights so the plaintiffs in the case were entitled to damages but...

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Nuisance victim awarded cost of restoration damages without any need to prove diminution in value of the property

When an oil tanker overturned in a traffic circle, spilled 9,000 gallons of oil and kerosene into a culvert, property owners who were affected were allowed to sue for the cost of restoring their properties because of the physical harm to them without any need to show that the contamination diminished the market value of their land....

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Condo owner may be liable for wrongful death of neighbor when he rented his unit to his brother knowing he was a dangerous sex offender

A court has held that a landlord may be liable for wrongful death of a neighboring condo owner if he rents his unit to his brother, knowing he is a sex offender who often stops using needed medication and is capable of violent outburst when he did not use his medication, fails to warn the neighbors of his presence, and the landlord's brother kills a neighboring owner.  Steele v. Kings Way Condominium Trust, 2018 Mass. Super. LEXIS 103 (Mass. Super. Ct. 2018).

No claim against neighbor for damage caused by overhanging healthy tree

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has reaffirmed the "Massachusetts rule" that owners cannot sue their neighbors for any damage caused by an overhanging healthy tree. Shiel v. Rowell, 101 N.E.3d 290 (Mass. 2018). The remedy is for the owner to trim the branches that encroach on his property before they cause damage. In upholding the established rule, the court rejected the "Hawaii rule" which imposes liability on the owner of the tree if it causes harm to neighboring property. See Whitesell v. Houlton,... Read more about No claim against neighbor for damage caused by overhanging healthy tree

City has a constitutional due process obligation to notify an owner that the owner's property has been adjudicated to be blighted and subject to condemnation

Colorado statutes create a procedure for designating property as blighted and subject to condemnation and transfer either to public use or transfer to another owner. While the statute required notice when the city begins studying whether the property is blighted and when a public hearing is held, it did not require notice of a decision that the property is in fact blighted. The Tenth Circuit found this to violate the due process clause because the...

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Legal questions about landlord liability when one tenant harasses another

Is a landlord liable for breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment if one tenant harasses another and the landlord does not intervene in some way, either by trying to resolve the dispute or by evicting the harassing tenant? To answer this question we must distinguish two types of legal claims. In the first type of claim, the victim of the harassment claims “constructive eviction” and asks to be relieved of her rental obligations by moving out before the end of the term. In the second type of claim, the tenant sues the landlord for monetary damages for failing to protect her...

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