In a perfect world conflicts between neighbors would get resolved without needing to resort to the legal system. But sometimes a neighbor’s bad behavior forces a homeowner to do more than just make a friendly request. When a neighbor’s actions are severe enough, the legal theory of nuisance can be a source of potential relief.
Under Nevada law a number of things can give rise to a nuisance claim. NRS 40.140 provides that the following things constitute actionable nuisance:
- Anything injurious to health, or indecent and offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property. This broad category can apply to many types of situation. It would probably apply to a neighbor who regularly burns trash, sending dirty smoke into adjacent lots. It could also apply to a neighbor who constantly parks a vehicle where it prevents access to another person’s property.
- A building or place used in connection with the manufacture, storage, or sale of a controlled substances. There are two dimensions to Nevada’s “drug house” law. It can apply to any place where illegal substances are made, sold or given away. This law could be applied to stop a neighbor from throwing parties where illegal drugs are routinely made available to guests. The law also provides mechanisms for stopping the manufacture of illegal drugs. An obvious example would be the case of a basement “meth lab” that is venting toxic fumes into neighboring properties.
- A building or place regularly and continuously used by members of a criminal gang to engage in or facilitate criminal activity.
To bring an action for nuisance the plaintiff must be able to prove two elements. First, the nuisance must be causing damages, either to the plaintiff’s property itself (such as reducing its value, or causing physical harm) or to the plaintiff’s enjoyment of his or her property. Second, the nuisance must be of a kind that the court system can resolve.
What this means is that the plaintiff must offer a solution to the problem that the court can provide, such as by ordering the defendant to stop doing the activity causing the nuisance. In some cases the plaintiff may also recover cash compensation where the nuisance has caused physical damage to property, but the chief aim of a nuisance claim is to end the problematic behavior.
The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez represents clients in personal injury and other disputes. We would be happy to discuss your potential nuisance claim with you. For a free attorney consultation about your case, please give us a call today at 702-388-4476. We can also be reached through our contacts page.