I have serious problems with my neighbors. They think it’s okay to harass me when they feel like it, and they get off on it.

I need a way to get rid of them, or somehow turn the tables. I’ve thought of ultrasonic weapons but they don’t go through walls, dog whistles to annoy their dogs and cause chaos, but I don’t want to damage my own eardrums. I’ve seen growing plants but I’m not sure if that will do anything. Does anyone know? This has been going on for years.

The method should be discreet.

Basically, the woman swings her gate that divides her backyard in half between the house area and the "animals" area as loud as she could when I was using the backyard (or in the house) and slams something that reverberates on the ground along the property wall that can be felt throughout inside and outside the house; now I’m super quiet in the backyard and can't do the activities I used to enjoy (basketball, working out, being normal). She takes her time with the gate to show that she has 'control' of the sound it makes and she used to use it randomly throughout the day. Their kids are super annoying and they make weird high-pitched squealing sounds sometimes, on purpose, and know they are causing trouble ("mom..." when they hear me, indicating to try something 'annoying'). The walls are thin, I was playing cello and they said “what ugly sounds” and now I don’t play unless they’re on vacation (also lady would swing gate when I played). Their dad is the only one with a job, he was put on probation for 3 years as a veterinarian (he failed to save a lawyer's dog, then faced legal action); as he was setting up a tent over their backyard peering down into mine it was clear that there's something not-nice going on inside his mind too. They have trained their little dog(s) to bark at me and growl when I make the slightest sound in the backyard, and they just sort of hang behind the wall at times, it's kind of hard to explain. They have more dogs inside the house, it's only the little barking one that they release into the property line to bark. If they cared, they would get a barking collar and/or NOT "release" the dog every time I do backyard work. If I’m not in the backyard, they will bark randomly when I’m in the house, disrupting my concentration. Even their relatives seemed like they wanted to taunt me as one of them stood over the wall to peer into my backyard, but this was a couple years ago. Now they never have anyone over, ever, or if they do, they keep them inside the house. This has been going on since about 2018, they moved here in 2006. Help.

I’ve tried ignoring them, it’s super hard. Like I said, they “get off on it.” Their dog too somehow. I live in a house and there is a solid wall separating the backyard but it is low enough to peer over so I’m always cautious when going out, and I use the backyard way less than I would without them, and even when I do, I don't do the activities I used to enjoy. The neighbor raised hens, a pig, rabbits, and a tortoise and cats and dogs and has this set schedule that she just goes to feed them. The rest of the property is my driveway and then their house next to it separated by a little walkway if you will. The windows are usually closed. I feel like they haven't done anything legally "wrong", as they're familiar with the law, so I'm not sure if this is off topic.

  • 1
    Ok, so what is the question here? This is a Stack for understanding the application and meaning of law, if you are asking for specific advise, that is off-topic.
    – Ron Beyer
    Aug 22 '21 at 18:48
  • You could try asking this on interpersonal. They won't be able to give legal advice but may give ideas for resolving this. Aug 23 '21 at 8:00
  • You are exhibiting symptoms of serious paranoia. You need medical help, not legal.
    – bdb484
    Aug 23 '21 at 15:31

It is hard to get a sense of whether you have a viable claim of interference with quiet enjoyment. Also, your description nowhere reflects any attempt to address the annoyance by approaching those neighbors. Evidence of such attempt(s) tends to help if you end up pursuing injunctive relief in court.

Much of what you describe is irrelevant, very hard (if not impossible) to prove, and/or not actionable. Here are some examples:

  • The dad's "probation for 3 years as a veterinarian";

  • your presumption that "there's something not-nice going on inside his mind too";

  • whether the kids' intent is "to try something 'annoying'"; or

  • the neighbors' expressions such as "what ugly sounds", more so since apparently they say so on the other side of the thin wall rather than in your property.

Likewise, it is unclear how or whether the neighbors commit trespass when raising "hens, a pig, rabbits, and a tortoise and cats and dogs". This only suggests that there are no condominium rules involved (and hence no violation thereof).

You will need concrete, material, objective/ascertainable facts for persuading a court that the neighbor's pattern of conduct reasonably impairs your right to quiet enjoyment.

  • And the surest way to get a court to ignore your strongest evidence and best arguments is to drown them in a sea of irrelevant, petty complaints. There's actually an explicit legal principle that says that courts don't have to act like pigs sniffing around acres of muck for the occasional buried truffle. Aug 23 '21 at 23:37

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