San Pablo, CA asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for California

Q: neighbor issue

Weeds were growing in a drainage ditch; seeds from the weeds invaded the neighboring property and those owners brought an action to abate them as a nuisance. Must the owner of the drainage ditch remove the weeds?

1 Lawyer Answer
William Stanger
William Stanger
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • San Jose, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Nuisance claims require that a plaintiff prove the defendant acted (or failed to act) unreasonably, and as a result the plaintiff suffered some kind of harm/annoyance or interference with the use and enjoyment of their property, and that an ordinary person would be annoyed or disturbed by Plaintiff's conduct (that's the short version). I can imagine a judge or jury finding that weeds are a nuisance that need to be abated. The defendant only "must" abate the nuisance and remove the weeds if the Court orders them to as part of a judgment or order after a dispositive motion. When it comes to settling a claim, everything is negotiable.

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