Updated on September 27, 2021
In March 2020, the Governor of California declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. In response to the state of emergency, the government issued various executive orders that require citizens to stay home and comply with social distancing standards. The government also issued executive orders banning public gatherings. To comply with these orders, many Courts in California are either temporarily closed or operating in a very limited capacity.
With more time at home, it might seem like the perfect opportunity to tackle that home improvement project you have been putting off. However, what do you do if your neighbor has the same idea and tries to remove your fence, believing that he or she as a right to? If that occurs, you might ask yourself what you can do to stop your neighbor from tearing down your fence if the Courts are temporarily closed?
First, you should calmly approach your neighbor and politely request him or her to stop so that you can discuss the matter. If you have surveyed your property, it would definitely be helpful to have a copy of your survey in hand to show your neighbor the location of the boundary line. It may also be a good idea to document the process with a video or photographs, as you will likely need it for evidence later.
If the neighbor refuses to stop, the next step is to call the police and let the neighbor know that you have done so. The police may take some time to arrive but when they do, explain the situation to them and show them the survey, if you have one. The police may ask the neighbor to stop or claim they have no jurisdiction because it is a “civil matter”. However, even if the police characterize it as a civil matter, most people will be reluctant to continue removing the fence once you involve law enforcement. If it is possible, ask the police officers on the scene for their contact information and request a police report.
If court intervention is still necessary, you may need to obtain a temporary restraining order to prevent your neighbor from removing your fence. Even though courts have limited their operations, most courts are actually still hearing emergency matters such as temporary restraining orders. Thus, you may still be able to seek judicial relief, depending on what county you reside in. For example, in Los Angeles, courtrooms are still open for civil temporary restraining orders and ex parte proceedings.
Schorr Law has extensive experience with all types of boundary disputes, including, but not limited to, disputes involving fences. Don’t wait to contact an top rated real estate attorneys until after the stay at home order is relieved. Contact Schorr Law today and schedule a consultation to speak with one of our easement attorneys. To see if you qualify for a free 30-minute consultation, please contact us by phone, email, or send us a message through our contact form.