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Can we sue for emotional distress? We were sued by our neighbor, a church, over a property line. We won. They keep appealing.

New Albany, IN |

My husband and I currently live in the house where I grew up. My family has lived at/owned the property for 42 years. Next door to us is a church. Since we've lived there, four different churches have come and gone. We have not had any problem with any of them until this last church moved in 10 years ago. We've had nothing but problems since. They ended up suing us over the property line. We counter-sued based on Adverse Possession. We won at the local level. They appealed at the local level. We won the appeal. They have now appealed to the State of Indiana. They are not having to pay for their TWO attorneys. We've had to sell everything we own to pay for our attorney as well as are making weekly payments to him. This has taken an emotional toll on both my husband and me.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    You can not collect for emotional distress. However, if you can convince the judge that the case is frivolous or being litigated in bad faith, an Indiana statute allows recovery of attorney's fees. You should discuss the issue with your lawyer. There is also an appellate rule that allows recovery of damages on appeal for a frivolous appeal or for procedural or substantive bad faith in the appeal.

  2. The church is exercising it's legal right. Doing so, does not give you any grounds to sue for emotional distress.

    The author of this answer is an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of Arizona. Unless both you and the author have signed a formal retainer agreement, you are not the author's client, and the author's discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and are neither privileged nor confidential.

  3. The short answer is "NO". Try to take solace in knowing that you apparently gained a piece of property that previously was not legally within the description of your original deed, by adverse possession. That should ease your emotional distress a little bit.

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