Shared fence, but they built it. Neighbors know all this, but don't care. They are sue crazy, and have issues with everyone on block. There is no talking to them, as we've done this and it has not helped. Also tried talking to kids, but I feel the parents are encouraging this behavior out of spite. My dogs are not mean, however 100 pounds each, and can leave a serious scratch from jumping.
You are responsible for your dogs. You should continue to do everything you can to prevent the neighbor children from putting their hands through the fence. If, on the other hand, a child is bitten because he has put his hands through the fence, then you should contact your homeowners insurance immediately. You will have a good defense to any claim. You might wish to consult with an attorney and ask that a warning letter be sent to the neighbors so that they are formally on notice that the children are to refrain from putting their hands through the fence.
As a side note, make sure that your dogs' vaccinations are all current.
I agree with most of what the other attorneys say. In addition to what they suggested and As unfair as inthis may sound, you may want to chain your dogs I side your yard. You may also want to reach an agreement with them and install a screen on your side of the fence that prevents their fingers, etc from going through.
If write a letter of warning, get your dogs inside, and explore moving. I'd also ask your homeowners carrier for ideas. Unfortunately, you are stuck to some extent although provocation can be a defense.
Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
Firstly, to best protect yourself, you should review your renters or homeowners insurance policy and make sure you have sufficient coverage to protect you from any claim by these people, should one of them get seriously bitten. It could happen.
The next time you see this activity, call the police and report the incident. Ask the police to talk with the parents.
You may also consider putting a bad dog/ no trespassing sign up on a pole at a sufficient height that the neighbors could see it over the fence. Take a photograph of this sign so you have proof of this warning.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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