Neighbors kid is climbing their fence, yelling at my dogs, trying to pet them. If my dogs hurt them, am I at fault? Trespassing?

Asked over 1 year ago - Harvard, IL

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.

Additional information

The fence is a shared fence, so the dogs are in my property when this is happening. As are the children's hands, arms and half their upper bodies. A no tresspassing sign would not be seen either. Unless I posted it in my yard, for them to see when climbing.

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

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    Answered . Write a letter and send it certified mail, return receipt requested AND First Class, memorializing that you have plead with them to keep their children from trespassing to tease your dogs for their own safety.

    Also contact your home owner's insurance for direction.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr.... more
  2. Judy A. Goldstein

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    Answered . 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.

  3. Karen Jackson Porter

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    Answered . You are responsible for your dogs. Dogs cant protect themselves from kids. Better to address this situation before someone gets hurt and you do have a legal problem.

  4. Burton A. Padove

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    Answered . 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.

    Mr. Padove is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. He can be contacted at Burtonap@aol.com (219) 836... more
  5. Stephen Laurence Hoffman

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    Answered . 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
    Chicago, IL
    773-944-9737
    Email: stephen@hofflawyer.com
    Website: www.hofflawyer.com
    Blog: www.hofflawyer.com/blog/

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client... more
  6. Christian K. Lassen II

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    Answered . If your dogs bite anyone, you can report it to your homeowners insurance company to resolve.

  7. Lars A. Lundeen

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    Answered . 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.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    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.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
  8. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You could possibly file for an injunction to keep the neighbors from coming on or reaching over to your side of the fence. They may be guilty of nuisance and trespass. See a local lawyer.

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