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Can I file trespassing and destruction of property vs a Tree Specialist who cut a tree on my property w/out my permission?

Stamford, CT |

My neighbor asked to cut one of my trees down. We were still in the process of getting proposals and negotiating when a tree specialist my neighbor had been talking to cut the tree down on my property w/out my knowledge or permission. He claimed my neighbor contracted him to do so and had my permission, but my neighbor informed me he never gave final written approval and never received any written proposal from the tree specialist. I was never contacted by the tree specialist and only found out who he was after the tree was already cut down. The tree specialist left all the wood debris on my property and I have demanded he clean up the mess. He is now asking for compensation to do so but i will not pay for the work. Can I file a charge of trespassing and distruction of property?

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Attorney answers 1


Under Connecticut law you can sue to recover the diminution of your property value or the value of the tree as timber. As the wood appears to have been left behind your choice is the diminution of value. You will need a real estate appraiser to testify as to the before and after value of the property.

Please note that as I read your post it seems obvious that the tree specialist was acting pursuant to his communications with your neighbor. So his acts are those of an agent and the principal, your neighbor is the one ultimately responsible for the damages.

Also your post implies that the tree was to be cut down in all events, in which case I don't see how you are damaged or have cause to "file a charge" about anything.

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But my neighbor claims he never contracted the tree specialist. And never asked him to cut my tree. Isn't this trespassing?

Kevin Burns

Kevin Burns


No, it is a dispute between the tree specialist and your neighbor as to the scope their discussion. If your neighbor can prove his claims then he can recover his damages from the tree specialist for breach of their agreement/nonagreement. Your neighbor's damages are the money he owes you because of the damage done to your property because of your neighbors decision to introduce this tree specialist to the situation. Which brings us back in a circle to the real question, which is why is the cutting down of a tree that was to be cut down an issue at all. Even if you had no trespassing signs, had told the tree specialist not to enter your property and had a large high fence or other barrier to entry or otherwise actually had a trespass, it ended when the tree specialist left and at that point in time it appears that you had been benefited not damaged.