Civil harassment definitions are controlled by state law, the general definition includes a course of conduct which annoys, threatens, intimidates, alarms, or puts a person in fear of their safety. Harassment is unwanted, unwelcomed and uninvited behavior that demeans, threatens or offends the victim and results in a hostile environment for the victim.
My take on your situation is that while you could bring a civil action, the neighbor is likely to bring a counterclaim and in my experience a court is likely to award neither. The best solution is for the neighbors to enter formal mediation, which is quicker and cheaper than a law suit and the parties actually have more say in the final result.
I truly wish you the best.
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Go to mediation and get a friendly resolution.
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I suggest you take the police officer's advice and consult with an attorney.There are a number of possible legal theories that could be employed against your neighbors to cause them to cut back the tree and stop harassing you.
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 insure proper advice is received.
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