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To sue or not to sue . . . . any input would be great!

Our neighbors horses got out the other night and wandered to our house. They chewed up our front porch steps and they also chewed on the back bumper to our car. Our bumper now has a dozen or so teeth marks and scratches on it. The horses did this because of the salt that is put out to melt the ice. I've contacted the neighbor and explained the damages that where done and asked him to "make right" the damages that were done (pay to have our bumper repaired).
How long should I wait for him to contact me back before I take him to small claims court? I want the neighbor to pay for the damages, because the damages where done by his animals.
This isn't the 1st time his horses have gotten out, but it's the 1st time damages have been done. We live about 500ft from the road and this particular neighbor lives across the street from us.


Asked by bookay at 10:04 AM on Dec. 10, 2008 in Just for Fun

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This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • Get written estimates for all damages, look into your states small claims procedures and limitations. Provide your neighbor with all the estimate information ASAP.. set up a time to speak together about it. Go from there.

    All states have individual small claims procedures including limitations on time, amount requesting, filing fees, etc. You should look into that info ASAP. This may have an effect on the time frame you want to give your neighbor to respond. (I'm currently training to become a Paralegal)

    Good luck!!

    Answer by ZoeKatsMom at 10:25 AM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • I wouldn't jump right to sueing your neighbors. Remember you have to live next to them for however long and that could be very uncomfortable. I would try my hardest to settle it out of court. Im not saying don't make them pay. Go get estimates on your car and take that to him. If he refuses to pay it then I would take him to court but it is always better to try and settle out of court. Good luck!

    Answer by TilmannsGirl at 10:10 AM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • Give him a week. Call him back to see if or when he will pay for the damages. If he doesn't give you an answer. I would just tell him then, about going to court.
    You called your car Insurance and house Insurance about this?

    Answer by louise2 at 10:10 AM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • Hmmmm. I would give him a few days then ask out right what he's going to do. Ask if his homeowner's insurance covers his horses? If that doesn't work take him to court. Not only that I would petition the court for a new gate/fence over there.

    Answer by CM2TX08 at 10:11 AM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • I'd certainly take him to court to make him pay if he refuses. You could send him a certified letter stating how long your are giving him to come up with the money. That will give you a time frame and it will also show the court that you did try to settle out of court. Remind him in the letter that he was verbally notified of the damage. You could give him 30 days from the date he was verbally notified.

    Answer by pinkink at 10:14 AM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • Also give him a total cost of damages, complete with estimates. Good luck!

    Answer by pinkink at 10:16 AM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • I woud agree with above, get written estimates and give them to him before sueing.

    Answer by salexander at 1:23 PM on Dec. 10, 2008