Wednesday, June 12

Can’t We All Just Get Along? International Fencing Disputes Causing Serious Problems

It’s hot out and tensions are on the rise all across the country, especially when it comes to property disputes. In most cases, neighbors are generally friendly with each other, or at the very least, stay out of each other’s business. But in recent months, there have been some serious problems as a result of fencing and property disputes.

Different jurisdictions may require residential fencing to be set either two, four, six, or eight inches away from the property line. Though there are plenty of property and neighborly issues that occur on U.S. soil, in Germany and Australia, they seem to be a little more high profile as of late.

According to The Leader-Herald, a fencing dispute even lead to physical violence. In Oppenheim, Germany, two individuals were injured and are currently being charged after a dispute over where a fence should be installed. The dispute started off as an argument, but then escalated to the point of one man beating another unconscious and a woman requiring staples to close a head wound.

Michael DeSousa and his wife Lynda Debell were installing a fence on property that they had recently had surveyed. Neighbors Scott and Eva Sanford came out and confronted the couple about the property line, stating that Debell and DeSousa were placing the fence on incorrect property lines.

The Sanfords started damaging the fence posts and DeSousa struck her in the head with one of the metal fence posts, causing a laceration to the top of her head.

State police report that Eva Sanford was taken to Nathan Littauer Hospital and received staples to close the head wound. The investigation continues with possible charges against DeSousa pending his release from Bassett Hospital.

In Australia, though the dispute hasn’t reached the point of physical altercation, there are some serious legal issues coming to the horizon regarding fence disputes.

According to ABC News, the number of people seeking legal advice for fencing disputes has increased 40% over the last few years. There have been 15,479 civil proceedings loved in court under the Fences Act over the last five years.

“I think a lot of the disputes center around the fact that we seem to have lost the art of talking to people,” said Chris Boundy from the Legal Services Commission of South Australia. “We often encourage neighbours in the first instance to talk to each other but there are some myths, for example people think that if they absorb the whole cost of a new fence that they can decide exactly and entirely how it’s going to be, that’s not true.”

Hopefully, as cheesy as it sounds, neighbors all over the world can start communicating with one another before any fencing projects commence.

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