A reader with a pesky neighbor and indifferent police writes in to ask about her property rights. Our advice - get a good lawyer. And stop going on vacation:
We returned from vacation last night to find that our neighbor has begun construction on a concrete wall on the slope between our properties. They also tampered with our sprinkler system which would have hindered their ability to build the wall had it been functioning, and both my front and back yards are dead. The building is clearly not accurate, they placed the property stakes themselves ( ot licensed surveyors) using plans we provided years ago to dispute a playhouse they built 20 feet into our property during another vacation we took. They have tools and their workers on our property and have caused thousands of dollars of damage to my landscaping. I called code enforcement (they didn't pull the necessary permits) and later the police when the workers started spitting at me when I asked them to stop working until the code enforcement people showed up and the owner began screaming that I am a "poor piece of trash". The police told me that I am being unreasonable and that my neighbors have the right to damage my property while building their fence and that the workers have the right to be on our property as well as it is necessary to get the work done. They said that ground cover and plantings, all of which were carefully chosen by me, appeared to be "naturally occuring" plantings and not considered property. That there is nothing I can do about the destruction. Is this true?