P K

Sued for cutting tree

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I hope someone can help me here. I have been sued by my neighbors for cutting the two silver maple trees, approx 20 ft high which were a big threat to my house, part of trees were in neighbors air space. Can someone help me evaluate the dollar value of silver maple trees please. Thanks so much. 

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I wouldn't even hire a lawyer for this one.  Use google to find the general statutes for your state, and google will find the specific law too.  I'd file a Motion to Dismiss stating that pursuant to whatever the general statute that applies.  You can find samples of such motions online too.  Print out copies, carry to your County Clerks office, have the copies stamped as filed, leave one there, and send one copy to the Plantiff.   Any Judge will dismiss that case. 

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Part of the tree is in their vertical air space and court does care about it. I need to prove, trees were worthless in $ etc 

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If the trunk of the tree was completely on your property, the tree is your property and they have no right to sue you for cutting it down. This is recognized in all states. Tell them to mind their own business. If their first reaction to sue, I assume they are not your friends or generally friendly people, so I would t even bother getting their opinion on what, if anything, you replace those trees with. 

If the trunk was on their property, then it shouldn’t have been cut down without their permission, regardless of threat to your house. 

However, if your city has some ordinance regarding the removal of trees, it can get complicated and you may be best off hiring a lawyer. 

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Thanks everyone for responding so quickly. I am trying the legal avenues, meanwhile, any write up on Silver maple which can prove that these are soft wood useless trees and any formula to evaluate the $ value. Yes, I am unfortunate to have neighbors like that. husband approves cutting of tree, wife filed a case. 

 

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If you are required/determined to find a value, remember that a tree has a completely different value as a living growing tree than it does as lumber, which is completely different than it does as firewood. If they don’t specify which it needs to be, call a firewood company and ask them how much they’d pay you for the tree. 

To get a real value, you would need to have an arborist or forester come out and look at the trees. Tree value will also greatly differ based on your location.

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Laws that apply to limbs of your trees over a neighbors property give them permission to cut them, but don't say that you can't cut them, as long as the process doesn't damage their property.   If it was a tree growing on the property line, then it's different, but that's not what you said.

"Vertical air space" means nothing.  If it did, property owners could sue airplanes for trespassing.  The only thing that matters, is what the law says, and that's spelled out in the General Statutes.

I have miles of property lines with trees.  Somebody is going to get worked up any time a tree is cut.

Lawyers most often want to settle.   When they see a Motion filed by a lay person, they see that the Defendant is not likely to spend money on it.

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Threaten to countersue all legal fees. They have no case barring historical significance, which has no language about limbs in airspace. That so many have told you this and you seek value anyway makes me think you are trying to sell the trees and split profit somehow. Something just doesn’t ring completely true in every sense. No accusation, but can you help make sense of the issue as I see it?

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43 minutes ago, Tom King said:

"Vertical air space" means nothing.  If it did, property owners could sue airplanes for trespassing.

Well there actually are some state and federal laws regarding air space related to property ownership, but they usually are limited to 50 or 100 feet high. They are more often used to prevent someone from blocking views, and in allowing neighbors to trim tree branches back to the property line (NOT in neighbors having rights to keeping trees that overhang their yard). 

If the court didn’t immediately dismiss the case, it would seem that they are possibly claiming that the tree was on the property line, not fully in your property, or there are other details to the case.

 

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The going rate on price for soft maple logs in Tennessee $350.00 per thousand feet of logs. 0.35 bdft.

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A 20ft tall silver will have little to no lumber value. I think I misread before replying earlier. Or, do you mean you cut 50ft trees back by 30ft?

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17 hours ago, P K said:

I hope someone can help me here. I have been sued by my neighbors for cutting the two silver maple trees, approx 20 ft high which were a big threat to my house, part of trees were in neighbors air space. Can someone help me evaluate the dollar value of silver maple trees please. Thanks so much. 

That word there I highlighted means you need a lawyer.

The value of the tree isn't a lumber value, but rather a shade tree value.   For instance Black Walnut is highly desired for lumber, but as a residential landscape tree is considered undesirable as it drops nuts and makes a mess.

 I found a pretty good publication from the extension service at Purdue that explains this and even has a formula.

https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/FNR/FNR-473-W.pdf

Although prices are going to be Indiana based, it'll vary by region.   And there are arborist who can do this appraisal who will have a good idea of local market conditions.

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All of this is conjecture. Need to know where you live down to the city. some random armchair experts on a forum aren't going to know the nitty gritty details that make all the difference.

My firm got sued over removing trees. Appraisal came out for shade trees and disturbed land value. Owner that sued us was awarded $0.00 and was required to pay all legal fees. This all varies by region down to city or even HOA. The trees were even on the owners property.

I wish you luck,  if you lawyer up ask politely if the case is dismissed if you can get your fees covered by your neighbor. I don't see that they have a leg to stand on. Unless there is some odd regional ordinance or HoA covenants.

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4 hours ago, Chestnut said:

All of this is conjecture. Need to know where you live down to the city. some random armchair experts on a forum aren't going to know the nitty gritty details that make all the difference.

My firm got sued over removing trees. Appraisal came out for shade trees and disturbed land value. Owner that sued us was awarded $0.00 and was required to pay all legal fees. This all varies by region down to city or even HOA. The trees were even on the owners property.

I wish you luck,  if you lawyer up ask politely if the case is dismissed if you can get your fees covered by your neighbor. I don't see that they have a leg to stand on. Unless there is some odd regional ordinance or HoA covenants.

Varies from place to place or even subdivision or townhouse development.

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I'm curious as to how a twenty foot tall tree can be be a big threat to someone's house. I mean the trunk can't be very big. 

Just my 2cents worth.

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4 hours ago, Keggers said:

I'm curious as to how a twenty foot tall tree can be be a big threat to someone's house. I mean the trunk can't be very big. 

Just my 2cents worth.

Right. Something smells fishy here.

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