When Can I Sue My Neighbor in Massachusetts?

When Can I Sue My Neighbor in Massachusetts?

Although most of us do our best to live in peace with our neighbors, disputes can arise. Unfortunately, neighbors have the potential to make our lives quite difficult, and an otherwise utopian neighborhood can quickly become a place of stress and anguish. What kinds of legal options can you take in this situation? Is it possible to sue your neighbor in Massachusetts? If so, under what circumstances?

All of these questions can be answered in depth by a qualified attorney who understands things like tenant and landlord laws, as well as other areas of property law. With the right legal assistance, you can make your neighborhood peaceful and enjoyable again. If the threat of legal action does not convince your neighbors to stop their behavior, then they may start to change their ways after they face fines or even jail time.

Neighbor Law in Massachusetts

There is an entire subsection of Massachusetts state law that is dedicated to neighbor law. These laws regulate things like fence construction between properties, whether your neighbor is allowed to cut down trees on the property line, and more.

If someone cuts down your tree without your permission or damages your tree, you can recover damages in the amount of the value of the tree, or how much it would cost to replace the tree. Your neighbor may face even harsher penalties if they deliberately tried to cut down your tree, and it was not some kind of accident.

Excessive Noise

Noisy neighbors are another common source of strife, especially in communities with families who may be trying to get their children to sleep at night. Massachusetts does have strict regulations pertaining to noise and public disturbances, and you may be able to take your neighbors to court if they are causing serious issues with loud music, engines, or anything else that creates a racket.

If you are serious about taking legal action against your neighbors in this situation, you need to collect evidence in the form of audio recording. Simply attesting to the fact that you have noisy neighbors is not enough. The sound must be measured in a reliable manner for judges in Massachusetts to take you seriously.


Trespassing is another serious crime in Massachusetts. If your neighbor is repeatedly entering your property without your expressed permission, you can press charges against them. While the penalties for trespassing are quite harsh in Massachusetts, you can also take things one step further and sue your neighbor for coming onto your property without permission.

Again, the tricky part is proving that your neighbors were trespassing. Video or photo footage may be necessary. You should also keep in mind that there may be “implied” permission to come onto your property if you have a path leading up to your front door and a gate that is not locked, etc. In order to make it clear that you do not want people on your property, you may need to put up “no trespassing” signs. With all that said, ignorance is typically not a strong defense against
trespassing charges.

Getting Legal Help

If you need help with a troublesome neighbor, consider reaching out to the Law Offices of Johnson, Sclafani & Moriarty today.