A panicked 911 call out of Washington state this month highlights the importance of seeking legal representation in property disputes before they get out of hand.  As many residents here in Michigan may remember, the call to 911 dispatchers came just days ago from a man who explained that his neighbor was demolishing his home with a bulldozer.  In a matter of minutes, the 51-year-old man in the bulldozer had demolished four of his neighbors’ homes and even destroyed one neighbor’s truck.

According to the man’s neighbors, his aggressive rampage was likely fueled by a long-standing property dispute between him and his other neighbors.  The residents had differing opinions regarding property lines; a dispute that finally boiled over from words into physical retaliation.

The 51-year-old man has since been taken into police custody and was charged with malicious mischief.  Recent reports say that police may have elevated the charges to include deadly weapons charges as well.

The take-away from this story for Michigan residents is that no matter how angry you may be at your neighbors during a property dispute, taking matters such as this into your own hands can not only end in thousands of dollars in damages but could land you in jail as well.  Although the process may take awhile to sort out with an attorney, you can rest assured that all of the proper legal channels are being gone through so as to avoid more litigation in the future.

As for the people involved in this story, it’s not clear whether the neighbors will take civil action against the man now or not.

Source: The Examiner, “Man’s bulldozer rampage destroys 4 homes as dispute over property lines erupts,” Jennifer Gangloff, May 12, 2013

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