If your neighbor’s dog is barking too much and is interfering with your peaceful living, then you can sue the dog owner for nuisance. The best way to do so is through a small claims court, where the procedures are simple and you do not need the assistance of a dog lawyer. The fees for filing a lawsuit are also less in small claims court.
However, the problem associated with filing your court in small claims court is that, the judge of this court only has the power to order a person to pay money, but he/she cannot order to keep the dog quiet. But still, making your neighbor to pay money can also be effective for persuading him to take measures to control his dog. Also, you can go back to the court again if the problem still persists.
Things to do before you sue
- Try to make a negotiation with the owner of the dog. You might have to tell the judge that you tried your maximum to settle the issue.
- Be aware of the deadline for filing the claim. In most cases, there will be a deadline to bring the suit after the occurrence of the event.
- Decide the amount to claim. You will have to convert the harm you suffered into dollars.
- Collect evidence, as you will need strong proofs for showing that the dog is a nuisance.
How much to claim
This can be a difficult task as there are no formulas for converting your discomfort into dollars. Hence, start the calculation with the expenses you have incurred because of the dog’s nuisance, like the amount spent for repairing any damage to your property caused by the dog. For less tangible losses like the annoyance and lack of sleep caused by the dog, determine a small amount and multiply it with the days you have suffered this nuisance.
If you want to sue for an amount beyond the limit of small claims court, then you will have to file your lawsuit in the regular court with the help of a dog attack lawyer.
Proving that the dog is a nuisance
If you want to prove that the dog is indeed a nuisance, you will have to show that the noise caused by the dog’s barking is unreasonable and excessive. In addition to this, you will have to prove that the nuisance caused you actual annoyance and physical discomfort.
How to sue
The procedures associated with small claims court is often very easy. Most courts will provide booklets or online info including the details of how to file a lawsuit. In such courts, you can file the lawsuit by yourself without the help of dog lawyers.