To quote Jim Anchower, "Hola amigos. What's goin' on? I know it's been a long time since I last rapped at ya, but I've had some problems." (Yeah, it's a quote from The Onion, first resort of every blogger bereft of humor. But, hey, do you want original writing or chuckles? Me too. So check out some of the new product designs that those pros have worked up. I was crying by the seventh slide, I swear.)
First off (as Jim would put it), I've been trying to perfect my reverse-engineering of the U.S. News & World Report's law school rankings and starting the end-of-semester grading grind. But that's not nearly as interesting as my recent encounter with every libertarian's nightmare: Trespass.
In preparation of a planned home remodel, we recently hired a surveying firm to work up a detailed map of our property. A team of two surveyors came last Tuesday and spent much of the day lugging around a measuring rod and theodolite (that thing on the tripod that the surveyor peers through) around our yard. When they had finished, one of the guys called me over to a far corner of our lot and explained, "We drove a stake over there to show how far your property reaches. There's the corner of your yard—about a foot or two on the other side of your neighbor's fence."
Though the full story includes a few complicating factors, it basically boils down to this: My neighbor built his fence about a year ago without first conducting a survey. Deliberately or (more likely) negligently, he misplaced part of his fence on our property. That, my property-loving friends, constitutes trespass to real property.
What would you do in such a case? I don't meant to ask what you could do; that's too easy to answer. You could invoke your legal rights and force your neighbor to remove his fence. I don't think that's quite in order, leastwise not yet. Or, of course, you could do nothing. I don't like that option, either. It's not that we suffer material harm due to the fence's current location. Because it lies across some steep terrain, on the other side of our fence, we don't use that part of our property. But for reasons I won't get into, I don't think it's wise to just let tip-toe around this sleeping dog.
I've already taken some action. I hold off saying just what, though. First, let's see what you come up with. I know I'm not done, after all, and I hope to get some good ideas about what to do next.