Disputes between neighbors are nothing new, and while they can cause a tense living situation, they can also result in legal trouble. For example, if your neighbor is claiming that you are engaging in activities that can lessen the value of their property, negatively affect their environment, or interfere with their general happiness, they may try to file a claim against you under the Arizona public nuisance laws.
What does the state of Arizona consider a public nuisance?
Many actions can constitute a public nuisance under Arizona law. But for these offenses to be deemed a violation of the public nuisance law, they will have to end in one of the following results.
- Health injury: If your action injures anyone, you can be in violation of public nuisance laws. This can be an individual injury or a broad injury such as an injury produced from poor air quality you have created.
- Indecency: If an action is considered lewd or obscene, it can be classified as having an indecent outcome.
- Obstruction or offense to the senses: If an action results in the obstruction of the use of public property or the comfortable enjoyment of the property by the community or many people, a public nuisance violation can be given.
- Free passage obstruction: If an act obstructs the free passage of a bay, river, lake, stream, highway, or public street it is a public nuisance.
- Distribution of obscene material: If material that is deemed obscene is sold or in any way distributed within 2,000 feet of a public or private school, private residence, or a public park, a public nuisance charge can be given.
If you are found guilty of committing a public nuisance or fail to remove or correct a public nuisance when required, you can be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor in the state of Arizona.
What are examples of public nuisance claims?
Public nuisance complaints will be handled by law enforcement and are considered a public nuisance if they affect the entire community or a large scope of citizens. Some of the examples of public nuisance can include:
- Bright or distracting lights
- Noises that can be considered loud or irritating
- Smells deemed noxious, or that induce illness
- Major health hazards
- Improper storage of dangerous materials
What are examples of private nuisance claims?
While private nuisance claims will also be handled by law enforcement, they will have a negative impact on a smaller number of people instead of the wider community. Examples of private nuisance claims include:
- A neighbor playing loud music
- A neighbor’s dog incessantly barking next door
- Any type of encroachment on a neighbor’s property
What are not public nuisance claims?
Your neighbor or neighbors cannot claim you are violating nuisance laws for perceived claims, such as them believing you have trained your pet to go to the bathroom in their yard or are shining lights in their home when you turn the corner as if on purpose. To qualify as a public nuisance claim, the act will need to be intentional, affect their life, and be able to be proven.
What do I do if I’ve been charged with public nuisance in Scottsdale?
If you have received a Class 2 misdemeanor charge in Scottsdale for public nuisance, you will need to retain the services of an experienced attorney. Class 2 misdemeanors can result in fines, probation, community service, restitution, and even possible jail time. Ensure your rights and interests are represented by hiring an experienced Scottsdale attorney to handle your public nuisance charge.