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PROPERTY LAW: Statute Is Not The Exclusive Remedy For Damages Caused By Tree Cutting

PROPERTY LAW: Statute Is Not The Exclusive Remedy For Damages Caused By Tree Cutting

The Supreme Court holds that although the legislature may eliminate a common law right by statute, the presumption that the legislature does not have such a purpose can be overcome only if the legislative intent is clear.  The Connecticut tree cutting statute, C.G.S. § 52-560, does not contain an exclusivity provision or other language indicating that it is an exclusive remedy.  The statute allows an injured party to obtain three times the reasonable value of the tree as timber under certain circumstances and enhances the common law remedy for the value of trees as timber.  This statutory remedy is not, however, exclusive.  Recognition of a common law remedy allowing an injured party to recover the diminution in the value of his land neither conflicts with the remedies provided by § 52-560 nor frustrates its underlying purpose. Caciopoli v. Lebowitz, SC 18894 (June 25, 2013)

Cases involving the cutting, trimming, or other unauthorized damage to trees owned by neighbors can become extremely contentious and emotional. Trees can add considerable value to real estate, and Connecticut law regards the wrongful damage to, or removal of, trees to be a potentially serious matter. Sometimes neighbors take the law into their own hands, and trim trees that do not belong to them in an unlawful manner. On the other hand, negligently maintained trees can cause damage to neighboring properties, and may constitute hazards to property and safety. Regardless of which side of the dispute that you are on, these kinds of issues can have serious legal consequences.

Trees can be the source of dispute between neighbors. Sometimes one neighbor plants trees very close to the property line thereby causing problems to the other neighbor’s property. View blockage is sometimes an issue, and Connecticut law is complicated concerning this subject. Roots from certain types of trees on one neighbor’s property sometimes cause damage to adjacent properties. Ideally people will resolve these problems without lawyers. Unfortunately, however, this is not always possible, and sometimes when a dispute of this type exists, you need a lawyer.

If you are involved in a dispute of this type, please contact our firm at 860-278-4040 to speak to an attorney. Your phone consultation is always at no charge, and if it appears that you have a case requiring representation our Firm will arrange for a follow-up, in-person consultation with an attorney at no charge or obligation to you.

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