Alabama Laws on Property Disputes Between Neighbors

A breakdown of Alabama laws on neighbor disputes involving trees, fences, and the right to farm.

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Alabama Tree Damage Laws

In Alabama, if someone damages your tree, you can recover your actual damages (usually, what you paid for the tree or what it would cost to replace the tree). (To learn what you must prove in order to get actual damages, see Nolo's article When a Neighbor Damages or Destroys Your Tree.) In some states, including Alabama, specific laws allow you to recover additional damages if someone deliberately damages your tree. See Alabama's statute in the table below. The table will also tell you the amount you can sue for (whether just your actual loss or some multiple of your actual damages).

In some states other than Alabama, intentionally damaging a tree is a crime can result in arrest, jail, fines, and other penalties. Alabama does not have such a law, but general Alabama criminal statutes, such as those related to theft or property damage, may apply. (To learn more about damages and criminal penalties in tree injury cases, see Nolo's article When a Neighbor Damages or Destroys Your Tree.)

Additional Damages and Criminal Penalties for
Intentional Damage to Trees in Alabama

Alabama Statute for Additional Damages

Additional Amount You Can Sue For in Alabama

Alabama Criminal Statute

Ala. Code Ann. § 35-14-1

Actual loss

None

Alabama Boundary Fence Laws

A boundary fence is a fence that is located on or near a property line, though the exact definition can vary by state. Sometimes even a hedge can act as a boundary. To learn more about boundary fences, including how they are defined and regulated, when a neighbor is allowed to build a boundary fence, and who is responsible for repairs and maintenance, see Nolo's Fences and Neighbors FAQ.

To find Alabama's boundary fence statutes, see the table "Boundary Fence Statutes," below. In addition, there might be a local ordinance (in your city, county, or town) that defines and regulates boundary fences.

Alabama Boundary Fence Statute

Ala. Code Ann. § 35-7-3

Alabama Right to Farm Laws

All states have enacted laws that exempt farmers and other agricultural operators from complying with run-of-the-mill nuisance laws -- laws that restrict certain kinds of noisy activity like operation of heavy machinery, or prohibit the use of pesticides, for example. States vary as to how "farming" is defined and how long the agricultural operation must be in existence in order to get protection under right to farm statutes. Some states also list specific things (for example, odor, noise, or dust) that don't constitute a legal nuisance when they're a byproduct of farming or agricultural activity. You can find Alabama's right to farm statute in the table below. (To learn more about right to farm statutes in general, see Nolo's article Rural Neighbors and the Right to Farm.)

 

Alabama Right to Farm Statute

Ala. Code Ann. § 6-5-127

 

For other Nolo articles on neighbor disputes involving adverse possessions and easements, see Adverse Possession: When Trespassers Become Property Owners and Easements: Overview.

To learn more about the property issues covered in this article and other disputes between landowners and neighbors, get Neighbor Law: Fences, Trees, Boundaries & Noise, by Cora Jordan and Emily Doskow (Nolo).

 

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