Hebron Fence Causes Major Legal Battle

According to the Indiana Court of Appeals, the malicious construction of fences is actionable in Indiana. According to David Gertz, et al. v. Douglas Estes, et al., No. 64A03-0909-CV-414, Indiana Code Section 36-26-10, et. seq. makes it actionable for a person who suffers pecuniary damages as a result of the construction of a “spite fence”. According to the statute, any fence exceeding six (6) feet in height constructed with the malicious intent of annoying adjacent property owners is a nuisance as a matter of law (“per se”).

The Indiana Court of Appeals case arouse out of the Porter Superior Court, Judge William Alexa presiding. The question was whether the trial court erred by requiring the Gertzes to completely remove a “spite fence.” The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of Judge Alexa.

Bottom line: make sure that if you construct a fence higher than six (6) feet tall, that you don’t appear to be taking it out on your surrounding neighbors. Otherwise, you might be hailed into court and forced to pay for expensive legal costs in defending a lawsuit.

This article is not intended to provide legal advice or to establish an attorney-client relationship. Please seek legal assistance from an attorney. This article was written for entertainment and educational purposes only.

  • C. Hedges

    I'd also add that it would be good to check with a lawyer of your choice to see what rules and regulations govern any types of building projects in your area to prevent problems.