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Broken fence by plowing what to do???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by meathead1134, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. meathead1134

    meathead1134 Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 170

    First of all let me say that I didn't break the fence it's my fence, My wife told me that our fence was broken and if I had noticed I said no. So I go out and take a look at it an noticed that the house behind me was plowed and the guy pushed the snow up against my wooden fence and broke it it 3 sections. So I go over there its a 3 family. I ringed the door bell and asked to speak with the property owner. The lady on 3rd floor comes down and says the owner dosen't live here. I said ok can you please give me his contact info. She says I don't know who the landlord is?? me excuse me you don't know who is the landlord, her my daughter deals with them. Ok So I try second floor and tell them the story they say sorry cannot help you. I'm out walking my dog in my yard and noticed that somebody else was out side. I tell them the story he says I cannot give you their information but I'll tell him ARRRR yeah right. So I called police and they come down, I talked to them and they say its not from vandalism and there is nothing we can do. I asked for a report to be taken and the cop said no. ARRRRRRRRRR I got the owners information from city hall, all it gives me is the owners name and the address of the property. So I send a registered letter and it gets returned to me. I do not know what to do. Can somebody help me??
  2. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,317

    Flag down the guy plowing the lot next time he shows up.
  3. bigjoe871

    bigjoe871 Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    It will take a while but...

    Find out where they send the rent. If its a mailing address then send a letter. If someone picks it up then ask one of the tenants to give in your sealed envelope with their rent.

    I have a couple of rental units that are too far away for me to get to myself and I sub them out. If this was my property i would definitely want to know that someone damaged the neighbors property and make good on it.

    Good Luck and dont give up, it's usually a matter of the owner not knowing about it.
  4. Joe D

    Joe D Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    Go to the town hall and find out the property owners name and send them a letter.
  5. Hmebuildr

    Hmebuildr Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    Contact your insurance company file a claim for the damage and have them track down the owner.
  6. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    That would be great but there are at least 2 things wrong with that...

    1. He will still have to pay a deductable (assuming he has one) and it may not cover the cost of replacing a couple of posts.

    2. Most insurance companies won't pursue the vandal with a claim this small. They'll just cut a check for whatever the amount minus the deductable and be done with it.

    Waiting for the plow guy to come back may not be a good idea either. All he has to say is "I wasn't the plow guy when that happened." and now he's off the hook.

    I would do whatever it takes to contact the owner of the property and tell him you need the snowplowers information. Tell him you want the plow guy to do your property or something since your plow is broke down.
  7. Chris-R

    Chris-R Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    You didn't say how much this would cost to fix. It it's under $ 2,000 and assuming the property is in Massachusetts (as per your info), you can file a small claim against the property owner and plow operator. You already have the name and address of the property owner. Now you just have to get the name and address of the plow contractor. Do what you have to do to get his name and address. Some previous suggestions are helpful. After that, if nobody fixes your fence in about a week or so, file a claim against both of them in small claims court. Go to the district court closest to you and ask someone in the clerk's office what to do. Typically, they are very helpful. The cost of filing the claim is really low like $ 20. If the defendants don't show up to court, you get a judgement in your favor through default. If they come, you better have pictures along with an estimate from a fence company for the amount you are asking for. Small claims court is designed for small cases without lawyers so you shouldn't need a lawyer. Both sides have the right to bring a lawyer if they want but lawyers are seldom seen in small claims court.
  8. VAhighwayman

    VAhighwayman Senior Member
    Messages: 155

    Granted.. the property owner should be notified..but..it's the guy who pushed the snow against it...he's the one that needs to fix or replace those sections of fence because he's the one who put the snow there..not the land owner..whoever he hired to push snow should have insurance..but for what i've read what you've been thru so far..the land owner hired a fly by night lowballer and you'll never see that guy again...good luck
  9. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    I don't know about in your area,but in Ohio all counties have a web site where property tax records are shown. You can obtain the address where the tax bill is sent from those records.
  10. Raydon

    Raydon Member
    Messages: 49

    Meathead, I would go over and take pictures right away while it's daylight from the other side showing the reason the fence was damaged. Maybe if you told the cops the plow did the damage rather than the snow against it, it may become a traffic problem they would deal with. It's property damage caused by a motor vehicle any way you slice it. Good Luck
  11. mmwb

    mmwb Senior Member
    from wyoming
    Messages: 114

    As Raydon said, get pics now, from both sides of the fence. As stated the county will have a record of who owns the property so they can send a tax notice to them.
  12. DugHD

    DugHD Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    Wait for the next snow storm and bring it to the attention of the plow guy. If he is remorseful and says he'll pay for damages your all set. If he says pound sand , get his plate number then pound the **** out of him . :nod:
  13. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    Oh yea, that's smart:rolleyes:

    Don't be like this. It's comments like that which give honest and hard working plowers like me a bad name. What makes you think that two wrongs make a right?? I just don't get it. That's what the police and the courts system is for. All you need to do is beat the snot out of someone and the person you beat up could be the smart one to go to the cops. Then the least of your worries will be a broken fence. Come on people...

    I don't know if it's the lack of snow or what. SOme of the responses here have been downright awful.
  14. DugHD

    DugHD Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    Well, I said if the guy tells you to pound sand he wont take responsability.
  15. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    Than all you have to do is take down the license plate number, file a police report, and let the cops do their job. If the cops have reason to believe he caused the damage they will hand the case over to the states attorney. The states attorney can / will investigate the story and decide wether charges can be filed for destruction of private property.

    Another route that can be taken is to get ahold of the property owner and ask him for proof of payment for plowing snow on the day you suspect the damage to have been done. With that information you can take him to small claims court.

    Sure, it's a lot of leg work but it's still the right way to go about getting it taken care of.

    Seriously Dug, do you really think beating the crud out of someone is going to fix his fence? What good can possibly come out of it? Best case senario is he will think twice before he pushes snow against a fence. Worst case is you go to jail for assault. Dug, you do whatever makes you feel good. I'll just sit back and laugh when your actions comes back to haunt you.
  16. DugHD

    DugHD Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    yup ok, i shouldnt have given him that advice.
    But if it was my fence , thats absolutely what i'd do.
  17. meathead1134

    meathead1134 Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 170

    I did go to town hall and I have the owners name but they do not live there as orgionally stated in my first post I sent a registerd letter and it came back to us. Yes I have pictures from both sides of the fence. The police refuse to to take a report.

    "Find out where they send the rent"

    tennants are playing dumb they won't give me the owners info see orgional post

    "Now you just have to get the name and address of the plow contractor"

    easier said than done the tennants are playing dumb.

    "Wait for the next snow storm and bring it to the attention of the plow guy"

    I am a plow guy and I work full time so I don't have time to babysit until he shows up.

    "You can obtain the address where the tax bill is sent from those records"
    I will try this out hopefully tomorrow.
  18. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    The police MUST file a report. It's called destruction of private property or in a lesser extent vandalism, both of which are illegal acts. There's no denying the fact your property is damaged / destroyed. I think the cop is just being lazy. I'd bet if you call and ask for a supervisor to come out to the property he will look into it for you. If not than go up the chain one higher to the chief of police. If that fails then write a letter to your mayor or local town governing body. If you want you can appeal to your town council by attending a meeting and voice your issue there.

    In short, the police MUST file a report if you ask them to. Now, it's up to them if they decide to pursue the report or bury it in a pile of red tape. They are required to take the report.
  19. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    And yet another reason the police must file a report... Leaving the scene of an accident. Even though no one was hurt there was still the destruction of private property with a motor vehicle.
  20. pbeering

    pbeering Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    The police do not have to file a report at all. This is clearly a minor civil matter (assuming you ignore the "revenge" advice above, which could well change the view of the police). Most departments will (correctly) walk away from it. Going to the town council and ranting will serve no end other than making you look foolish. Spending time and energy to pursue a legal action is also foolish. Write it off and either repair the fence, or remove it.

    Not nice that the guy hurt it and split, but not the first time this has happened, and not likely to be the last.

    Since you plow snow, why do you have a fence where a knucklehead can push snow into it??????