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Real property

harassment by neighbors

Harassment by neighbors can take many forms, including yelling obscenities; loud and disruptive noises (especially at night) from parties, fights, or other activities; threatening or abusive behavior; or damage to your home or yard by pets.

If your neighbor’s behavior is merely annoying and not abusive, threatening, or criminal conduct, you may be able to resolve the issue with a courteous discussion. But if your neighbor’s conduct is threatening, abusive, violates a noise ordinance, or is a criminal offense such as stalking, trespassing, or peeping, for example, you may be able to get assistance from the police (call 911 in an emergency) or from the civil courts in the form of a restraining order.

In Texas, harassment by neighbors can be addressed through various legal avenues depending on the severity and nature of the conduct. If the behavior is annoying but not abusive or threatening, it is often best to attempt to resolve the issue through direct communication. However, if the conduct includes yelling obscenities, loud noises that may violate local noise ordinances, threatening or abusive behavior, or property damage, legal action may be necessary. Texas law allows for the filing of a noise complaint with local law enforcement if the neighbor is violating a noise ordinance. More serious offenses such as stalking, trespassing, or peeping are criminal acts and can be reported to the police. In cases of ongoing harassment, individuals may seek a restraining order or protective order from the civil courts to legally prohibit the neighbor from continuing the offending behavior. It's important to document any incidents of harassment and to report them to the authorities when appropriate. In emergency situations, calling 911 is the appropriate response.

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