Among the legal remedies available to Idaho residents is a lawsuit to abate (lessen or stop) a nuisance. Idaho Code Section 52-111 defines a nuisance as “anything which is injurious to health or morals, or indecent, or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property.”
Several reported Idaho cases provide examples of litigation to abate a nuisance. In the case of Payne vs. Kaare, 127 Idaho 341 (1995), the Idaho Supreme Court upheld a trial court’s ruling that the neighbors of a cattle feed lot were entitled to an injunction against the feed lot owners due to the offensive odors, dust and flies resulting from the feed lot’s increased use of potato slurry and corn slurry.
In the case of Lemon vs. Curington, 78 Idaho 522 (1957), the court agreed with the Plaintiff’s claim that a neighbor’s large tree roots constituted a nuisance, where the roots exerted sufficient pressure against the Plaintiff’s basement wall so as to push the wall inward. The court ruled that the Plaintiff was entitled to remove the roots.
In the case of Archer v Shields Lumber, 91 Idaho 861 (1967), the court recognized that a sawmill created a nuisance by its failure to provide its employees proper sanitary facilities, resulting in the deposits of urine and human feces on a neighbor’s land.
What these cases illustrate is that a landowner’s right to use property is not unlimited. An experienced trial attorney can help you determine if a neighbor’s offensive activities are severe enough to warrant the filing of a civil suit for nuisance.