People who live in Washington State and who experience challenges with their neighbors often wonder what type of recourse they may have or how they can protect themselves. In an ideal world, neighbors would be able to cooperate and resolve their differences amicably and in person. Unfortunately, that does not always happen and legal action is taken. The reasons that lead to this can vary dramatically.
In the central part of the state, a conflict between two neighbors in Selah in Yakima County has recently been reviewed by a Court of Appeals. The dispute goes back several years according to the Yakima Herald. It involves a woman who gives music lessons to students out of her home and her neighbor. Seven years ago, the woman's husband was forced to retire early due to poor health. At that time, she chose to increase the number of lessons she provided to earn additional income for her family.
She received approval for her business from the County and followed all provisions set forth regarding the number of students she could teach and the hours during which she could provide lessons. One of her neighbors was still bothered by her business and sued her in 2014 saying her business was in violation of the neighborhood covenants. He lost and was ordered to pay her legal and court fees.
From November 2015 through March 2016, he parked his large pickup next to her home when she had students present and remotely revved the engine and set off the vehicle alarm. She was awarded $40,000 for emotional distress. He appealed the decision but the Court of Appeals upheld the decision.