Overgrown tree raises questions about liability | News

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Overgrown tree raises questions about liability

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Dorothy Muller has lived in her Northwest Jacksonville home 57 years and watched the tree behind her property line become a major concern.

"I'm afraid it is going to fall on my home," said Muller, "but I don't know who owns it."

Muller said she contacted the business next door, the owner said it is not his tree. She even contacted the city but was told it is not the city's property.

"No one seem to own it, and I know it is not mine," said Muller.

This is a very common problem and there are some common guidelines to follow.

There's now an investigation into the property to see if it is a public right of way.

"I know there are sewer lines there," said Muller. "I know the city has mowed the area in the past, but they say it is not theirs."

Here are the common guidelines outlining liability or responsibility.

  1. Generally the tree belongs to the owner of the property where the truck is located.
  2. If the branches are encroaching on your property you have to right to trim the branches that are in your property space.
  3. Locate the owner of the property where the trunk is situated and send them a certified letter expressing the concern hazard, and let them know they will be held liable for any harm or damage. 

Muller is now considering her options.


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