A dispute between Coquitlam neighbours in the city's Cape Horn neighbourhood has landed in B.C. Supreme Court.
In public documents filed Sept. 13 in Vancouver, Slavica and Enes Cengic are suing Yamania Tijerino, Maria Velleda Lacayo, Delia Tijerino and John Doe, known as Jose, over ongoing issues they claim have arisen in a dispute over a fence and a shed.
The case and the claims have not been tested in court.
However, the Cengics, owners of property at 1837 Brunette Ave. claim their privacy has been invaded and the enjoyment of their property has been reduced due to actions of the neighbours who live next door at 1847 Brunette Ave.
According to court documents, the Cengics claim they've owned their property since 2008 and built a wooden fence supported by a "small" retaining wall along the property line, with the agreement of the previous owners.
However, when the new owners moved in to the neighbouring home in 2021 they "demanded" the fence be removed, alleging that it encroaches on their property.
The Cengics advised their neighbours that they would remove the fence and the retaining wall “back from the property line” if the defendants would agree to remove portions of a shed that encroaches on their property line.
Instead, the neighbours dug a 17-metre long trench along the property line, which the Cengics say is a third of a metre wide and half a metre deep
"The trench has resulted in a substantial and unreasonable interference with the plaintiffs use and occupation of the plaintiff's property and constitute a continuing nuisance," the suit states.
Among the problems is the "loss of lateral and subjacent support" of the plaintiffs property. As well, the overhanging eaves from the shed are a "nuisance" and could be a "hazard," the suit claims.
The suit also alleges that the defendants "verbally harassed and intimidated" the Cengics and their guests on the property, took photographs and video recordings, in a violation of their privacy.
As well, the neighbours placed "No Trespassing" signs pointed toward the Cengics' property, as well as signs stating that "Posts and Base are Trespassing" and "No fence is authorized."
"From in or around November 2021 to present, one of more of the defendants have intentionally acted in a manner that they knew or ought to have known would violate the privacy of the plaintiffs without an honest belief in a state of facts, which, if existed, would be a legal justification or excuse, in circumstances in which the plaintiffs were entitled to privacy," the lawsuit states.
"As a result of the defendants' violation of the plaintiff's privacy, the plaintiffs suffered and continue to suffer emotional distress and discomfort," it further states.
By not removing the "encroaching portions" of the shed, the defendants are trespassing, resulting in interference with the use of the property and diminution in market value.
Among the remedies the lawsuit seeks include an injunction against photographing, recording or surveilling the plaintiffs, filling in the trench, removing portions of the shed that encroach and bringing the shed up to code and bylaw standards.
As well, the lawsuit seeks general, special, aggravated and punitive damages.
The defendants have 21 days to respond from the date of the documents were served.