This time of year, many cities in New Jersey and across the country have holiday lights strung up by local officials. While these lights can add some festive cheer as residents drive down streets, they could also cause conflict if a property owner believes that officials hung lights on private property without permission. In some cases, a land use dispute could arise.
One man in another state is currently dealing with this type of issue after removing holiday lights that he deemed unsafe. According to reports, city officials had strung holiday lights on a tree that sits on his property but that is close to the road. He believed that the lights were unsafe because they had indoor wiring and because an extension power cord running across the street were powering them. As a result, he took them down.
The man was later visited by police officers who stated that city officials had requested the property owner’s arrest for vandalism. The man gave an explanation for his actions and stated that it was a civil issue. The officers did not take the man into custody. The report indicated that the dispute relates to confusion over a property easement involving the man’s property and whether the tree on which the lights were hung is on private or city property.
Dealing with a land use dispute can be complicated, and as this case shows, it could almost lead to an arrest due to misunderstanding. If New Jersey residents are having difficulties with an easement or someone unlawfully using their private property, it may not be immediately clear as to what to do. However, in some cases, legal action may be necessary to bring clarity to the issue as well as a formal resolution.