Knowing how to deal with a neighbor who tried to fight you can be a difficult situation to navigate. After all, neighbors are supposed to be friendly and courteous, so one that tries to fight you can certainly catch you off guard. So, what should you do if your neighbor tried to fight you?
If a neighbor tried to fight you, try politely speaking with them about whatever the issue is. Using a mediator in this situation is a good idea if you feel unsafe. If this does not work, taking legal action and reporting them to the police is recommended.
Of course, this situation is not so simple and many factors will make your situation unique. Therefore, we have outlined many situations that may relate to yours so you can make the best decision going forward.
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
Dealing with a toxic neighbor can be dangerous and may lead to needing assistance from the authorities.
In order to provide the best evidence to the police, you should have a security system in place to catch your neighbor in the act.
Legal Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as legal advice or acted upon as such. Yard Blogger cannot be held responsible for any damages or dangers caused by action taken by readers based on the contents of the website. You should always consult with an attorney or legal professional before taking any action.
The Fight Itself
Before exchanging angry words with a neighbor, or even a physical fight, you should familiarize yourself with the best way to proceed when a situation gets heated. Let’s discuss.
How Do You Deal with a Fight Between Two Neighbors?
The best thing to do is call 911, especially if you don’t feel safe. Detail where you are, what has happened and who is involved. If you can walk away to a safe space or distance then do so, as a way of diffusing any tensions for the time being.
If you have just gotten into a fight with your neighbor, you have to make your safety a priority. The last thing you want is an escalation of the fight that leaves you hurt.
Here are a couple of actions to take after a fight:
- Contact the police – If you yourself cannot get to a phone, shout for help, and ask a neighbor or loved one to call the police. They can describe what is happening and request a police presence.
- Try to reason with your neighbor – At the end of the day, fighting does not resolve any issues, and actually can make life much harder. A level head and a sense of calm will work wonders in a reasoned conversation.
What Happens if You Fight a Neighbor?
If you have a fight with a neighbor, you need to be aware that there’s a chance the cops will get involved. Another neighbor – and witness – may report it, and there is a serious chance of being arrested.
There are other ways of dealing with angry neighbors without getting on the wrong side of the law.
Try to speak to your neighbor calmly. If the neighbor starts fighting you, you do not have to fight back. This could be the difference between you getting into trouble with the cops and the blame being exclusively on your neighbor.
How to Deal with Toxic Neighbors
Now that we have briefly explained some crucial actions to take after a fight, let’s discuss how you can deal with a toxic neighbor in the long term.
How Do You Deal with Toxic Neighbors?
To deal with a toxic neighbor, you should begin by explaining to them what exactly they are doing that is bothering you. If this does not work, then you might have to involve the authorities, especially if tensions escalate.
If you have to be involved with the neighbor, then always do your best to remain civil. We don’t mean to become their best friend, but be nice enough to not get on their wrong side. If this doesn’t work, then perhaps it is time to call the police.
How Do You Deal with Abusive Neighbors?
If your neighbor is abusive, whether that be emotional or physical, you have every right to file a police report against them. Abusive neighbors should not be tolerated in any situation.
Abuse can be physical, but it can also be verbal too. Examples of this are emotional manipulation or even making rude remarks based on your person, including gender, class, and more.
If your neighbor abuses you, you are within your rights to file a police report.
How Do You Deal with a Neighbor that Hates You?
If you are getting the impression that your neighbor genuinely hates you and is often rude, you may need to recognize that this could constitute harassment. You should start looking into legal action.
If your neighbor is indeed harassing you, you might need to get familiar with some of the legal realities of harassment and that it can happen right on your doorstep.
Knowing what constitutes harassment will help you take the best legal action to resolve the situation.
You might also enjoy our post on How to Shut Down a Neighbor’s Party
The Types of Harassment
Getting into the thick of things, we’re now going to discuss the types of harassment. Read carefully to see if any of these types relate to the situation with your neighbor.
What is Neighbor Harassment?
Neighbor harassment is a broad term of a multitude of things. It’s important to remember that no matter how small they might seem, each thing is still a form of harassment and provokes a reaction out of you.
Sometimes people are ignorant to the fact that their actions could impact their neighbors. This is selfish and self-absorbed. In some cases, harassment can last for years if nobody intervenes.
Examples of neighbor harassment include:
- Calling the police on your multiple times for small things
- Bothering you or your family members on your yard
- Saying abusive things to you and claiming they have freedom of speech
- Watching you through your windows
- Provoking you continuously to bring you to a breaking point
What Are the Three Types of Harassment?
There are many forms of harassment, each covering a wider variety of more specific forms. Yet, the three umbrella terms of harassment are physical, sexual, and psychological.
If you don’t see the form you are experiencing above, then don’t worry, it might be that it falls under one of these umbrella terms.
However, if you are experiencing a fight with your neighbor, it is likely that they are either physically or psychologically harassing you, or both.
What Are Some Examples of Harassment?
Unfortunately, harassment is more common than you think and many actions are not seen as harassment when they technically are. Neighborly relationships can fall victim to such harassment.
Some common examples of harassment include:
- Physical – such as punching, hitting, kicking you or a member of your household (including pets)
- Verbal – including shouting, swearing and saying things (directly rude or not) to make you feel intimidated
- Sexual – Unwanted touching, inappropriate comments, or crude gestures towards you
- Property – such as scratching your car, egging your home, or even tearing down a fence.
You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Neighbor Keeps Cutting Your Grass
What is Legally Considered Harassment?
Harassment is a form of discrimination that includes any unwanted physical or verbal behavior that offends or humiliates you. This can also include forms of intimidation.
According to the California Courts, harassment is:
- ‘Unlawful violence – assault, battery or stalking’
- ‘A credible threat of violence’
- ‘Anything that seriously scares, intimidates or annoys someone without any valid reason for it.’
It is important to note that harassment is harassment, and is considered as such across the country.
If you want information on legal processes specific to your state, the best thing to do is look up your state government website and search for their legal system.
What Counts as a Neighbor Dispute?
Some of the most common examples of neighbor disputes include verbal ones such as shouting abuse or threats. Physical actions speak volumes too, such as agitating you and your family, or unwelcome conduct on your property and in shared areas.
Common examples of neighbor disputes include:
- Issues over property boundaries
- Dealing with a noisy neighbor
- Problems with parking spaces
- Pets causing a disturbance
Typically, neighbor disputes are what may lead to a type of harassment if one of the neighbors does not know how to maturely deal with the situation.
Are There Laws About Harassing Neighbors?
Thankfully, there are laws in place against harassing neighbors, including when a neighbor has tried to fight you. These laws are in place to protect neighborly relationships that can get easily blurred.
According to California Police, if there is someone who is not a close family member or someone you have dated, then this is Civil Harassment.
If your neighbor has harassed you, this counts as Civil Harassment and you can contact the police about it. You can do this via 911 or through a police report.
What to Do About a Neighbor who Harasses You?
Stay well away from someone who harasses you, as approaching them might only make matters worse. If you have an aggressive neighbor, anything – even the smallest of things – can provoke a harasser.
If you do encounter them when walking down the street or in your yard, do not engage, as this can only provoke someone who is already riled up and preparing to be abusive to get their own way.
If you feel like you will need some sort of evidence in the future, having a security system in place will assist you when you need to involve the authorities.
Should I Report Harassment to the Police?
The quickest way to act is to call 911, which will provide you with an immediate response, whether it be a physical appearance from the police or advice from the call handler on what to do next.
According to NYPD, the best thing you can do is report the crime as soon as possible. When the call handler asks you what service you require, ask for the police.
If however, the time has elapsed and the crime isn’t current, you will need to file a police report for harassment.
Should I Call the Cops if My Neighbor Tried to Fight Me?
If you believe this type of behavior is normal for your neighbor and will happen again, you should call the cops. However, if you believe your neighbor was acting out of character, perhaps give them the benefit of the doubt.
Trust your gut when it comes to figuring out if your neighbor has harassment tendencies. If you get an overall bad feeling about them, it is likely that they will act out again.
On the other hand, if you have a generally good relationship with your neighbor, and them trying to fight you was completely out of character, it’s possible that this won’t happen again.
However, don’t forget about it and continue to assess their character.
You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Neighbor’s Kid Keeps Coming in Your Yard
How Do I Take Legal Action Against My Neighbors?
You can take legal action against your neighbors, and, importantly, you are legally entitled to do so! It is vital that you recognize your legal rights because these rights will offer you the best protection possible.
The first step will be to file a complaint to your local police department detailing the incident in as much detail. After this, you might need to go to court but the police will advise you on this periodically.
How Do I File a Complaint Against a Neighbor?
If you have a neighborhood community structure in place, then you could consider writing a letter of complaint to the chairman. Often the committee will have been trained in mediation.
Despite this, if you do not have a neighborhood community in your area, or the situation is more severe, then the wisest course of action is to go directly to the police.
What is a Neighbor Harassment Complaint Letter?
One way of easing tensions before they reach boiling point is to write a letter to your neighbor. This is a polite way of reaching out, acknowledging the strain between your households, and asking if there is a way of resolving this.
It might very well be the case that you both have issues with one another that are causing the trouble. So, why not suggest some solutions to these that would work for you, and also please your neighbor?
Remember, in life compromise is key. But if the claims your neighbor is making against you are unreasonable, then it is time to take your case further so you can retain your peace.
How Do I Complain About Mental Harassment?
Although mental harassment is not visible, it is still very real to the victim and those surrounding them. When you complain, explain how the incidents between your homes have made you feel, mentally and in terms of physical side effects.
If your neighbor has made you feel unwelcome or unsafe within your own home, then tell this to the police. Ultimately, they are there to listen, understand and find the best way of helping you in what is such a difficult time.
The police will be sympathetic to the impact on your mental wellbeing, and might even suggest some coping techniques to aid recovery.
If you need further support, the National Center for Victims of Crime is able to provide support at every stage of the legal process.
What Happens When You File a Police Report for Harassment?
When filing a report to the police, you are best to allow time for them to read it and decide on how to best proceed. The police are trained in mediating conflict and might have a solution other than arrest.
Make sure to check how to report a crime in your local area, as this can vary across different cities and states. The US Government website is the best place to look for your answer!
How Do You Prove Harassment by a Neighbor?
If innocent until proven guilty is a universal motto, then you will need every bit of evidence you have to make sure that guilt is a certainty. Unless you provide evidence, the police cannot substantiate your claim.
Document everything (and we mean everything). Keep a diary, noting down the date and time of each encounter with your neighbor. Write down exactly what they said to you and their actions.
If you want more evidence, perhaps consider documentation on a larger scale. Documenting evidence is the best possible chance you have of building a case that will win in the event of a legal challenge.
How Do I Document Neighbor Harassment?
One of the best ways to do this is to install a CCTV camera outside of your house. Whether it’s next to your front door or in your garage, this will provide video and audio evidence of what has taken place.
If you do get a camera, make sure that you install it in a place where the neighbor cannot easily turn it away or take it down. Otherwise, you will be snubbed by the very people you’re complaining about!
Alternatively, if you cannot access a camera, try using the voice recording app on your cell phone. If you cannot turn this on discreetly (otherwise this could aggravate the situation), ask whoever else is home with you to start recording.
Here is a selection of cameras that might do the trick:
- Blink Outdoor Solar Panel Camera – Environmentally friendly through its sun power and a great way of feeling secure? Sounds like two for the price of one!
- Arlo Security Camera with built-in night vision – feel safe day and night with a night-vision camera that mounts onto any wall.
- Hidden Camera – Perhaps you want to be a little more discreet. If so, consider a Hidden Spy Camera, which will record any harassing neighbors without their knowledge.
Can I Sue for Neighbor Harassment?
You can sue for neighbor harassment and the legal system is in place to help you get justice. You can begin by getting hold of a lawyer to explore the legal process and how to best take action.
Thankfully, the United States of America tries its best to look out for everyone, giving endless legal rights to citizens. If you feel that you want to sue your neighbor for harassment, contact a good lawyer to help you begin your case.
What Do I Need to Sue My Neighbor for Harassment?
To sue your neighbor for harassment, you will need to take your case to a small claims court, where you can represent yourself as a victim. Having a good lawyer will make this journey easier for you.
In most cases, consider hiring a lawyer. Feeling overwhelmed by legal jargon? A civil claims attorney will help you through the legal process.
However, for bigger crimes involving fights, stalking and threats, you will need a criminal law attorney.
If you need help and are struggling financially, there are plenty of institutions that will provide legal aid funding.
You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Neighbor Keeps Complaining About Noise
The last thing anybody needs is a fractious relationship with their neighbors. Ultimately, the best thing we can do is use our moral judgment and trust our guts: if you feel threatened by a neighbor, contact the police.
Remember: If a neighbor tries to fight you, you do not have to fight back, the less you do, the less trouble you will find yourself in. The law is in place to help and protect you, no matter what.
If you are wanting to research for your own social awareness, why not take a dip into the United States Code, which provides a wealth of information on laws and legal procedures too.
If someone is willing to assault their neighbor, they are not safe to be around. Contacting the police is the best form of protection against the people who threaten our security, just make sure you’ve got plenty of evidence for if your case goes to court.