In the countryside as in the city, pets can cause nuisance to others. However, no lease or co-ownership by-law can prohibit the possession of pets. So what are our rights and duties?
Animals: the most frequent neighborhood disturbances
More than a third of noise pollution is caused by barking dogs. And even if the dog is man's best friend, your neighbor's dog can quickly become your worst enemy. According to the public health code, "no particular noise may, by its duration, its repetition or its intensity, affect the tranquility of the neighborhood or the health of man in a public or private place." one of these three criteria can, by itself, constitute a neighborhood find. But it can also be a dog that defiles the common parts of a building, that scares passersby and neighbors or even that bites.
The responsibility of the master
The owner of an animal is responsible for it, whether the animal has escaped or is in his care. Its responsibility can be engaged before the courts. He must then repair the material or bodily damage and possibly the moral damage suffered by the victim. Even in the absence of bodily injury, the master can be condemned if he has excited his animal against a third party. In some cases, the court may order a sentence of confiscation of the animal and placement in a kennel, or even have it euthanized. If it is rented, the master can have his lease terminated. The master's responsibility can however be released if it is the behavior of the victim which is at the origin of the accident.
The case of dangerous dogs
It is forbidden to have an attack dog (1st category dog). detention is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 6 months and a fine of € 15,000. Attack dogs are prohibited in public places and transport and cannot be parked in the common areas of a building. Defense or guard dogs (second category dangerous dogs) must be kept on a leash and muzzled in public places and transport. The keeping of dangerous dogs is prohibited for minors and must be declared to the town hall of the owner's place of residence. In general, if a local resident judges that an animal presents a danger, the law authorizes him to seize the mayor of his commune. The latter will ask the master to take all the necessary measures to eliminate any risk.
The nuisance caused by farm animals
Animal breeding can cause neighborhood disturbances due to noise or even olfactory pollution. Large farms are subject to the legislation on classified installations. Their operation is subject to standards which must be met under penalty of sanctions. For example, manure or permanent droppings deposits must be at least 50 meters from dwellings. The enclosures and habitats of family farmyard animals must be kept clean, etc. If a neighbor is inconvenienced by a farm, he must contact the town hall to verify that the installation complies with the law, in particular with regard to regulatory distances. It is sometimes difficult for residents who have come to settle near an existing farm to win their case because they were supposed to know the nuisances before. In addition, the consequences of having a farm in rural areas are sometimes considered normal.
Neighborhood disturbances due to an animal: amicable remedies
Whatever the nature of the disorder, it is better to try to settle the dispute amicably. Indeed, simple common sense (reminder of the regulations, for example) is sometimes enough to solve the problem. If the neighbor does not want to know anything and his animal continues to disturb you, you can: - Enter an administrative authority (Departmental Direction of Equipment or Nuisance Service of the prefecture). - Notify the police and ask them to intervene to find the offense. If the police agree, they will draw up a report which will be sent to the public prosecutor. The police court can also impose a fine on the master, and even order him to compensate you if the complainant has brought a civil action. But he cannot order the noise to stop. - Alert the mayor of the municipality who, by virtue of his powers, must repress attacks on public tranquility.
Neighborhood disturbances due to an animal: legal actions
Legal actions generally require the creation of a file with supporting evidence: testimony from neighbors, bailiff's report, photos, video, etc.). Interim procedure: In the event of an emergency, you can refer the matter to the president of the district court or the district court, who acts as a judge of summary proceedings. He has the power to take strict and immediate action to end the unrest. Simplified procedure You can use the simplified procedure of declaration to the registry (litigation less than 4000 €). The owner of the animal and the complainant are both summoned before the judge, who hears each other's arguments and makes a quick decision. Injunction to do This procedure can be used for any dispute resulting from the non-performance or partial performance of a contract whose amount is less than € 10,000. For example if the owner of a noisy dog did not apply what had been imposed on him in summary proceedings. A request is made to the district court by filling in a special form made available by the registry. Last resort For cases under € 1,500, you must contact the local judge. For cases up to € 10,000, you must go to the district court. For the other cases, one seizes the high court. In all cases, you must send a letter to the prosecutor to file a complaint.