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Posted: July 25, 2017

Neighbors' spat over bamboo, Jimmy Buffett reaches appeals court


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By Laura A. Bischoff, Dayton Daily News

COLUMBUS, Ohio —

You’ve heard of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Meet the Hayes and Carrigans of Indian Hill, Ohio.

Jeffrey Hayes, who lives on 4.7 acres in the wealthy Cincinnati neighborhood, took his next door neighbor Pamela Carrigan to court. Hayes said Carrigan applied a toxic herbicide to his bamboo.

Carrigan, who lives on 5.2 acres, had her own beef with Hayes: She says he plays Jimmy Buffett’s music too loudly and mows his lawn too early in the morning. On top of that, Carrigan alleged in a countersuit, the bamboo was an invasive nuisance.

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The local police and courts got involved in the bamboo fight. In 2016, the trial court decided that each party had committed trespassing, ordered each to pay $11,000, and dismissed their other claims.

That wasn’t good enough for Hayes or Carrigan. They each appealed the decision to the First District Court of Appeals.

First District Judge Dennis Deters wrote in an opinion that Carrigan had not proven trespass and Hayes failed to substantiate his claim for damages.

While mowers droning at 7:30 a.m. and listening to “Margaritaville” on repeat might be annoying, the appeals court decided it didn’t rise to “physical discomfort” and “real, material and substantial” damages.


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