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Wayne Wright LLP
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My neighbor is a farmer. Can I sue him for noises and smells that drift over my property?

As food and agricultural production is highly beneficial to the state, farmers enjoy many special protections under Texas law. One of these protections is limiting the circumstances in which famers can be the subject of nuisance claims.

Texas’ Right-to-Farm laws prevent people from suing farmers for nuisances as long as:

  1. The farm is well-established. Any agricultural operation that has been in operation for a year or more before the action is brought cannot be the subject of a nuisance claim unless the basis of the claim has gotten substantially worse (such as an increase in pungent smells or noise pollution).
  2. The farmer is doing no harm. Residents are restricted in bringing claims when a farming nuisance is merely annoying to neighbors, but is not causing a danger to the public health (such as pesticide use or water pollution).
  3. The nuisance is necessary to production. Nuisances such as animal noises, unpleasant smells, and loud machinery noises, and other normal byproducts of commercial farming cannot form the basis of nuisance claims.

The law also protects farmers by stating that plaintiffs who bring nuisance claims shall be responsible for paying the farmer’s legal fees and court costs incurred in defending against the claim. However, it should be noted that these rules do not apply when bringing an injury claim against a farmer. If an agricultural operation caused injury to you, your family, or your property in violation of state or federal law, you may still file an action against the farmer or the farming company.

How Can I Learn More About my Rights?

In order to bring a successful claim, you will have to discover if there is a valid legal basis for your case. The property damage lawyers at Wayne Wright can tell you if your property is being legally violated, and how to proceed if you have a valid claim. Call us today at 800-237-3334 to discuss the details of your case in your free consultation.