When Can Holiday Decorations Go Too Far?

by | Jan 12, 2017 | Civil Rights | 0 comments

Holiday Decorations or Legal Liability?

The holidays bring with it the opportunity to turn your home and property into a festive celebration for yourself and your neighbors. Some neighborhoods even have made decorating for the holidays an annual tradition among neighbors turning the entire community into an impromptu holiday attraction.

Though if your neighbors do not share in your enthusiasm, your decorations can easily be seen less as a festive celebration and more of a public eyesore. It may be hard to distinguish when personal preference crosses over into a public nuisance, opening you up to legal liability.

There are no laws preventing you from expressing your love for the holidays by turning your front yard into a scene better suited for a Macy’s or the North Pole but there are a few things to keep in mind while you decorate that could help prevent your holiday cheer into becoming a legal suit.

Public Nuisance or Enthusiastic Display?

While there may be no laws preventing you from illuminating your home in millions snowflake-shaped lights, there are regulations about intruding upon neighbors property rights. If your light display is bright enough to cause disruption to your neighbor’s life by shining directly into a window or preventing them from safely backing out of their driveway, you may be opening yourself up to legal ramifications. The disruption and creation of unsafe conditions could be enough for your neighbor to bring a legal suit against you and with enough affected neighbors willing to come forward, you could be looking at a public nuisance situation.

Liability of Injury

Cases brought against homeowners for public nuisance may never actually see any financial repercussions but cases of personal injury can become costly and have a higher chance of seeing their day in court. If your holiday display creates hazardous or unsafe conditions for anyone on your property, as a homeowner you are liable for any injuries that person may sustain. So if you have tripping hazards posed by hundreds of electrical cords or low-hanging decorations, it may be best to address them before an injury occurs.

Should You Cancel Your Festive Display?

While it is not necessary to completely cancel your plans to decorate your home because of a potential liability, it would be beneficial to think over your proposed holiday cheer. Also, check to be sure your display poses no hazards to those legally on your property. If you feel you experienced an accident due to irresponsible decorating, contact us today.

Christopher Trainor and Associates Featured on WXYZ

Recently Christopher Trainor and Associates was featured on WXYZ 7 Action News in Detroit regarding a client's case against the Detroit Police Department in which the client was wrongly arrested and held in jail. The full article and can be found on the WXYZ website.

St Joseph, MI – Injuries Result from Wreck on I-94 near Martin Luther King Dr

St Joseph, MI (March 25, 2022) - A major car crash happened on an interstate in St Joseph on the afternoon of March 20. At approximately 5:10 p.m., an unspecified number of vehicles collided on Interstate 94. Reports show the accident happened on I-94 near Martin...

Zeeland, MI – Auto Accident on Fairview Rd at Washington Ave Ends in Injuries

Zeeland, MI (March 25, 2022) - An auto accident happened on the morning of March 25 in Zeeland that resulted in injuries. The wreck occurred shortly after 8:00 a.m., according to reports.  Sources say the collision took place on Fairview Road near Washington...

Paw Paw, MI – Major Car Crash on M-43 between 37th & 40th St

Paw Paw, MI (March 25, 2022) - A motor vehicle accident occurred in Paw Paw on the morning of March 23 that required an emergency response. The incident was reported to authorities in the area at around 12:21 p.m. Various responders were observed at the scene of the...

Romulus, MI – Motor Vehicle Collision Causes Injuries on I-94 near Vining Rd

Romulus, MI (March 25, 2022) - At least one person was hurt in a crash reported in Romulus on March 25. At approximately 12:55 p.m., police were dispatched to the scene of the wreck located on Interstate 94.  Responders including paramedics, fire crews, and...

Holland, MI – Injury Accident on Waverly Rd at 48th St Requires EMT Dispatch

Holland, MI (March 25, 2022) - On the morning of March 25, at approximately 6:55 a.m., a car accident in Holland required an emergency dispatch.  Reports indicate that a vehicle collided with a pole near 48th Street on Waverly Road.  To assist the injured...

Jackson, MI – Serious Car Accident on M-106 near Deweese Rd and Hawkins Rd

Jackson, MI (March 25, 2022) - Police officers in Jackson were dispatched to the scene of a major car crash on Friday, March 25. According to local officials, the collision happened at approximately 4:00 p.m. on M-106. While emergency personnel rendered aid to those...

Detroit, MI – Police Dispatched to Crash Scene on I-96 near Davison St

Detroit, MI (March 25, 2022) - On March 25, at least one person was injured in a car accident in Detroit. The wreck was reported to officials in the area at approximately 10:50 p.m. According to information from reports, the accident occurred on I-96 near Davison...

Wyoming, MI – Major Accident on 28th St near Clyde Park Ave

Wyoming, MI (March 24, 2022) - Highway patrol officers and first responders were called to the scene of a vehicle collision on March 24 on 28th Street in Wyoming. Reports show that an unspecified number of vehicles collided in the area, resulting in the injury of at...

St Clair, MI – Siblings Killed in Wreck on Kinney Rd near Burt Rd

St Clair, MI (March 24, 2022) - A brother and sister were killed in a two-car crash on Thursday, March 24 in Riley Township. The incident was reported north of Interstate 69 on Kinney Road near Burt Road.  Three people were also hospitalized with injuries,...