A dispute over a driveway between two neighbours in the Kenora area has left one of the parties with a large cash award.
Court documents obtained by CBC News show the dispute began in the summer of 2011, when one neighbour started to build a driveway.
The road encroached on another property for a distance of about 200 metres and, at one point, extended about 18 metres over the property line.
The case was heard in a Kenora court July 7-9 and the judge rendered her decision on July 23.
Justice Helen Pierce noted the defendants took no action to ensure the roadway was built on their own land, even after the plaintiffs asked the defendants to stop construction.
In her words, they "bulled ahead," cutting down trees and excavating. The judge also noted the defendants continued to trespass, after a court order to stop.
"It is hard to imagine conduct more egregious or more worthy of punishment," Justice Pierce wrote.
The award includes money to rehabilitate the damaged land.
Pierce gave a total award of $103,000, including punitive damages of $10,000. She noted that, if the plaintiffs had asked for more in punitive damages, she would have granted it.
Notes from the judge's decision include:
- The plaintiffs' slope of land was altered, and many trees were cut down.
- Exchanges between the neighbours were quite heated, mainly by the defendants
- There was evidence the defendants purposefully damaged the plaintiffs' property, including slashing their tires on a truck and tractor
- A vegetable cart set up by the plaintiffs' grandson was smashed, and a money box taken.
- Trees on the plaintiffs' property that were staked and planted were also uprooted.
- The road was dug up on July 5, 2012, and impassable from that time onward.
- The plaintiffs' received a threatening phone call day before trial, and was registered on call display to a number from the defendant.