New Brunswick

Wall of manure created just to make neighbours miserable, Moncton judge finds

Feuding Indian Mountain neighbours end up in court over a “a mountain of manure," resulting in more than $17,000 in fines.

Indian Mountain farmer must pay more than $17,000 after neighbour wins suit over manure piled along his yard

The manure pile dumped along Dave Gallant's property smelled so much, 'it cut your breath away,' he says. (David Gallant)

When the Gallants and Murrays of Indian Mountain stopped getting along, a giant, stinking mound of manure suddenly grew between them.

It came from the Murrays' beef cattle and was piled high along the Gallants' property just to make them miserable, Judge George Rideout says in a recent ruling in the dispute between the two Westmorland County families.

No wonder Rideout began his Court of Queen's Bench decision with these words: "When neighbours fight, nothing good results."

David Gallant bought his property northwest of Moncton from Lee and Shirley Murray in 2001. Gallant said he didn't know the Murrays had a cattle farm then, but the couple seemed to be good neighbours.

"We got along really well," Gallant said.

Until November 2013, that is, when Murray dumped what Gallant called, "a mountain of manure" beside his property.

Gallant described the manure as fresh, wet and raw. It was so odorous, he said, that he couldn't use his nearby garage.

In his decision, Judge George Rideout wrote, 'the manure was placed where it was for only one purpose, to make Mr. and Mrs. Gallant’s lives miserable.' (Google Earth)
"The smell of manure was so bad it cut your breath away."

Despite requests to the Murrays to remove the manure, the pile remained where it was, even spreading onto the Gallant property, until it was hauled away in October 2014.

In the meantime, Murray deliberately blew rocks and snow onto the Gallant property, according to the court document, which doesn't say what made him do any of these things.

Gallant and his wife, Joan, filed a lawsuit against the Murrays, alleging they committed nuisance, trespass and harassment and claiming damages.

Rideout ruled in the Gallants' favour.

"I have little doubt these activities were initiated by the Murrays and designed to inflict fear, nuisance and harassment against the Gallants," the judge wrote.

Gallant describes the wall of cattle manure as, "fresh, unseasoned, wet and raw.' His neighbours, Lee and Shirley Murray, were fined more than $17,000 for leaving the manure beside, and in some places on, the Gallants' property. (David Gallant)
"In my opinion, based on the evidence before the court, the manure was placed where it was for only one purpose, to make Mr. and Mrs. Gallant's lives miserable."

For their deeds, the Murrays must pay $17,689.12 in damages and court costs.

The Murrays were also ordered to keep their animals off the Gallants' property — a court document indicates that 50 cows once ended up there — to refrain from blowing snow, rocks, manure or anything else into their neighbours' yard, and to keep manure piles 300 metres away from the Gallant home.

Gallant said in an interview that the money won't cover his legal bills, but if it puts a stop to the feud on Indian Mountain Road, the time and effort will have been worth it.

"If it's the end," he stressed.

Lee Murray could not be reached for comment.