Lawsuit: Sheriff’s Deputy Homeowner Unleashed Chinch Bugs Destroying Neighbor’s Lawn

Blog posting by David Swedelson, Senior Partner, SwedelsonGottlieb

As community association attorneys, we are often asked to assist boards and management in dealing with disputes between homeowners. We have seen disputes over view obstructions, dog waste or barking, noise issues from hard surface flooring or too many parties. Usually, we are asked to referee what usually amounts to a war of words. Sometimes, tempers flare and one neighbor may take what they think is justice into their own hands. But infecting their neighbor’s yard with insects is a new one. That’s what one owner in Florida is accused of doing.

In a story reported by the Palm Beach Post, a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy is being accused of using his training to thwart agro-terrorism to destroy his neighbor’s yard with chinch bugs. The bug invasion, which destroyed the nearly one-acre yard in The Acreage, is one of numerous tactics Detective Terrance Senecal has used to harass his neighbors, according to a lawsuit filed this week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court. The Acreage sounds like the name of a planned development; wonder what the homeowners association is doing about this situation?

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