Authored by Kevin Wu & Loh Yi Qing
So, my neighbour had:-
• always parked his vehicle in front or near the front gate of my house;
• caused obstruction and inconvenience for me to exit and enter my vehicle(s) into my house; and
• in his continuous conduct also caused physical and mental distress to me.
CAN I SUE?
In support of your allegations, you may rely upon the evidence of CCTV recording and photograph of the alleged nuisance.
Instinctively, you may also lodged police reports against your neighbour but what if you fear your safety or what if your neighbour scolds you and challenges you to a fight?
We all know that the fear of being beaten up by your neighbour and fear of possibility or getting involved in an accident are real! Well, if those fear coupled with the continuous obstruction and inconvenience caused to you, that constitutes sufficient damage.
The test was one of a reasonable man. Plus, if the damage suffered by you were physical discomfort and mental stress, the court may even award a nominal damages of RM5,000.
In Malaysia, if the damage caused to you are emotional and mental in nature, they are claimable. Although you may claim on fear of your neighbour, the test is one of a reasonable man and the court will ask itself the following questions:-
• Would a reasonable man feel stressed by the conduct of your neighbour in the obstruction for a continuous period of time?
• Would a reasonable man be worried when exiting or entering his house knowing that an accident may happen at any time if the road is blocked by your neighbour’s vehicle?
• Would a reasonable man feel agitated with the fear of being beaten up if confronting your neighbour?
And if the answer to all these questions is yes, you have proved your pleaded case of damage.
The High Court in Penang in its judgment held that the fear of being beaten up by the defendant and fear of possibility of getting involved in an accident are real. These fears coupled with the continuous obstruction and inconvenience caused to the plaintiffs constituted sufficient damage.
Since the damage suffered by the plaintiffs are physical discomfort and mental stress, the plaintiffs in the case were awarded a nominal damages of RM5000.
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