Maine Man Takes the High Road in a Boundary Dispute. By Sawing His Neighbor's Garage in Half.

Source - A man who cut his neighbor’s garage in half with a Sawzall was on friendly terms with the man who built the structure — just not with everyone who lived on the property after he died.

Gabriel Brawn used a land surveyor’s demarcation between the two lots as a guide to remove the half of the building sitting on his land when a dispute over the boundary line boiled over. ...

The Brawns’ relationship with their neighbors was fine until the former owner of 148 Grove St., Steve Ritter, died in late 2016, Tracy Brawn said.

Ritter’s wife, Theresa Laythe-Ritter, took over sole ownership of 148 Grove St. and while she became an infrequent resident, Brawn said relations have been strained with others who have rented or otherwise frequented the building since. ...

The property-line dispute gained momentum in April when the Brawns put down a load of wood chips near the previously established boundary with 148 Grove St. in order for a tractor to travel the downhill grade to the back of their lot to clean up downed tree limbs.

Steve Ritter’s youngest son Blake soon planted a stake in the ground where the chips had been placed, Tracy Brawn said.

“He said, ‘This is our property, get your stuff off it,’ so we had to call a land surveyor,” she said. 

The surveyor determined that the dividing line between the properties was in the center of the 148 Grove St. driveway — and right through the middle of the garage. ...

Brawn said the younger Ritter asked if he could retrieve his father’s ashes from the 148 Grove St. garage. 

“We said, please do. We want our property back because we’ve been paying taxes on it for years,” she said. “But he went over there and started throwing trash all over the place and smashing glass and taking bureaus and throwing them outside in the yard.” 

The next day, Gabriel Brawn — who works in construction — took a Sawzall and skillfully cut down the half of the garage that was on his family’s property and left the remains on the other side of the surveyor’s line. 

Bless Gabriel and Tracy Brawn's little hearts. I don't know when a news story has made me more proud to be a New Englander. This is how we roll up in God's Country of Vacationland. As Dalton put it when he showed up at the Double Deuce, be nice until it's time not to be nice. 

There's an old expression that any suburban homeowner can relate to. And it is, "Good fences make good neighbors." A lesser known but no less true expression goes, "Don't fuck with a guy when your house is across his property line and he knows his way around a Sawzall. The Gabriels were both legally in the right but also morally in the right once that douchebag Blake Ritter (who actually has the perfect name for an obnoxious and evil neighbor character in a sitcom) used his father's ashes as an excuse to trash land the Brawns own. The moment Gabriel Brawn broke out his level, drew a pencil mark along the property line, plugged in the Sawzall of Righteousness and applied the Reciprocating Blade of Justice to that little punk's late father's structure, he was on the side of the angels.

In my time in the courts, I had to endure a lot of neighbor disputes. Sometimes between family members too stupid to know they had no business living near each other, never mind right next door. And I never saw one that was so, if you'll pardon the unintentional pun, so cut and dried. So on behalf of all suburban homeowners, thanks to these wonderful Maniacs. When they hacked off a piece of their neighbors' house, they struck a blow for all of us.