After months of quarreling between two neighbors ended in gunfire, 10News looked at the right ways to handle neighborly disputes before they spiral out of control.
Kevin Waggoner is charged with murdering Michael Woodby.The two lived across the street from each other in Union county.
While authorities haven't released a motive for Monday night's shooting, their families and neighbors describe an ongoing dispute between the two men that included arguments and even orders of protection.
While this case is extreme, law enforcement says there are arguments all the time between neighbors over things like property lines and noise complaints. We turned to the experts to find out the appropriate way to handle a situation like this.
Inside Tennessee panelist and attorney Dennis Francis said first of all everyone has the right to live in peace.
"You can use the laws that are in place to protect property owners, property rights or right of quiet enjoyment as we call it so you can live in peace," Francis said.
Francis said if you have a neighborhood association, it is the place to turn to first. Often times there is mandatory mediation or guidelines on how to deal with a dispute.
But many folks may not have one, and in that case, the next step is contacting law or codes enforcement.
Loudon County Sheriff's Office Detective Jeff Russell said they see their share of neighborhood disputes. He urges you to not take any type of dispute into your own hands.
"Whether it keeps going on or it's the first time, you need to report it to us. That will build our case. If it keeps going then it could go from a civil action to a criminal action," Det. Russell said.
If that still hasn't corrected the problem, both experts suggest you take it to chancery court.
Francis said you can file a petition for a temporary restraining order.
Both say while you always have the right to protect yourself and your property if you are in danger, you cannot use use force otherwise and be protected under the law.
They also suggest you keep in mind to take care of these problems early and not let them build.
"To let it continue to escalate will result in tragedy as you have here," Francis said.