Edward Moolenaar
121 Marsh Point Dr.
Pawleys Island, SC 29585
(704) 534-0155
Plaintiff in pro per




Case No.: Number


NOW COMES Edward Moolenaar, Plaintiff, and files this Complaint against Ethel
Roberts, Defendant, and for cause would show this Honorable Court as follows:

1. Plaintiff Edward Moolenaar is a law-abiding male adult citizen residing in
Georgetown County, State of South Carolina.
2. Defendant Ethel Roberts is a female adult of sound mind and to Plaintiff’s
knowledge, is a resident of Sumter County, State of South Carolina.
3. Plaintiff and Defendant are jointly referred to as the “Parties.”


4. Jurisdiction exists in this Court pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§ 22-3-10, and 22-3-
5. Venue is proper because the causes of action took place within Georgetown

6. Plaintiff is a resident of 121 Marsh Point Dr., Pawleys Island, SC 29585.
Defendant is Plaintiff’s next door neighbor.
7. Defendant cut down 3 mature trees on Plaintiff’s property. They were 5-10 feet on
Plaintiff’s side of the property line. They were cedars and were approximately 30 ft high. They
had branches that extended over the line and were touching her porch steps. Defendant’s
property backs up to Highway 11, the main route from Charleston to Myrtle Beach.
8. These trees blocked Plaintiff’s view of the highway and the businesses on the
other side (Convenience/Gas Station and Liquor Store) and insulated him from the noise that
these produce.
9. Upon meeting, the Parties had a friendly conversation and Plaintiff asked
Defendant if she knew where the property line was. She did not and Plaintiff mentioned that the
property line overlay on a Google Earth map that the county has on its site showed that part of
her driveway, sidewalk and a sliver of her porch were on my side.
10. Plaintiff ordered a survey which was done in late November 2021 because he
wanted to put in a fence and remove some crepe myrtles. The survey confirmed that part of her
driveway was on Plaintiff’s property and that a proper easement had been executed at the time
the homes were built (2001). This was not disclosed to Plaintiff when he purchased the house.

The surveyor had dug up the pins and placed a bright pink ribbon on each. He did not add stakes.
Because the trees were still shedding leaves the holes quickly filled with leaves and the pink
ribbons were no longer obvious.
11. Plaintiff came home from a business trip on Friday, December 17 2021 and the
trees were gone. Plaintiff was in the house that weekend and when Plaintiff saw her and her
daughter on the front porch that next day, he approached her. She was defiant from the second
Plaintiff brought up the trees. Said she had a right to cut them, cussed Plaintiff, called him names
and assaulted his character.
12. The neighborhood has an HOA and part of the restrictive covenants states that
trees over 4 inches diameter can not be removed without HOA approval. The stated damages for
not following this provision is $2,500 per tree. After I notified the HOA of what had happened,
they sent her a demand letter for $7,500.
13. After the holidays, Plaintiff wrote Defendant a letter that he sent via certified
mail. A few weeks later, Plaintiff received a letter from a local attorney which she had retained
and to which Plaintiff responded.
14. After that, Plaintiff had a couple of phone conversations with the attorney. He was
trying to work a deal with the HOA that Defendant would pay the $7,500 and that the money
would go to Plaintiff. The HOA was actually considering this even though there is nothing in the
community documents or a precedent for doing it that way. Plaintiff told him that he would
consider it if both Defendant and the HOA were in agreement.
15. Plaintiff got one quote for replacing the cedars with 20 footers at $4,500 per tree,
not including installation. Installation costs would be considerable because heavy equipment to
transport the trees and dig sizeable holes to place the trees in. Plaintiff also got a quote to install

some 10 to 12-foot arborvitae at $1,500 per tree. The installation would not be nearly as much as
a couple of strong guys and a Bobcat could handle it.
16. Plaintiff’s house is a typical beach house that has garage and storage on the first
level and the living spaces are on the second and third floors. It will take a number of years to get
those arborvitaes large enough to block the lights and sounds of the highway.

17. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference the facts set out in ¶ 1-16 of this
Complaint as though set out in full herein.
18. “At common law, all land held in peaceable possession is deemed to be
enclosed. Harris v. Baden, 154 Fla. 373, 17 So. (2d) 608 (1944). Subject to limited exceptions
not relevant to this case, the person in peaceable possession has the right to exclude all others
from the enclosure. See Stratos v. King, 282 S.C. 501, 319 S.E. (2d) 356 (Ct. App. 1984).
19. The unwarrantable entry on land in the peaceable possession of another is a
trespass, without regard to the degree of force used, the means by which the enclosure is broken,
or the extent of the damage inflicted. Lee v. Stewart, 218 N.C. 287, 10 S.E. (2d) 804 (1940).
20. The entry itself is the wrong. Thus, for example, if one without license from the
person in possession of land walks upon it, or casts a twig upon it, or pours a bucket of water
upon it, he commits a trespass by the very act of breaking the enclosure. See Moore v. Duke, 84
Vt. 401, 80 A. 194 (1911); 1 G. Addison, A TREATISE ON THE LAW OF TORTS, 388 (Wood
ed. 1881); Restatement 2d of Torts, 158, comment i, illustration 3 (1965).

21. It is immaterial whether any further damage results. See Brown Jug, Inc. v.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen & Helpers of America,
Local 959, 688 P. (2d) 932 (Alaska 1984). The mere entry entitles the party in possession at least
to nominal damages. Lee v. Stewart, supra.
22. To constitute an actionable trespass, however, there must be an affirmative act,
the invasion of the land must be intentional, and the harm caused must be the direct result of that
invasion. Alabama Power Co. v. C.G. Thompson, 278 Ala. 367, 178 So. (2d) 525 (1965).
Trespass does not lie for nonfeasance or failure to perform a duty. Id.
23. Intent is proved by showing that the defendant acted voluntarily and that he knew
or should have known the result would follow from this act. Snakenberg v. Hartford Casualty
Insurance Co., 299 S.C. 164, 383 S.E. (2d) 2 (Ct. App. 1989). Although neither deliberation,
purpose, motive, nor malice are necessary elements of intent, the defendant must intend the act
which in law constitutes the invasion of the plaintiff’s right. Id. Trespass is an intentional tort;
and while the trespasser, to be liable, need not intend or expect the damaging consequence of his
entry, he must intend the act which constitutes the unwarranted entry on another’s
land. See Phillips v. Sun Oil Co., 307 N.Y. 328, 121 N.E. (2d) 249 (1954); Lee v. Stewart,
supra (it is immaterial whether defendant in committing the trespass actually contemplated the
resulting damage to plaintiff).” Snow v. City of Columbia, 409 SE 2d 797 – SC: Court of Appeals
24. As the owner of the property, Plaintiff had the right to choose who would enter
his land. He made the boundary clear to Defendant when they first met. Defendant had no right
to enter Plaintiff’s property. When Plaintiff was away for a business trip, Defendant entered
Plaintiff’s property and cut down three mature trees.

25. When Plaintiff approached her, Defendant did not deny that she cut the trees.
Instead, she hurled insults at Plaintiff and even claimed that she had the right to cut them because
they were on her property, even though it was clear that it was on Plaintiff’s property.
26. The trees shielded Plaintiff from the outside noises as well as the view of the
highway and businesses on the other side. As a result of Defendant’s actions, Plaintiff is now
exposed to the outside noises and the view of the highway and businesses on the other side.
27. Defendant is liable for trespass and ought to pay damages to Plaintiff.

Invasion of Privacy
28. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference the facts set out in ¶ 1-27 of this
Complaint as though set out in full herein.
29. Wrongful intrusion into private affairs, consists of the following elements, which
must be pleaded and proved: (1) intrusion, (2) into that which is private, (3) substantial and
unreasonable enough to be legally cognizable, and (4) intentional.
30. An intrusion may consist of watching, spying, prying, besetting, overhearing, or
other similar conduct. Defendant beset Plaintiff’s privacy when she entered Plaintiff’s property
to cut trees that protected Plaintiff from the outside noises and the view of the highway and
businesses on the other side.
31. "The law does not provide a remedy for every annoyance that occurs in everyday
life." Kelley v. Post Publishing Company, 327 Mass. 275, 278, 98 N.E. (2d) 286, 287 (1951). In
order to constitute an invasion of privacy, the defendant’s conduct must be of a nature that would
cause mental injury to a person of ordinary feelings and intelligence in the same
circumstances. Meetze v. Associated Press, 230 S.C. 330, 95 S.E. (2d) 606 (1956). The law

protects normal sensibilities, not heightened sensitivity, however genuine. Id; Rycroft v. Gaddy,
supra (plaintiff must show a blatant and shocking disregard of his rights and serious mental
injury or humiliation to himself as a result thereof). Whether the conduct in question meets this
test is, in the first instance, a question of law for the court. Meetze v. Associated Press, supra.
32. (4) Intentional. The defendant’s act or course of conduct must be intentional. For
purposes of civil liability, an act is intentional if (1) it is done willingly; and either (2) the actor
desires the result of his conduct, whatever the likelihood of that result happening; or (3) the actor
knows or ought to know the result will follow from his conduct, whatever his desire may be as to
that result. Bazley v. Tortorich, 397 So. (2d) 475 (La. 1981).
33. In an action for wrongful intrusion into private affairs, the damage consists of the
unwanted exposure resulting from the intrusion. Thus, if the plaintiff proves the four elements
needed to establish his cause of action, the fact of damage is established as a matter of law. The
amount of damage is then to be assessed by the trier of fact. In assessing the damage, the trier of
fact may consider the shame, humiliation, and emotional distress suffered by the plaintiff as
compensable elements of damage.
34. As a result of Defendant’s actions of cutting down the trees, Plaintiff was exposed
to the outside noises and the view of the highway and businesses on the other side. A view of the
trees had a calming effect. Defendant’s actions have led to the contrary.
35. Defendant is liable for invasion of privacy and ought to pay damages to Plaintiff.

REASONS WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Plaintiff respectfully requests
this Honorable Court to grant him the following reliefs:

a. GRANT judgment in Plaintiff’s favor and against Defendant;
b. AWARD Plaintiff damages for trespass and invasion of privacy in the sum of
c. AWARD Plaintiff punitive damages;
d. AWARD Plaintiff costs of this suit;
e. AWARD Plaintiff such equitable relief as this Court deems fair in the
circumstances; and
f. AWARD Plaintiff such further relief as this Court deems proper.

Dated this ___ day of August, 2022.

Respectfully Submitted,

Edward Moolenaar,
Defendant in pro per

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