Property Line and Fence Laws in Wyoming

People typically build fences for two purposes: to keep intruders out or to keep inhabitants in. The dual purpose for fence building can cause friction amongst neighbors resulting in conflicts involving the construction and maintenance of fences. The people in the state of Wyoming are no exception to this scenario and may be involved in fence disputes. Fortunately, Wyoming state laws help to clarify these issues.

Property Line and Fence Laws in Wyoming

An initial conflict that can arise between neighbors is the actual location of property lines. If this is in doubt, then you might have to conduct a survey to know for sure where your property ends.

Wyoming's landscape consists of a patchwork of public and private ownership with open range. Because of this factor and the rural aspect of parts of the state, unique challenges involving property lines and fence laws occur. For instance, Wyoming has livestock districts and this can affect property line and fence law disputes. The state is considered a "fence out" state concerning cattle and domesticated bison. Thus, if you do not want livestock on your property, then it is your responsibility to fence them out. However, this does not apply to sheep; Wyoming is a "fence in" state concerning sheep, which are usually under supervision. Therefore, if your neighbor's cattle roam onto your unfenced property, your neighbor is not liable for any damages. However, if you have a legal fence that separates the properties, then you may recover damages.

One solution to this situation is for neighbors to work together to create a partition fence, a fence that effectively separates the properties. Because Wyoming law presumes that both owners benefit equally from the partition fence, the law states that the costs of constructing and maintaining partition fences may be split 50-50. If you cannot agree with your neighbor about the fence -- for instance, you want the partition fence and your neighbor does not -- you can sue your neighbor for half of the actual costs of constructing and maintaining the fence.

Wyoming Property Line and Fence Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of state laws related to fence laws in Wyoming, including links to important code sections.

Statutes

Construction and Maintenance of Partition Fences

 

The owner of any lawful fence that is/becomes a partition fence may require the other person to pay for one-half of the actual cost or what it would cost to construct the fence. In case the other person refuses, the owner may initiate a civil action against them.

Lawful Fences

Lawful fences are those that are made well enough to keep livestock out. Typical example: Three-line barbed wire fence. Pole or board fences are also acceptable.

Neglect to Close Fences; Penalty

It is a misdemeanor to leave the gate on a lawful fence open, even if it is accidental.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Property Line and Fence Laws in Wyoming: Related Resources

Property Line Dispute? Consider Talking to an Attorney

Conflicts with your neighbors are some of the most stressful because they jeopardize the tranquility of your home. If you are having disputes over a fence or other property line issue, and talking to your neighbor isn't helping, you may need to pursue your legal options. Contact an experienced Wyoming real estate attorney today for some peace of mind.

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