A nuisance is an activity that affects the right of an individual to enjoy the use of a specified property.

Public Vs. Private Nuisances

Generally speaking, the law recognizes two distinct types of nuisance: public and private.

Public nuisances

The City of Hopkins defines a public nuisance as "any substance, matter, emission, or thing which creates a dangerous or unhealthy condition or which threatens the public peace, health, safety, or sanitary condition of the City or which is offensive or has a blighting influence on the community and which is found upon, in, being discharged or flowing from any … property located within the City of Hopkins." (City Code Chapter 28 - Nuisances (PDF)) The City can take action against public nuisances.

Private nuisances

A “private nuisance” is one that affects an individual’s right to enjoyment of some property or activity, but does not necessarily affect the community as a whole. 

For example, a large tree overhanging a neighbor’s yard may be a private nuisance where it affects the neighbor’s enjoyment and use of her backyard. The City cannot solve private nuisances. If talking to your neighbor does not help, mediation might be the answer. Visit Community Mediation Services, Inc or call 763-561-0033.


Have a question about a potential nuisance? Use the Ask the City contact form.