William H. Macy battles neighbor over property, trees in $600K lawsuit

Posted at 5:51 PM, June 6, 2023 and last updated 9:59 PM, June 6, 2023


LOS ANGELES (Court TV) – Actor William H. Macy, known for his roles in dramas like Shameless and Fargo, is now facing a legal drama after he and his neighbor filed lawsuits against one another.

William H. Macy appears on the red carpet

FILE – William H. Macy arrives at the 73rd Emmy Awards at the JW Marriott on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021 at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

In a complaint filed on March 30, Pierce Brown alleged that Macy hired workers who came onto his property and destroyed trees, vegetation and a fence. Macy’s property, which is formally owned by a real estate trust, is adjacent to and uphill from Brown’s property.

According to the complaint, in December 2021, Macy hired workers who went onto Brown’s property “without permission, justification or notice” while Brown was out of town on vacation. While on the property, Brown alleges that the workers “destroyed and removed or seriously damaged several healthy, decades-old mature pine trees and other vegetation” as well as a gate that connected the two properties.

In Brown’s complaint, he alleges that after he returned from a vacation in January 2022, he discussed the issue with Macy, who “acknowledged the entry of his workmen… their lack of permission to do so, and their removal of, and damage to, the Brown’s trees and vegetation.”

The complaint seeks more than $600,000 in physical damage and emotional distress.

Macy, through his attorney, filed a cross-complaint on June 1, in which he categorically denied “each and every allegation” contained in the original Complaint.

In the cross-complaint, Macy said the property he owns is rented by a family of four, including infant children.

The cross-complaint alleges that there was a rainstorm on December 20, 2021, after which the hillside and slope behind the Brown property partially collapsed. A landscaper working on the Macy property allegedly noted trees “severely leaning and posing a danger of crashing into the roof of the Macy Property. The Macy Property landscaper also observed the root balls from the Brown Property trees exposed. The Brown Property trees posed a grave danger of collapsing further. More rain was forecasted. It appeared obvious that the tops of the Brown Property trees would strike the roof of the Macy Property if the trees collapsed.”

Macy’s cross-complaint alleges that the trees posed an imminent risk of crashing through the kitchen of the home into a young child’s bedroom, posing “an emergency situation and a threat to the family’s safety.” Furthermore, Macy pointed to Brown’s failure to properly maintain the property and slope as the reason for the issue.

Named in Macy’s cross-complaint as an additional defendant is the owner of a neighboring property, who Macy said also failed to maintain the property’s slope.

Macy’s cross-complaint asks for general and special damages, the amounts to later be determined at trial.

Both sides are expected in court for a case management conference on July 28, 2023.