US Man Who Cut Neighbour's Trees For Better View Stares At $1 Million Fine

A New Jersey security executive was fined $13,000 by a judge for illegally cutting down his neighbour's trees last year.

US Man Who Cut Neighbour's Trees For Better View Stares At $1 Million Fine

The case of the tree cutting went viral last June.

A homeowner in Kinnelon, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on Monday to having trees cut down on his neighbour's property without a permit. Grant Haber reportedly ordered the removal of 32 trees, allegedly to improve his view of the New York City skyline, according to the Daily Record.

Haber was initially facing fines of $1,000 per tree, but as part of a plea deal, he agreed to pay a total of $13,194, and the number of trees considered was reduced to 18. This translates to a fine of $700 per tree, as per the news report.

The borough's prosecutor has indicated that Haber could face additional costs exceeding $1 million, including the planting of replacement trees. A restitution hearing is scheduled for April 19th to determine the final amount.

Haber's co-defendant, Ronald Fallas, who cut down the trees, also pleaded guilty, admitting he mistakenly relied on Haber to obtain permission and permits. Charges against another co-defendant were dismissed with a warning.

The neighbour whose trees were cut, Samih Shinway, was at the hearing as well.

"I'm never going to be 100% satisfied," he said afterward. "I always use the analogy that if you hire someone to put a hit out on somebody, they are just as liable as the person who did it."

Last June, the trees' case gained widespread attention when a thread was posted on X by a user named @SamAsIAm, providing a detailed account of the incident.

"A friend who is a municipal arborist just called to tell me about a guy who cut down 32 big mature trees on his neighbour's NJ property to get a better view of NYC," user @SamAsIAm wrote.