LEONARDO DiCAPRIO is heading for a court battle over the construction of his basketball court, after a judge gave his Hollywood neighbors the go-ahead to sue the actor for allegedly damaging their property.
The Titanic star and his cousin Robert Hrtica, from whom DiCaprio rents the Hollywood Hills home, are named in legal papers filed by neighbors Ronald and Joan Linclau last May (07).
The Linclaus allege DiCaprio “maliciously” cut and removed hedges; excavated “earth, granite and bedrock”, destabilizing their deck and swimming pool; and ignored their repeated requests to halt the 2004 construction.
They are suing for trespass, nuisance and negligence and are seeking $250,000
(#125,000) in compensation.
Los Angeles Judge Tricia Ann Bigelow, who is presiding over the proceedings, previously ruled the Linclaus’ initial lawsuit was inadequate and failed to prove DiCaprio did anything wrong.
They have since adjusted their lawsuit and on Thursday (27Mar08), Bigelow tentatively gave the case the go-ahead.
She branded the damage caused to the Linclaus’ property “potentially outrageous”, adding that although the suit was not of “model clarity”, it was clear enough to go to trial.
However, Bigelow will make the final ruling at a later court hearing – the date for which has yet to be disclosed.