Summer Street property owners Joseph and Katherine Grealish are seeking compensation from their neighbor after he reportedly removed a fence and trees from their property to enhance the view of Penobscot Bay, according to court documents.

The lawsuit, filed April 5 in Knox County Superior Court, names Andrew Morlet of Rockport and London, England, as well as Southern Venture LLC and Dominic Fontaine as defendants.

The Grealishs say that Morlet hired Fontaine to remove more than a dozen mature trees from their property in December 2012, despite being told he did not have permission to cut the trees, according to the lawsuit.

The properties owned by the Grealishs and Morlet were separated by a 200-foot chain link fence, which was on the Grealish property. In October 2010, Morlet sought permission to remove the trees to "enhance his view of the water," the lawsuit states.

Katherine Grealish, at the time, told Morlet the fence and trees were on her property "and that he, Morlet, could not cut them down," according to the lawsuit. Court documents state Morlet on two additional occasions attempted to hire tree removal companies.

"Morlet, acting for himself and for SVL, either personally or by directing the actions of others, cut down, removed and disposed of, without the knowledge, consent and permission of the plaintiffs' approximately 40 feet of the plaintiff's fence that was on the plaintiffs' property adjacent to the plaintiffs' 13 maple trees described above," according to court documents.

The Grealishs' lawsuit cites five counts against the defendants, including conversion, trespass, malicious mischief, conspiracy and equitable relief. The couple is represented by Rockport attorney Dana Strout.

The lawsuit states the value of the fence and trees destroyed at more than $100,000 and seek additional compensation under equitable relief. That portion of the lawsuit seeks financial retribution for increased value of the neighboring property because of the improvement of the view due to the removal of the trees.

"Additionally, plaintiffs seek an order requiring the defendants as a part of this restitution to pay to the plaintiffs the enhanced value of defendants' property which defendants have unjustly received as a result of the crimes that they have committed against the plaintiffs and plaintiffs' property," the lawsuit states.

According to online assessment data, the Grealishs purchased their Summer Street property in 2008 for nearly $1.3 million.

The neighboring property, 11 Church St., with a listed owner of Southern Venture LLC, was purchased in 2009 for $600,000, according to online assessing data. It is listed as a multi-unit apartment building.

According to Rockport Planning Board minutes from May 2010, the property is a former Rockport school house that was converted into apartments.

Courier Publications Associate Editor Stephanie Grinnell can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at