Rep. Heidi Sampson, R-Alfred. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

ALFRED, Maine — A state lawmaker from Maine is facing a lawsuit from neighbors who say she and her husband cut down thousands of trees from their property to build a barn and horse paddock.

Sasha and Christopher Malone filed the lawsuit against Republican Rep. Heidi Sampson and Robert Sampson, of Alfred. The Malones’ lawsuit said the Sampsons clear-cut part of the Malones’ forested property, removing more than 4,300 trees.

The Sampsons said in court records that they mistakenly thought the area was part of their own property, the Portland Press Herald reported. They filed their own complaint against the company that harvested the trees in 2012. The Sampsons declined to comment to the Press Herald and the company did not respond to a request for comment.

The Malones have asked for punitive damages and a judgment that the Sampsons have no rights to their property. Their attorney said in a statement they are “saddened and hurt that eight acres of their beloved home forestland was illegally clear-cut.”