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Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 10:59 AM   #1
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Issue with neighbor

So my next door neighbor comes to my door this morning (I'm on vacation for the rest of the year) practically in tears. Her neighbor (two doors down from me) has been complaining about her dogs. Now these two dogs are big sloppy muts-lab mixes. They might lick you to death, at worst. My baby daughter has sat on the floor with them and they are careful not even to nudge her too hard when she's playing with them. But according to the neighbor, they are vicious attack dogs leaping for her throat on a daily basis. She has reported the dogs for "excessive barking", among other things (these dogs bark once in a blue moon, trust me, I share the fence line, too). So anyways, she and her DH went on a short trip and got home last night to find two notices on her door about the dogs, both to be responded to within 24 hours - which they obviously missed since they were on vacation! Now this lady that's harrassing them, she is absolutely crazy. One guy was walking his little dog and she sprayed both of them with the hose! Our next door neighbors have him and us and about a half dozen other neighbors ready to vouch for them, but I wanted to check with anyone here with legal expertise (cue Martha's theme song) or anyone with personal experience with this kind of thing as to the best way for us to proceed. This crazy lady has already got one neighbor to have their dog put to sleep and another to get rid of theirs -it's out of control!

P.S. there are no pit bulls, dobermans etc. involved in this, all the dogs are labs, jack russel terriers etc. everyone keeps their dog on a leash, etc.
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 11:16 AM   #2
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Re: Issue with neighbor

It sounds like a simple "nuisance" matter. Those types of cases vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and are usually governed by local ordinance. They're not the types of cases to go running out and hire an attorney over, but you may (as appears to be the case in the situation you described) have to go to court or before the local official tasked with addressing nuisance cases to present evidence. In such a situation, the more witnesses that say the woman is lying/crazy (not in a medical sense, but rather that she's full of it) the better off you are.

In regards to missing the 24-hour deadline, it depends. In most situations I've seen, "posting" (as the type of service of process you described is referred to) is often challenged on the basis that the notice provided was insufficient to satisfy Due Process prior to the locality taking action against the recipient of the notice. Put differently, judges usually find posting to be insufficient if you can prove that you were out of town, and as a result didn't see the notice within the time allotted. In such situations, the judge usually gives a continuance to allow you the time to mount a defense.

The best thing for your neighbor to do is to calm down, check the courthouse/locality office to see if a default has been entered (request that the default be vacated if one has been entered), request an extension of time to respond if no default has been entered, and then start gathering the relevant facts/witnesses.
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 11:24 AM   #3
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Re: Issue with neighbor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby

...The best thing for your neighbor to do is to calm down, check the courthouse/locality office to see if a default has been entered (request that the default be vacated if one has been entered), request an extension of time to respond if no default has been entered, and then start gathering the relevant facts/witnesses.

People like this need to get a grip. Some people just can't seem to deal with life in a subdivision and expect perfect quiet. It ain't going to happen. Kids yell, dogs bark, cats prowl, neighbors fight and parties happen. Deal with it or move. Making everyone else duck for legal cover because you can't deal with it sucks and the neighborhood needs to deal with her in a constuctive legal manner.

On the other hand, you could make a recording of dogs barking and set up a hidden speaker near your fence on her side and play it all night long. Dog...what dog? Do you see a dog here?

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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 12:18 PM   #4
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Re: Issue with neighbor

Several years ago we lived next door to some people who decided to harass us by complaining about our dog. It took us awhile to figure that out. At first we thought we had a cronic dog barking problem. We would come home and find notes on our door left by the police who indicated that they had been called because of barking dog. But we never heard our dogs bark more than rarely and never for an extended period of time. We couldn't correct a problem we didn't ever observe. We kept getting notes from the police while we were out -- 1 or 2 a week.

Since we were concerned about the possibility that our dogs were disturbing our neighbors while we were out, we hired a dog trainer to come over and teach us how to deal with a problem we couldn't repeat. The dog trainer suggested that we get up in the morning and leave for work as usual. Drive down the street. Park the car and sneak back into the house to wait for the dogs to bark. Once we had a way to observe the behavior, we could address it.

So I took off work the next Monday and we did just that. I was in the house maybe 45 minutes when sure enough one of my dogs started barking like crazy. I went to the back window to see the teenager from next door sitting on top of my fence throwing rocks at my dogs and making growling noises. I went and got a camera and took some pictures before going out and telling him to get off the fence and leave my dog alone. While I was out giving him a hard time, the police showed up. It turns out the mother sent her son out to harass my dog and called the police. Even after catching them in the act, they tried this stunt seveal more times. I finally contacted the attorney general and started a process to bring them to neighbor arbitration. Once they got contacted by the attorney general of Arizona, they finally stopped bothering us. A few months later they lost their house and moved away. I think they were having serious financial problems.

We never did learn why they decided to harass us. They might have been harassing other neighbors too. It's interesting that they had a dog too. It stayed in the house most of the time, but when they did let it out in their back yard that d@mn thing yiped continuously.
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 12:28 PM   #5
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Re: Issue with neighbor

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR

People like this need to get a grip.* Some people just can't seem to deal with life in a subdivision and expect perfect quiet.* It ain't going to happen.* Kids yell, dogs bark, cats prowl, neighbors fight and parties happen.* Deal with it or move.*

Or chubby dudes riding up and down the street on their Harleys
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 12:34 PM   #6
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Re: Issue with neighbor

Does your neighborhood have a homeowners association? *Usually complaints first get rendered at the HOA level. * It seems to me if the dog: 1) didn't bite someone; 2) dog is not excessively barking 3) *dog is not leaving presents on her front lawn, the crabby lady doesn't have a case and it is just her preference as not being a dog lover. *Sad. *
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 01:15 PM   #7
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Re: Issue with neighbor

This is interesting..we have been on the recieving end of a dog problem. Our neighbors have a dog (another "lovable" Lab) that simply loves to bark. I'm not exaggerating when I say this dog will bark more or less continuously for hours at a time. Visitors have commented on how annoying it is, and it occured at all hours as well.

I had to speak to them about it twice, explaining that it was an intolerable situation. They were apparently unconcerned about the barking, and even accused me of of being very unreasonable! Trust me I was not. Eventually, they found ways to limit the dog's barking and we are on better terms now. I think perception of this problem depends entirely on which "side of the fence" one is on.

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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 01:23 PM   #8
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Re: Issue with neighbor

I've been on the "barking" side of this dispute as well. When my ex left and took "his" dog, "my" dog had serious anxiety problems being home alone all day with out his lifelong companion, and he started to bark. My "nice" neighbors said it wasn't too often, and that they would go comfort him and he would calm down. However there was a guy [living in an illegal second home on a nearby lot] who worked nights and slept days and filed several complaints against me. Next complaint was going to be a $50 citation and threat to take the dog.

Long story short, I ended up confining the dog in the house during the cold weather where he felt more secure and didn't bark.

I tried to get the guy's house condemned but it was grandfathered in under before zoning law went into effect.
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 01:25 PM   #9
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Re: Issue with neighbor

Dont do this kind of work, but what Jay says seems reasonable. The more witnesses the better. You can be one too.
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 01:42 PM   #10
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Re: Issue with neighbor

I don't know if this is the case in general, but when I lived in my condo, the association said that anything dealing with dogs, such as roaming/attacking dogs, barking dogs, etc, was out of their hands and they'd just tell you to call animal control. Or the cops.
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 01:56 PM   #11
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Re: Issue with neighbor

From what I have seen, these real estate nuisance cases are a real bitch to prevail in.
However, I can tell you if she sprayed me and the dog with a hose I'd get legally creative very fast.
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 01:58 PM   #12
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Re: Issue with neighbor

Agreed...someone sprays me and my dog like that with a hose, and they'll see how quickly I can get a case of temporary insanity!
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 02:23 PM   #13
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Re: Issue with neighbor

Good advice, all, thanks. I told her to get down to city hall and calmly get the facts in order, we are all going to write letters telling of our personal experiences with this woman, and see what we happens. Also, we are going to make sure the permits are in order on the new addition they just added to their house.

No homeowners (it's part of why we bought there-we're live and let live types).

Talked to DW on the phone, she did say the dogs were barking more this past week while they were on vacation. His Dad was still home (lives with them) but they may have been anxious like stated above. I guess I just didn't hear it. I only find the little rat dogs annoying-yipyipyip for hours.

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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 02:44 PM   #14
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Re: Issue with neighbor

I've been on the receiving end of barking dogs.* Neighbors just can't seem to "hear" their d*** dog and expect you to just put up with it.* I expect cops don't want to be bothered with this stuff, it's just a nuisance to them. But, call the cops and keep calling them until it stops.* The dog will keep at it, of course, unless you can make it financially beneficial for your neighbor to hear it.* Or, until the dog disappears.*
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 04:27 PM   #15
 
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Re: Issue with neighbor

I have also been the barkee (the one bothered by barking dogs). I wish I could sleep through it but I can't. I guess it's psychological: Barking sea lions: OK. Barking dogs: No. It just bothers me that someone would let their dog bark at night.

Some dogs will bark continuously for 3-4 hours. The owners don't realize it because it only happens when they are away.
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 04:34 PM   #16
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Re: Issue with neighbor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
Or, until the dog disappears.*
Or the owners of the dog make and effort to find out what their dog's problem is and solve it.*
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 05:26 PM   #17
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Re: Issue with neighbor

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
....* I guess it's psychological: Barking sea lions: OK. Barking dogs: No.* It just bothers me that someone would let their dog bark at night.
Yes, sea lions bark at night.* Bothers me not one whit, a song of the sea.* Sea lions don't bark from stress.* For me a barking dog is a danger warning.* I go to an alert status, that strangers are lurking nearby, the dog's owners are in trouble, or that the dog is neglected.* *I wonder if it is a dog-human thing and we are hard wired to tense-up when a dog barks for more than a few minutes.
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 05:43 PM   #18
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Re: Issue with neighbor

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Or the owners of the dog make and effort to find out what their dog's problem is and solve it.*
It's a dog. Just shoot it.

JG
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 05:48 PM   #19
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Re: Issue with neighbor

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Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
It's a dog.* Just shoot it.

JG
The same could be said of you JG.

Seriously, don't shoot the dog..........shoot the owner of the dog.
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Re: Issue with neighbor
Old 12-20-2005, 05:56 PM   #20
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Re: Issue with neighbor

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Originally Posted by SteveR
The same could be said of you JG.*

Seriously, don't shoot the dog..........shoot the owner of the dog.
You might be surprised that I understand this position.
Sometimes, I want to shoot our own dogs. We got lucky
here. Most of our neighbors are seldom here and we are
used to it.

JG
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