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Neighbors Harrassing With Police Visits

Criminal Law Discussion Forum

Neighbors Harrassing With Police Visits

Postby Ariel » Wed May 06, 2015 9:13 am

My next door neighbor called the fire department and police on me for having a small firepit on my driveway because the smoke was blowing in her direction.  The firemen said it was perfectly legal what I was doing, no problem, laughed and left.  Neighbor had her garage door open and had apparently been setting up for a garage sale.  I had just bought it and wanted to use it to cook hot dogs.  

The next night my neighbor called the police again about my fire pit.  The police said neighbor told them that the fire was blowing on her property and starting things on fire.  Obviously it was a lie.  The police said I was trying to start a fight by having a fire pit blow smoke in her direction when she asked me not to.  What she did was come over on my driveway and call me a psycho fucking bitch with her finger waving in my face when I refused to not use the fire pit.  The police said it was legal for me to have the firepit but I was causing problems and wouldn't leave till I promised not to use the firepit.

This neighbor has been harrassing me and another neighbor for years about anything and everything.  The other neighbor and I won't put up with her bullying i.e. threatening to 'fuck us up' if we don't do what she wants.  One time it was our kids walking on her driveway though her kid runs all over ours and leaves toys out on it.  She asks us to shut off our radios in our garage when I can't even hear my radio outside of my garage.

It has been a continual problem and this firepit thing is ridiculous and the last straw.  Can I file a harrassment complaint against her?  What if I use the firepit next week and she calls the police again because the smoke is blowing her way?  It is unreal.

ANSWER: Christine,

If you use this service in the future can I ask you a favor?  Don't use profanity or vulgar language when you describe your problem.  You could easily have said that your neighbor "uses profanity and other vulgar language".  The reason I ask this is because children use this service and are able to read questions after they are answered.

I am not sure why you need a firepit.  Wouldn't the easiest thing be to simply not use it since it seems to be the major point of contention?  I am really even not sure what a "firepit" is since that is a term completely unfamiliar to me in my part of the country.  

Having said that and assuming that you do not want to get rid of your firepit I would have to ask you something.  You have had the police at your door and had the chance to ask them about the law in your state.  In MY state a neighbor calling the police would not constitue "harrassment" as you call it.  The police might choose to charge the neighbor with misusing their services and making unnecessary calls.  

However lets get to your question about placing charges.  Every state has a mechanism where a private citizen can place a criminal charge against someone else.  I could tell you how it works in MY state but that would not do you any good since it would not apply to YOUR state.  Why not asking the officer(s) who have been to your house how you would go about charging your neighbor with whatever charge would be appropriate in your state as it covers her cursing and pattern of harrassment?  If you don't know the officers name then call his/her station and have them look up the call(s) and they can provide you with his/her name and you can meet and decide the best course of action.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

A firepit is a portable steel bowl on legs to have a fire in.  People sit around them and talk, roast hot dogs, etc.  Mine is 2 feet wide.

I realize I could easily just cater to her demands and not have a firepit, or have a radio, or a child, or a cat, or a garden, etc but I'm tired of curtailing it for a bully.  I don't think one person should be allowed to force someone to change their lives due to their whims.
Ariel
 
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Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:02 am

Neighbors Harrassing With Police Visits

Postby rexton98 » Wed May 06, 2015 12:13 pm

Ok thanks for describing a "firepit".  Not ever having heard that term before I envisioned a "pit" as in hole in the ground where trash was burned or something of that nature.  Here, what you described, would be called a barbeque grill.

I did not suggest that you should alter your life because of your neighbor or give up your children.  I mentioned that I did not think that it would constitute "harrassment" to call the police several times.  But it might be harrassement, depending on the law in your state, to do the things that you described over a period of time.

That is why I suggested that you talk to the officer(s) who have handled the calls in the past to see what the mechanism is in your state for a citizen to obtain a charging document against another citizen.
rexton98
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 7:45 pm


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