Monday, 3 March 2014

A bad neighbour is severely punished                          


There are very few things that are more annoying to a resident in a home that living next to a bad neighbor. I have had my share of them over the years and for the most part, I got even with them legally and severely for infringing on my right to peace and quiet.

 The first time was when I was renting an apartment on the main floor of a building for the summer. The neighbor next door always put his dog out at about six in the morning. Then the dog would bark and bark and bark. I asked him to put the dog out at seven so that it wouldn’t wake me up at six. He told me to learn to live with it.

 At the end of the summer, I moved to another building miles away and since I knew his name and found his phone number, about three or four times a week when I got up to go to the bathroom at three or four in the early mornings, I would phone him and when he picked up the receiver, I would go, ARF, ARF, ARF as I was making sounds as if it was dog barking. He couldn’t trace my phone because it was unlisted and he didn’t know what my name was and the lady that rented the apartment to me earlier promised not to tell the creep what my name was. He paid dearly for two months before I released him from his suffering.

 My second complaint was a woman who had an extremely powerful short-wave radio and an extremely high antenna on her roof. We could hear what she was saying on her short-wave radio by listening to her on our TV. I asked her to not continue doing this so often but she just laughed. I contacted the federal government that licenses these people and they sent out an investigator. He too heard what she was broadcasting when we turned on our TV. He went to her house and ordered her not to make those broadcasts until after 11 at night. Then he returned to our house and again I turned on our TV. I and the investigator heard the woman say the following. “Some fat pig from the government told me what I can do and what I can’t do with my shortwave radio. Well, he can go to hell.”

The official immediately returned to her house and when she opened her door, he said, “This fat pig is ordering you to take down your antenna. If it is still standing in three-day’s time, I will give you a citation. The minimum fine is $2,000. The antenna came down and a month later, she sold her house and moved away.

My third complaint was when I was still living in the same house. The neighbor next door had two grownup boys who constantly made loud noises late at night when they came home in a drunken stupor. I asked them to make less noise when they come home and they told me to fuck off and continued with their noise at least three times a week.

 Then an idea struck me. I told another neighbour about how I was suffering and he said he too suffered from the same noise when these two twerps were doing when they came home late at night. He went along with my plan. The plan was simple enough. He purposely went shopping at the same time the boy’s mother was shopping and while they were standing in a line waiting to pay the cashier, he said the following to her. “Did you know that Mister Batchelor was released last year from a hospital for the criminally insane?” She replied that she didn’t know that. When she asked why was I was in that hospital, he replied, “Apparently he murdered an entire family that lived next door to him. (I never killed anyone nor was I ever in such a hospital as it was just part of the ruse) He pretended to be insane in order not to be sent to prison for life for the five murders but instead he was sent to the hospital for the criminally insane.” He told her that I decided that it would take at least five years to gradually convince the psychiatrists that I was improving and when they were convinced, they finally released me. She asked why I killed the entire family. He replied, “It was something to do with noise but I don`t know what kind of noise he was talking about and I didn`t want to ask.” The boys found another place to live and moved away within a week. Sometimes a bluff will do the trick.

My next complaint was about a factory that was located 88 metres (300 feet) from my bedroom window. Every weekday night after midnight, trucks would come in and be unloaded at the factory. There was a tow motor in the factory that would run over a large metal loading platform that would make a loud banging noise as it hit the concrete beneath it every time the tow motor ran over it. I complained to the management to no avail. I then went around the neighbourhood and got almost a hundred signatures from residents who were also upset by the loud banging noise coming from the factory in the early hours of the morning. Since the factory was built after we moved into our homes, our rights to peace and quiet superseded that of the factory especially after seven at night until seven in the mo0rning as per the noise bylaw in our community.

My immediate neighbour was a member of the Ontario legislator so he and I visited the factory and had a meeting with the owner and his lawyer. They offered to put in an air condition system in my entire two-story home if I would proceed no further with my complaint. I refused their offer because I said it would be unfair to all those other people who backed up my complaint because they too were suffering from the loud noise. I told them that I would take them to court if the noise didn’t stop. They agreed to stop all deliveries between seven at night until seven in the morning. It is ironic when you think of it. All the factory had to do was place some old tires on the concrete under the loading platform and there would be no more banging sounds when the tow motor rand across the metal loading platform.

My final complaint involved a man and his wife who lived three doors from my house in a different city. They had two large dogs that always remained in their back yard and slept at night in the shed. They barked constantly night after night. I asked them to muzzle the dogs at night but they refused.  I recorded their barking with my video camera and sent the video to the bylaw enforcement people. They charged the couple with causing unnecessary and excessive noise and they got a fine of $500. The justice of the peace told them if there is another complaint, the fine will be doubled. They moved away three months later after selling their house.

I have a policy that I have always adhered to. If someone does me wrong and they don’t correct themselves, I get even. Admittedly, I was nasty to the aforementioned neighbours but you would be nasty also if you were subjected to unnecessary noise consistently and the people causing it didn’t give a damn and more or less told you to fuck off.  Now I am going to tell you of a neighbour (not mine) who was severely punished for his wrongdoing and when I use the word, punished—WOW! He was severely punished.            

His name is David Fitzpatrick. He lives in the province of Ontario.                     On November 11th, 2007, this man was continuously threatening and verbally annoying a contractor who was hired by this man’s neighbour to build a fence on a large lawn that extended over each of their properties. The police were called and Fitzpatrick stopped what he was doing.

However, he resented the police chastising him after his neighbour called them so he wanted to get even with his neighbour. The next morning there was a large dead coyote on the hood of his pickup truck, with blood dripping out of its mouth. Yes, that twerp, Fitzpatrick placed it there.On November 13th, he was arrested and charged with criminal harassment. He denied placing the coyote carcass on his neighbour’s car. The twerp remained in custody until released on bail on November 20, 2007. The Crown (prosecutor) eventually concluded that there was no reasonable prospect of conviction and withdrew the charge since someone had disconnected his neighbour’s outdoor video camera so the video evidence wasn’t available to the prosecutor.                                                                            

Now one would think that this ignorant twerp had learned his lesson and would stop annoying his neighbour but like all stupid people, he hadn’t learned anything at all from his outrageous conduct.                                        

When he learned that his next door neighbours (Bill and Anne Squires) were going to sell their home, he sued them and his other neighbour, Shelley Orwin for damages for nuisance, malicious prosecution and conspiracy.

Once he filed his claim in the court, he obtained a certificate of pending litigation against the Squire’s home and filed it with the sheriff’s office which in effect would make it impossible for the Squires to sell their home until this matter was settled in court. At trial, the appellant abandoned his claims for nuisance and conspiracy and instead he only proceeded only with his claim for malicious prosecution. 

The trial judge gave this twerp short shrift after listening to the parties giving their evidence. The trial judge did not find Fitzpatrick to be credible. He described his account of the encounter with Mr. O’Carroll (another neighbor) as “patently untruthful”. Other than in relation to matters corroborated by the documentary record, the trial judge did not rely on his testimony at all.   

The trial judge made the following pertinent findings of fact. Fitzpatrick acted in an increasingly hostile and abusive fashion towards his neighbour after his mother’s death.  His hostility was manifested in insults, abusive language and failure to respect the property line between their driveways. On repeated occasions, the appellant shouted at the respondents using profane and abusive language and when his neighbours attempted to assert their property rights by having a surveyor stake the property line, Fitzpatrick removed the stakes and knowingly trespassed on the his neighbour’s property. Further, the judge ruled that in respect to the altercation on November 11, Fitzpatrick engaged in an unprovoked and verbally abusive confrontation with Mr. O’Carroll, during which Fitzpatrick became enraged, shouted profanities and made threats which in Canada, the latter is a criminal offence. The judge also came to the conclusion that when the respondents listened to the tape of the incident, they felt genuinely threatened by Fitzpatrick and their decision to contact the police that day was made in good faith, based on genuine and well-founded concerns about their personal safety and for this reason, his neighbours believed that there were reasonable and probable grounds that Fitzpatrick had committed criminal harassment against them and there were in fact reasonable and probable grounds to reach this conclusion.

The trial judge dismissed Fitzpatrick’s claim for malicious prosecution. That was because it wasn’t the defendants in that trial that initiated the criminal proceeding. It was the police who did it.  In any event, there were reasonable and probable grounds to believe that Fitzpatrick had committed criminal harassment and there was no malice on the defendant’s part.

Now the defendants countersued and the trial judge made a ruling on their claim. The judge held that the defendants had made out their claims for intentional infliction of mental distress, trespass and wrongful registration of the certificate of pending litigation. He awarded them damages of $201,533.29, including pre-judgment interest and $20,000 in punitive damages. 

Now obviously, this stupid man (Fitzpatrick) wasn’t happy with the trial judge’s decision so he appealed the judge’s decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal. His appeal was based on the premise that that it was not open to the trial judge to draw the inference that he was responsible for the coyote carcass incident in the absence of any direct or sufficient evidence on that matter. That is true in one sense, no-one saw him do it and there was no video evidence showing that he was the person who did it.

The Court of Appeal judges said that the trial judge gave a carefully reasoned judgment based on the legally correct principles.  His findings of fact were careful, thorough and detailed.  His findings on credibility were similarly meticulous. 

I should explain at this part of my article what the difference is between a trial where a reasonable doubt of the crime alleged will result in an acquittal and alternately a preponderance of evidence liability will result in a judgment of probably cause being established. The judge didn’t have to decide whether or not he had treasonable doubt that Fitzpatrick had placed the carcass of the coyote on the truck’s hood of his neighbour; he only had to determine in his own mind that in all probability, it may very well have happened. He based his decision on the conduct of Fitzpatrick when dealing with his neighbours and the contractor which is why trial judge’s inferences flowed from a logical review of the evidence he heard from all the parties.  

The court finally said, “Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed with costs to the respondents.”

The court ordered him to pay the Squires legal fees of $166.000 and to Ms. Orwin, her legal fees of $68,000.  

This foolish man (Fitzpatrick) also got stuck with owing his neighbours $233,533.00 representing damages along with pre-judgment interest calculated since the claim was filed in 2008. And top of that, he had to pay his own lawyers for attendance at the criminal court, then the Superior court and finally the Court of Appeal. No doubt he is probably stuck with a at least a $400,000 debt or perhaps even more and for what? So he could act stupidly against his neighbours. This ignoramus in choosing to be stupid resulted in him being punished severely and now the lien is against his property until he pays the money to the people he sued as a retaliatory act on his part. The irony is he won’t have the satisfaction of glaring at the Squires anymore since they have chosen to move away from this thug.

I can say this as it applied to the saga of David Fitzpatrick.  Where mystery began, justice ended.

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