One of our neighbors is harrassing us on a weekly basis. She is filing false complaints with the HOA and with Animal Control regarding our dog. She stalks us by using binoculars from her property which looks down on to ours and when we come home, or are out, she takes her walk through an easement trail that runs through our property. She leverages the easement to harass us and upon one occasion walked on to our property was talking in a hostile tone to my wife, then pulled out a camera and started taking pictures of her (while on our property) and then told her she was with the Police Department (which is completely false). She has parked at the end of our driveway and is constantly looking to instigate a situation through the guise of complaining about a friendly golden retriever family pet - fabricating stories that the dog is "vicious & menacing", etc.
So what recourse do I have to stop this? Can I file a harrassment lawsuit or would it be easier to get a restraining order filed against her to keep her away from our property? Looking for a solution before I become violent - which could be very soon if she continues to harrass my family. Thank you for your insight. My name is Olaf - in state of Colorado.
You may have a basis to get a protection order for stalking. Look up CRS 18-3-602. Also look here for forms and directions http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm?Form_Type_ID=24.
As to you becoming violent, take a minute and think. I understand that this is stressful, but nothing you note would ever be a basis to become violent. If you do, expect to quickly be sent to jail, charged, and ultimately have a potential felony record. Either go through the HOA and legal channels or expect to go to jail and pay thousands in attorney fees and fines. Good luck.
This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice regarding your question and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
To Attorney Murillo's excellent advice, I would simply add this: Document everything.
Each incursion onto your land, each time she is parked at the end of your driveway, each time you catch her surveilling you with binoculars, take a photo. I suggest a camera that includes a day/date stamp function.
Note also that, to the extent all her reports are proven baseless, the HOA and AC will be rapidly fed up with her antics. It might be worth your while to get copies of each of her report - AND the subsequent findings.
The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Other counsel gave good advice. First, and foremost, as much as neighbor disputes can make a calm person irate, do not get violent, threaten violence, or even allude to it. Keep your voice down, do not yell, in fact, I'd suggest that you not even speak with the neighbor.
As far as documenting, do everything you can, form the public streets or your property. If they say the dog barks all day while you are at work, buy a recorder and see if it is true. If she is on an easement that runs through your property she probably can take pictures.
Usually these cases involve something else. There are legal recourse, which can be quite costly, usually because one side is unreasonable. If you document your activities and respond to the police and HOA, eventually her credibility will be destroyed. Another way to handle this problem is, in writing, I'd suggest form an attorney, to invite her to mediate the dispute. You may find that the real issue is not the dog, but the way you park your car, which you wouldn't mind parking differently.
Before doing anything, I would consult legal counsel. Otherwise, you are risking your own credibility and perhaps giving the neighbor a cause of action. Again, do not threaten, yeall, or otherwise intimidate the neighbor.
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