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Verbally Aggressive Neighbor - Legal / Official Options?

spool32spool32 Contrary LibraryRegistered User regular
edited June 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Background:

My wife is nearly recovered from PTSD stemming from an assault in our home while we lived in Ireland. She has Fibromyalgia, and has difficulty walking down the street some days. She often uses a wheelchair to get around the store because the walking is too much.

I have a large white Akita, whom I walk two or three times a day because he's allergic to the weeds in our backyard. I unfailingly clean up after the Akita, in view of anyone who happens to look. The Akita sheds huge clumps of white fur twice a year, and I brush him outside in my yard, where the wind will blow it away and the birds can make nests from it. When he's blowing his coat, I can pull handsfull of hair off him, and I often do this while I'm walking him.

My next-door neighbor uses her hose to spray off her driveway after mowing the lawn, and during mandatory water restrictions this is illegal - you may only water on two specific days per week, and may not spray water or even set your sprinkler to spray water on concrete surfaces. Two years ago I reported the neighbor to the police for this, and she was probably fined several hundred dollars.

Today:

The neighbor is convinced that I let my dog poop in her yard. She came to my house while I wasn't home and yelled at my 13yr old son, then fled before my wife could get to the door. I do not leave the dog poop in anyone's yard. My wife went outside to confront her about screaming at the kids and the neighbor was furious about white hair in her yard, claimed we were lying about the dog poop, and threatened to call the police if she ever found any more. She called my wife a "fat-ass bitch" for not cleaning up the dog hair, and said she was the laziest person the neighbor has ever seen. She brought up the water restriction violation as proof of what a bastard I am.

Questions:

1) Are these empty threats? Can you call the police about dog poop in your yard?
2) Is there any legal way to prevent this woman from coming to my front door again? My wife's PTSD trigger is directly related to people coming to the front door and threatening things. Will a posted No Trespassing sign and a written warning not to come onto the property again suffice? Having her feel safe in our home is extremely important to her mental well-being.

Ideas?

spool32 on
«13

Posts

  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Well, one, you probably should have said something to her before calling the police on her about the lawn. That could have saved you a lot of drama.

    Two, have you tried calling the same number that you used to report her for watering her lawn? Honestly, I'd go speak with her first about the incident at your door, and then if she's still aggressive about it, warn her to stay away, and if she does it again, THEN call the police.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Calling the cops on her was a bit of a dick move, but whatever.

    If your dog's fur is blowing into her yard and it is noticible I can also see being annoyed about it.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Those of you who don't live in the midst of a serious drought might not understand how serious the water restrictions are. They publish the schedule in all the papers. It's on the news twice a week. It's on the radio, it's in your water bill. Everyone knows what the penalties are, and it drives up the cost of my water bill so that you can have pretty green grass and not need to sweep the clippings into the street with a broom.

    Calling the city is not the dick-move here. Wasting hundreds of gallons of water spraying your driveway is the dick-move.

  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    spool32 wrote: »
    Those of you who don't live in the midst of a serious drought might not understand how serious the water restrictions are. They publish the schedule in all the papers. It's on the news twice a week. It's on the radio, it's in your water bill. Everyone knows what the penalties are, and it drives up the cost of my water bill so that you can have pretty green grass and not need to sweep the clippings into the street with a broom.

    Calling the city is not the dick-move here. Wasting hundreds of gallons of water spraying your driveway is the dick-move.

    To maintain good neighborly relations, you should have spoken with her first. What she did was done. She didn't murder anyone. I understand you're angry, but you need to look at things with a longterm point of view. You've now created a potentially very shitty situation and you're reaping the results of it. You might want to attempt to defuse the situation instead of getting really, really, really angry over a one time thing (her watering). At the moment, all you're doing is throwing gasoline on the fire by calling the police again. She became just as angry at you over your calling of the police as you're becoming over this. Neither of you is really in the right here.

    Yeah, shit in her front yard is probably something she could call you on. Her yelling at your son? Probably not.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • LanchesterLanchester Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    1.) IANAL, but I think those are empty threats. she could call the cops, but I don't think the cops would be able to do anything unless your neighbor has proof that it is your dog who pooped in her yard.

    2.) I would call the police and ask. You can always put up 'No Trespassing' signs, but that won't guarantee or stop people from coming to your door

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    spool32 wrote: »
    Those of you who don't live in the midst of a serious drought might not understand how serious the water restrictions are. They publish the schedule in all the papers. It's on the news twice a week. It's on the radio, it's in your water bill. Everyone knows what the penalties are, and it drives up the cost of my water bill so that you can have pretty green grass and not need to sweep the clippings into the street with a broom.

    Calling the city is not the dick-move here. Wasting hundreds of gallons of water spraying your driveway is the dick-move.

    Don't worry about it. Water restrictions are a dick and you had every right to notify the police. Just claim you didn't call the police, it should've been anonymous anyways.

    Let her know she is more than welcome to file civil suit for damages to her property that random hair or dog shit has caused if she can prove it was you. Let her know that you will make your best efforts to clean up after your dog (always clean the shit, I trust you bro).

    Honestly I'd clean up the hair too, I'd be pretty angry if after a long day at work I come home and my lawn was covered in white hair.

    Let her know if she comes verbally berating your wife or your child that you will contact the police next time. Leave it at that. She's pretty clearly not a neighbor you want to mend relationship with as she's pretty vindictive and just a general asshole all around.

  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    1. There may or may not be a local ordinance regarding failure to clean up after your dog, but if as you say you've been very diligent about the scooping, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. What's the worst she can do? Call the cops on you? They'd either have to catch you in the act, or knock on your door and talk about it, at which point you can bring up the fact that your neighbor called in this complaint in retaliation for your complaint about her water violations (which the police can verify). So don't worry about the poop, just make sure to be extra careful and don't dawdle in front of her property with your dog.

    2. Go over and have a polite conversation. Explain that your wife has a medical condition, your children are minors, and any complaints she has should be directed to you, personally, when you arrive home from work at X:00. Don't bring up any of the incredibly rude shit she said, just request that she speak to you and you alone because your wife's condition is exacerbated by stress & confrontation.

    (And yeah, I can kind of see her side of the issue if your dog is shedding heaps and heaps of hair and it's ending up on her property. Better to bag it and avoid the conflict.)

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited June 2011
    Ah, brushing an akita. As a former owner, you probably are spreading hair to her lawn, which is annoying, near impossible to get out of the grass, and kinda gross when its not your dog.


    You should at least be bagging it up (It sounds like you are just letting it all blow away?), and you might have a hard time proving its not your dogs shit if their yard has tufts of your dogs hair next to shit. We brushed our akita on our screened in porch, and when we moved, I just did it inside on a hard wood floor. If you don't want to do that, find a groomer.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Yeah that's about the only thing offensive spool, other than that I don't see anything wrong with what you've done so far. Living in a water restricted area is shitty as shit so you shouldn't need to remind your neighbor about the law (chances are she would've just told you to call the cops or acted like a dick anyways).

    Good luck bro, hope your wife has some good days to make up for this nonsense. Disabilities are hard shit.

  • FoolproofFoolproof thats what my hearts become in that place you dare not look staring back at youRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I know akita breeder and have even made money cleaning their yard waste up. They are very powerful animals and produce large amounts of urine, feces, hair, and often noise.

    I doubt your neighbor was flipping out over just one pile of poop or some tuffs of hair. More than likely she is angry about the police thing and many other things and just had a moment where her self control and perspective lapsed. I cringe when I think about mistakes I've made when angry and wish I could take them back, hopefully your neighbor will have some sense of shame and that will keep her behavior under better control in the future. You might not have to do anything except to get past this one unpleasant experience.

    You mentioned that your backyard has weeds in it that bother your dog. Maybe those weeds bother your neighbor too. She obviously is some kind of neat freak to spend money on water just to waste it so living next door to someone with a messy yard probably pushes her buttons too.

    Even if you clean up the pile of poop when your animal makes then you may still be annoying people by spraying urine and shit smears on their property, especially if they can't use the hose to wash it away thoroughly. Maybe you could avoid more trouble by treating the weeds on your property and letting your dog do his business on your land.

    Having a big dog is a big responsibility and it is unfair that even responsible owners get flak because almost everyone has had bad experiences with big dog owners not living up to their responsibilities. I'd have no way of knowing if you are being treated unfairly but I think you probably are just from the amount of prejudice I know exists against big dogs. I think we both know that there is some amount of people who just don't like big dogs and especially big dogs that are breed for hunting or fighting. Some of that may underlie this situation and even when it is unfair it is still part of the job of having big dogs.

  • NeitherHereNorThereNeitherHereNorThere Registered User
    edited June 2011
    Here is my suggestion:
    1. Groom your dog inside, or get it groomed somewhere.
    2. Don't let your dog shit in other peoples' backyard. Even if you clean it up.
    3. Go apologize to your neighbor for the dog hair. Be nice, and mention your wife's situation. I'm sure he won't verbally abuse you then.

  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    If, after you try to talk with her, she does the same thing again to your wife, don't even mess with it and look into getting a restraining order. Oregon, for example, provides for stalking restraining orders that combat unwanted/harassing contact.

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  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited June 2011
    She called my wife a "fat-ass bitch" for not cleaning up the dog hair, and said she was the laziest person the neighbor has ever seen.

    why should he play nice now?

  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    So wait, you let your dog poop on other people's yards, and also allow clumps of hair to fly off without worrying/carrying where they go, and you're surprised that a next door neighbor doesn't like you? To be honest, and yeah, it might suck, but I would go over there and if not apologize, at least try to have a decent conversation so as to not escalate things further.

    Spoiler:
  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    She called my wife a "fat-ass bitch" for not cleaning up the dog hair, and said she was the laziest person the neighbor has ever seen.

    why should he play nice now?

    Because an eye for an eye is not a good idea when you have to live next to someone.

    People say and do things in the heat of the moment. For example, his snapping and calling the cops on her instead of just talking with her.

    Being malicious in return is never a good idea if you want to actually resolve anything while maintaining civility in the real world.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • TeeManTeeMan BrainSpoon Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    3. Go apologize to your neighbor for the dog hair. Be nice, and mention your wife's situation. I'm sure he won't verbally abuse you then.

    This is a good suggestion. Explain to him what you're going to do to change the grooming situation and if he continues to have a problem with dog hair in his backyard, to talk to you about it directly and not your son or wife as a proxy.

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    2. Go over and have a polite conversation. Explain that your wife has a medical condition, your children are minors, and any complaints she has should be directed to you, personally, when you arrive home from work at X:00. Don't bring up any of the incredibly rude shit she said, just request that she speak to you and you alone because your wife's condition is exacerbated by stress & confrontation.

    Also mentioned by others, this is probably the best advice. It puts the ball back in her court, and if she wants to be play Calvinball, it's her turn to run past the sprinkler... wait, where was I going? Oh yes, by explaining this to her, she can either be rational or crazy. And based on her choice, you can deal with her accordingly.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • Chases Street DemonsChases Street Demons Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    On another track, I don't know if it's possible due to the layout of the property/money involved but if your wife's PTSD trigger is directly related to people showing up at the door (understanable, considering) then it's probably time to get a fence with a gate. Put a lock on it if your wife's trigger is really bad, that will keep people out of your property and prevent situations such as this.

    I used to think it was a real folksy saying until I got a hosue of my own, but good fences do make for good neighbors.

    "Sometimes things aren't complicated," I said. "You just have to be willing to accept the absolute corruption of everybody involved."

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    At the very least, though, you should brush your dog inside, or if you must do it outside, do it somewhere where the dog hair won't blow away. Regardless of whether you think its a totally awesome thing to provide birds with things to make nests from, if the hair is ending up in your neighbours yard, you're a dick for not doing anything to rectify that.

    That is one area in this story where you are 100% unarguably in the wrong.

    The rest is on her, though.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I don't see where you live. Why, oh God, do people post funny locations in their profile and then ask for jurisdictionally specific help? This is a pet peeve of mine, but I'm tired of people that list their location as "in UR Base."

    Secondly, you could always seek a restraining order or whatever is equivalent where you may be. However, I don't see anything that she's done that would meet the standards. If she knew of your wife's condition and continued to take action in such a way as to try and harass her, then a restraining order could be reasonably sought.

    Finally, I'd suggest not giving her a reason to come to your door. Be a good neighbor to her, and don't complain about the watering or other little things of the like. I don't care if you're right or wrong, take care of your wife, even if it means picking up the dog shit of others.

    If I didn't know LaPuzza wasn't a spambot I would think that was a spambot post.
  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo Fake Board GamerRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    She called my wife a "fat-ass bitch" for not cleaning up the dog hair, and said she was the laziest person the neighbor has ever seen.

    why should he play nice now?

    Because he's an adult and a homeowner. Acting like a teenage shit head isn't usually the wisest course of action when dealing with people that you may be living less than 100 yards from for a decade or two.

  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Here is my suggestion:
    1. Groom your dog inside, or get it groomed somewhere.
    2. Don't let your dog shit in other peoples' backyard. Even if you clean it up.
    3. Go apologize to your neighbor for the dog hair. Be nice, and mention your wife's situation. I'm sure he won't verbally abuse you then.

    This isn't really a hard and fast grooming issue. Dogs that get winter coats shed over time when spring/summer comes around so grooming the dog elsewhere isn't really an option. It's an ongoing process and, having had a friend with a dog that sheds like this (a malamute) it's really not a big deal. It blows away and doesn't hurt anyone.

    I don't know if this is common place everywhere but here when you're walking your dog you let it shit where it needs to shit and then pick it up. You can't tell your dog to hold it until you get home.

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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Here is my suggestion:
    1. Groom your dog inside, or get it groomed somewhere.
    2. Don't let your dog shit in other peoples' backyard. Even if you clean it up.
    3. Go apologize to your neighbor for the dog hair. Be nice, and mention your wife's situation. I'm sure he won't verbally abuse you then.

    This isn't really a hard and fast grooming issue. Dogs that get winter coats shed over time when spring/summer comes around so grooming the dog elsewhere isn't really an option. It's an ongoing process and, having had a friend with a dog that sheds like this (a malamute) it's really not a big deal. It blows away and doesn't hurt anyone.

    I don't know if this is common place everywhere but here when you're walking your dog you let it shit where it needs to shit and then pick it up. You can't tell your dog to hold it until you get home.

    Everywhere I've lived you simply don't allow your dog onto your neighbors property because that would be rude. Your dog doesn't have to wander to grass to poo and if it does you need to keep it to your yard or a dog park but your neighbors property is not the place for it.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    If you have a yard, you don't need to "walk" your dog at all.

  • 1800nightlife1800nightlife Registered User
    edited June 2011
    1) In some states there are fines for not cleaning up your dog, so yes there is some possibility you could get in trouble. Also, I would honestly just groom your dog inside from now on.

    2) Call the police and explain the situation, but first talk to her. I'm not under the impression this woman knows what your wife is going through so maybe you should tell her and explain to her how important it is that she stays away.

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  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Two years and complaining about the water thing? Eesh.

    Well, you have a wife who needs specific living conditions to have a pleasant day and your children are minors. From my family's experience with the neighbor that pulled a knife on my mother, keyed her car, and had a police record inches thick, you have the moral high ground; this means that your neighbor's goal will be to pull you down from the position and get down in the mud with them.

    Do research into what property laws this person may have done and what the trespass laws and signage will do to help keep your family secure.

    What you don't want to do is let yourself get baited by this individual into blowing up in front of some witnesses they have nearby. For the sake of your family, play the victim, let your neighbor play the fool and bury themselves in their own shit.

  • DeadfallDeadfall Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    whom I walk two or three times a day because he's allergic to the weeds in our backyard

    Maybe I missed something here, but couldn't this be fixed rather easily?

    e: For the need to let your dog do its business elsewhere, I mean.

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  • rockmonkeyrockmonkey Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    bowen wrote: »
    If you have a yard, you don't need to "walk" your dog at all.

    There is some truth to this. I have a fenced in yard and a 40 lb dog who has LONG legs and loves to run. I don't NEED to walk her, but for her health it's nice to take her for a walk outside the yard from time to time. Fortunately we have tree lined trails throughout our subdivision that doesn't involve anyones yard and I can let me dog crap beside the trail, bag it, and it doesn't bother anyone.

    The neighbor was out of line for yelling at your kid and for insulting your wife, not knowing her situation. It was wrong. That said, I can understand her being peeved at the dog hair on her yard, the front yard more so than the back, but either is annoying.

    Also just because you bag the poop, doesn't mean it doesn't leave a smear. If it's a big dog I assume large piles of crap, which means large smears. If you walk your dog several time each day, every day, and one of the first stop is in front of your neighbors house this can relate to several spots on the yard. In a place with frequent water restrictions I can assume the grass doesn't grow fast enough to be cut weekly and can see this as a problem.

    I didn't buy the dog, the dog isn't my responsibilty, I might not even like dogs. I might have children or grandchildren who I would like to be able to play in my yard, perhaps bare foot, without worry of them stepping in a smear or ANY trace of repeated dog poopings. I paid for that house and yard and would be very peeved at something like this.


    My rule of thumb is:
    If anything you or your dog does on a regular basis causes more work or fuss for a neighbor then you are doing something wrong, and should stop and/or apologize and find a solution.

    The best advise has already been repeated several times. A calm chat, tell her to direct any futures issues she has with you directly not with a 13 yr old or your wife who has a medical condition and is not simply lazy and also has stress issues already. Tell her you didn't appreciate the way she handled it thus far, but that you understand and will seek a solution to the hair.
    Tell her matter of factly that you don't leave dog poop EVER and that if it bothers her you won't even let your dog poop in/near her yard regardless of of you picking it up.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Here is my suggestion:
    1. Groom your dog inside, or get it groomed somewhere.
    2. Don't let your dog shit in other peoples' backyard. Even if you clean it up.
    3. Go apologize to your neighbor for the dog hair. Be nice, and mention your wife's situation. I'm sure he won't verbally abuse you then.

    This isn't really a hard and fast grooming issue. Dogs that get winter coats shed over time when spring/summer comes around so grooming the dog elsewhere isn't really an option. It's an ongoing process and, having had a friend with a dog that sheds like this (a malamute) it's really not a big deal. It blows away and doesn't hurt anyone.

    I don't know if this is common place everywhere but here when you're walking your dog you let it shit where it needs to shit and then pick it up. You can't tell your dog to hold it until you get home.

    Everywhere I've lived you simply don't allow your dog onto your neighbors property because that would be rude. Your dog doesn't have to wander to grass to poo and if it does you need to keep it to your yard or a dog park but your neighbors property is not the place for it.

    Actually, dogs greatly prefer to do their business on the grass. Also, it's not like your dog is wandering through people's yards. It's just that when you walk it the dog may saunter off the sidewalk and slightly onto someone's yard.

    I'm really surprised this is an issue. I mean, they're dogs and they poop. If you're picking it up I don't see the problem.

    Also, to the guy that said if you have a yard that means you don't have to walk your dog - I hope you don't have a dog.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I did, when we had a yard, the dog was perfectly happy, healthy, lived for 20 years.

    Though if you live in communities where your yard can be mowed with 5 minutes and a weedwacker, then, we may have conflicting views on what is an average yard.

    Your dog doing the business on your yard instead of on a walk is different than walking them, though. It's not the primary focus of why you're out. Where they're likely to take 20 steps and take a shit.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Lots of good replies (and some clueless people... I never let my dog into anyone's backyard! Also, the neighbor is female.). I'll definitely be stopping the dog brushing outside, even though I could find no trace of hair on her front lawn yesterday when I got home. I agree it looks careless... and I've been wanting an excuse to get the pet grooming attachment for our Dyson.

    I want to address some of the comments, but one in particular right now - the akita is 95lbs and can sprint across my quarter-acre back yard in less than 2s. He does actually need a long walk, at least a mile if I have time, preferably every day. Even if I were to come into enough money to till under and regrow the grass in my backyard and keep it watered throughout the Texas drought, I'd still need to take him on regular long walks during which he will almost certainly poop. Also, this brings me to another H/A post I've been meaning to make!

    Thanks, and if you have other ideas for how to deter her from coming back to the house I'd appreciate it. Right now, my wife is battling the irrational desire to pack up the family and flee to a hotel because the house is no longer safe.
    She knows this is irrational, and that dissonance is the core of PTSD. Your brain says to panic because danger is all around you, your body reacts with all the fight/flight responses, but your mind knows none of it is real. We'll get through it (we've weathered much worse over the last few years) but it's really awful for her.

  • LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Nevermind, I think we may be done here.

    If I didn't know LaPuzza wasn't a spambot I would think that was a spambot post.
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    We're almost done.

    I hope all turns out well for your family.

    Have a nice day

    :D

  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    you aren't doing anything wrong with the poop cleanup, but the hair thing could be an annoyance. Sounds like if you do that inside from now on, she doesn't have a leg to stand on. While i agree you should have the civil conversation, she sounds like a very passive aggresive person, and will probably find something else to freak out about. Anyone who is willing to scream at a 13 year old kid, is not a reasonable person.

    If she does it again, i'd call the cops to at least get something on record if a restraining order is needed later. Do you both own your houses? that sucks....

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    OK. Spoke with the police and read through all the relevant city ordinances. IF I leave poop somewhere other than my lawn, and it can be proven, I could be guilty of Public Nuisance and fined somewhere between $1 and $500 per incident. Luckily, I never do this so it's no problem.

    However, some commenters suggest that even the act of pooping could be a public nuisance. I'm not sure how they figure I walk the dog, but he's never off-lead and doesn't roam around people's front yards. He does like to walk onto the grass, and no it's never in a routine location. What did you think I was letting the animal do?

    Yeah, I can feel you guys on the hair thing, especially since it's a uniform bright white. Dyson pet groomer, here I come.

    Making nice with the neighbor: I honestly don't care overly much about this. The old biddy has been verbally aggressive since the week she moved in, and has even threatened to call the police if our dog jumps on our own fence. Our fence is impossible to break after I reinforced it three years ago following a neighbor's boxer breaking it down to charge my kids as they played football. The akita brought that animal down, holding it on the ground without harming it until the neighbors arrived and dragged it away. All I want is for her to permanently leave us alone, and to that end I've told the kids never to walk the dog past her house, or on the side of our yard between them. Hopefully that will stop her from feeling provoked.

    Regarding the water violation reporting: It's never wrong to report a crime to the authorities, or to report it to them first before trying to stop the crime yourself. If you've never lived with water restrictions, you probably can't really understand how serious we take these things. I'm much less interested in being nice in this regard than I am in stopping the huge waste of a scarce and finite resource. Sadly, it doesn't seem to have worked well - she's still spraying off the driveway rather than sweeping it, and we're on voluntary restriction right now. If she keeps it up when we flip over to mandatory, I'll call the city again in a heartbeat.

    Also, the police suggested I send a formal letter informing the neighbor that she's unwelcome, and that since she wasn't physically aggressive they can't act to restrain her until I've made it clear she's to have no contact.

    Below in spoilers, you'll find the letter I'm mailing her today. Doing this seems to have helped my wife feel a lot safer, and I hope the whole situation will begin to die down.
    Spoiler:

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I'd lead with your corrective actions and probably bring up the change in grooming habits. Right now she won't read anything past the first time you mention "vulgarity, slander and threats".

    I would also probably keep the statement of unacceptable behavior in one paragraph, towards the end and then place the formal request to stay away following. I would place your contact info in the beginning in the polite section before the confrontational section. It will have a much greater chance of being read then.

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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I'd lead with your corrective actions and probably bring up the change in grooming habits. Right now she won't read anything past the first time you mention "vulgarity, slander and threats".

    I would also probably keep the statement of unacceptable behavior in one paragraph, towards the end and then place the formal request to stay away following. I would place your contact info in the beginning in the polite section before the confrontational section. It will have a much greater chance of being read then.

    Nah its fine as is. If you're too much an idiot to read the entirety of a letter that is sent via certified mail, the consequences are on you.


    Letters is fine, OP might want to invest in security cams or some other recording device, and theres the possibility she might fly of the handle and go break some windows or something.

  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I would really edit out some of the insulting language in the letter. Don't sink to her level. Lines like "Since you’ve demonstrated that you cannot deal reasonably with my children as an adult" are not going to help at all. Don't accuse her of being childish even if she is. You're just fanning the flames. Keep it as neutral as possible. It's a VERY threatening letter for someone who has only come to your door once and yelled. I'd tone it down a little.

    Honestly, I'd go have a face to face talk with her first. You're really going overboard with this. If she after the talk continues to be aggressive, then do the letter. I think this letter is only going to make things worse.

    EDIT:
    Letters is fine, OP might want to invest in security cams or some other recording device, and theres the possibility she might fly of the handle and go break some windows or something.

    This is over the top. Way over the top.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited June 2011
    I will say that in my neighbor hood, we have access to a walking path, so its highly frowned upon to let your dog go on anyones lawn, Picking up after it or not. Its like for minutes of effort for us to walk to public grounds, so its just seen as laziness in our situation. I don't know what your hood is like, thats just how it is here and maybe for others as well.

    As for the letter, I agree with the arrangement. "I dont think I've spoken more then ten words to you." doesnt seem like the appropriate tone to start with. "We've had fairly limited communication, the best way to contact me are X and X, Please dont communicate wife because of X"

    I would tone it so its as civil as possible, not to be nice to her, but to make sure nothing is coming off as... I dont know, purposeful agitation. "I know you’re aware of this," for instance isnt gaining you anything. You havent spoken to her at all, so just plainly lay it all out without all the "You know" this and "you should have thought better of" that. Its reads like a pretty angry letter, with some official language, basically.

    edit: basically what esh said.

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