In case you missed it, here’s the video I recorded a couple of weeks ago about why I’ve been missing from social media – I was attacked by my neighbor – here it is so you can hear the first part of this saga. The one thing that I left out of the video, is that this horrific person was cutting a door or something with an electric saw when I tried to talk to him. Now, what person in their right mind would attack and get in the face of someone holding a power saw? But, here is the story -Part 1.
Now, for Part 2.
We got to the courthouse on the 14th at 8:30am because we couldn’t risk being late and losing by default. Our neighbor who lives on the other side of the monster went with us and a friend of mine, Manny, met us there so we would have a man with us since the jerk’s afraid of men – he just likes to bully women and children. We were sitting out in the hallway waiting for the courtroom to open and he walks us and actually smiles at us all and acts like he’s going to say hello. Manny says to me – “is that him? He must be crazy to try to talk to you!” I also think he was shocked to see Bertha (the other neighbor) with us since he’s given her a bad time also and we were shocked he didn’t bring his wife as a witness but we think that since he abuses her, he was afraid she might break down.
A little after 9am the courtroom opens and we go in. Of course, he practically runs in ahead of us; sits down in the front row and puts some folder he’s brought with him onto the table for the attorneys – no clue. We sat on the other side of the aisle in the last row so we had a good view of him and I can tell you, he was scared and nervous. Kept fidgeting and looking around and squirming. We were told that this courtroom was under a commissioner – not an actual judge and if we wanted to wait for a real judge they had no idea when our case would be heard, so we stayed – first mistake.
The “judge” comes out and proceeds to send every case to mediation except for one that one of the parties was actually behind the bars in the courtroom in custody. He continued or postponed that case until after the guy faces his criminal charges. Each case he calls up, he talks to terribly – humiliating them and then sends them to mediation. By now it’s almost 11am and there are just 2 other people left in the courtroom beside us. He calls up those people – an older man and his woman attorney. The attorney tries to talk and say since the other party didn’t show up her client should get his restraining order but the judge interrupts her and when she asks if her client can tell his story, this “judge” says “no he may not. It’s my courtroom and I run it like I want which is I ask the questions and he answers.” He then proceeds to hammer the poor man with questions, totally confusing him to the point where I don’t even think the man realized that the guy dismissed his case and wouldn’t give him the restraining order. His attorney was trying to explain it to him as they left.
So, now they call us up and I go up to the table and Lester – the neighbor from hell – goes to his side of it. The commissioner says that he struggled whether to send our case to mediation or not and I’m thinking how do you mediate an assault. He says though that both parties have to agree to it and I shake my head no so he says okay, if you say no, swears us both in – swearing that we’ll tell the truth – I read on your application that is just neighbors that can’t get along. You say that he threatened you with a leaf blower and backed you up against the back of your car, on your property, correct? I said yes and I have pictures…and he interrupts me and says I didn’ ask you for pictures and asks when did this happen. I responded a couple of years ago and he says well that’s ancient news then and I’m not going to consider that. Has he done anything else to you in this calendar year? I respond “no” and I’m thinking this is going badly. He then tells me to tell him what happened that night. I told him exactly what I’ve said all along – what’s in the video above – because that’s what happened. When I said that my mother was there yelling for help he interrupts me and asks if she’s here with me and I said yes and he says well, we may get to that later. Then he says I have a real problem that you spoke to someone who you are afraid of – I tried to say that I thought that I was far enough away – more than 15 feet but he won’t listen to me and then asks the monster his side. He says I pulled my car up and got out and charged at him while he was in his driveway. The judge asks where in his driveway and the jerk says 10% in and then says 50% in and 50% out and the commissioner says which is it 50% or 10% and the jerks mumbles some explanation. He then says that he had to “lightly put his hands on my shoulders and push me away from him.” I want to say something about him holding the electric saw but the judge won’t let me say anything more. Nor will he listen to me that I have a false report he filed with the City Building Department against us – proving that he lies. He also won’t listen or look at the picture of the bruise on me, the pictures of where we both were or that my other neighbor was here because she witnessed him telling a contractor “I’m a firm believer in breaking the law and asking for forgiveness later. This commissioner says I’m ordering you to go to mediation and work out an agreement. If you don’t you’ll come back in and I’ll rule on the case. This scared me to death since it sounded to me like he would not grant the restraining order. He said because we both owned our homes and had to live next to each other we had to come to an agreement. My mother and our friends were horrified and so was I.
Outside the courtroom, we were introduced to a lady who was to be our mediator and directed into a room across the hall. Lester is ordered to wait out in the hallway. My Mom is terribly upset, I’m shaking and our neighbor, Bertha, is visibly shaken also. At least the mediator listened to everything that we said, looked at all my evidence and tried to comfort my mother when she broke down in tears saying “how would you feel if you saw a man attacking your daughter and you couldn’t do anything to stop him and thought he was going to kill her and now she has whiplash and is being treated like a criminal instead of the victim? What do we do now? Wait until he kills or permanently hurts one of us?” It was obvious to us all that she believed us and said that this agreement would be a legal document but unlike a restraining order if he breaks it the police won’t arrest him. If it’s violence I’ll have to go through this whole farce of a process to try to get another restraining order and it would bind both of us to the same conditions. Since I don’t want to talk to him or go near him, that’s fine but we all told her that this won’t stop him. He’ll think he won and just get more aggressive. She understood but the judge had ordered her to get us to agree. She made it for 3 years, that we stay 10 yards from each other and can’t do anything antagonistic to each other. We said okay because she did say that if we don’t come to an agreement, there was a good chance that the “judge” wouldn’t give us anything and I couldn’t risk that – especially the way the “judge” had acted. We then went out into the hallway to wait while she talked to him. We’d been in there over an hour so we didn’t know how long we’d have to wait for him.
About 30 minutes later she came out and said that he’d agreed to everything but wanted to meet with us all and assure us that we had nothing to fear from him – that he would never hurt us. We all said absolutely not since he’d already hurt me. She said she understood and had us wait while she wrote up the agreement, had me sign it and took it to him to sign and then she left it with the court clerk and wished us luck – which said a lot to me about what she really thought. We then had to wait until court was back in session at 1:30pm – which ended up to be about 1:50pm. We had to go up to the front table in front of the”judge” again. He said he was so pleased that we came to an agreement. Like I cared that he was happy because I sure wasn’t. He read the agreement out loud to us and asked if we both agreed to it. I wouldn’t look at the “judge” but grudgingly said yes and of course,this asshole said: “of course”. We waited a few more minutes and then were given copies of it and he practically ran out of the courtroom.
Since Mom walks slower with her cane and we didn’t want to be near him, we waited a minute and then finally got to our car and drove home. By then it was about 2:20pm and the first thing I heard was the jerk out in his backyard with his leaf blower on and aiming it over our fence – threatening again. The next day he was putting a dead plant in a big heavy planter out behind our house – just to antagonize us. Then we overheard him (which I’m sure he intended since he practically yelled) tell people he had in is back yard that he was hauled into court this week “but the laws are so weak they can’t touch me.”
So, obviously the agreement means nothing to him and we feel our lives are in danger – especially when and if our home owners insurance goes after him to pay for all the damages that his workers without permits or licenses caused to our home. But, the legal system let us down and we feel like we’re in some episode of Dateline or some other reality show or more accurately a nightmare and there is nothing we can do but hope he doesn’t hurt or kill us. I’m trying to just go on with my life, ignoring and staying away from him and trying not to think about it but that’s proving easier said than done since my whole life, I’ve been obsessed with injustice. What would you do if you were in my place? Has anything like this ever happened to you? Do you see any other avenue that we can pursue? I’d love your input! I’m hoping that by writing this and getting feedback from you, I’ll be able to deal with this better physically, mentally and emotionally!!