noisy neighbors

brokenwingsFebruary 4, 2009

It is a long story, but I am going to try and shorten it as much as possible. It all started two years and two months ago. We saved for 10 years and then bought a house and spent another year rehabbing the entire house inside and out and did all the work ourselves so we would have the money to buy our dream home, which we moved into two years ago. The first week we were in the house our neighbor started playing music that was so loud that we couldn't escape it anywhere in our house. We could even hear it over our TV. Our houses are close, about 10 feet or so apart. Our bedrooms are on the side of the house that our neighbor lives too. I am going to call my neighbor Fred to make it easier.

We waited a year to even complain to Fred about his music because we were hoping that someone would build a house on the other side of him and complain about the music. That never happened. We also wanted to get along with our neighbor since there was no house of the other side of us either. We have been stressed about this for two years now. Anyway, a year ago my husband decided to start knocking on Fred's door when the music was just so loud we couldn't stand it or we wanted to go to bed. He would stop for that day. It got to the point that Fred stopped answering the door when hubby went over there. So we contacted the HOA and they sent him a letter. They told us that next time we would have to contact the police. He quit playing the music for about four months. Of course he called the city on us to get us back and the HOA for something else. Once again this fall his music started back up and got more and more frequent towards X-mas. It got so bad one night that my daughter was studying for her finals for college and couldn't study because of the music. So hubby once again went over and knocked on Fred's door and told asked him if he couldn't turn it down or wear headphones. He did turn it off but told hubby he was startiing a band!! Well that was the straw that broke this camels back!! We decided that next time we were calling the police.

So next time we did file a report. The officer can in our house first and heard the music and said we should not have to hear it in our home. He went over and told Fred to turn it down and that we had a court date. Fred told the cop that if we didn't like it we should move!

He continued a few days later to play the music again all day long. After four hours we called the cops again. She just told him to turn it down and he lied to her and said we complained about everything and wouldn't even let him mow his grass! What a liar.

So now Fred has decided to make more noises and wake me up at 5:30 am with the dog outside my bedroom window barking and then at 6:00 am sitting in the driveway racing his motor. On top of still playing the loud music.

After him keeping us up once again until 11:30 pm at night on top of all the new noises he was making we went up to the police station and filed another report. I don't know what that cop said to him but it must have been bad. My hubby was outside Sunday replacing lightbulbs and Fred called him over saying can't we just get along. When hubby goes over there Fred commenced to tell hubby that IF we don't drop the charges that in veiled threats he would get my hubby fired, that he and his buddies are carrying concealed handguns now, and that our house would never be safe again. So he threatened our lives, our home and my husbands job.

We are scared to death of this lowlife piece of crap. We feel like we are living in the ghetto when in fact we live in an upper class subdivision with all brand new homes. We are afraid because we know what type of person he is and that he will get us back no matter how long it takes. If we could have we would have moved out the first week we were here. We knew we were going to suffer in this house with him living next door. I could tell you other things about him, but I need some kind of advice. Should we tell the officer about the threats or should we drop the charges? He did say that when this was all over with he was installing a state of the art home theater and he was going to crank it as high as he could! He also said that he knows all about my husband's life and that he would not be safe. My hubby asked if we couldn't all sit down and work this out. Did I mention that I suffer from migraines and I also have an auto immune disease that both keep me home almost all the time. I can't even work, so I am home to listen to his music night and day. He doesn't work as he owns his own business so he is home all day too.

How the heck do you win against a person like this?? He also threatened to sue us for harassment. I am pretty sure he is harassing us but we all know things are backwards any more.

I was so upset that I spent the night at the emergency room Friday night because I thought I was having a heart attack! They said I didn't but my heart was in distress and now I have to go through all kinds of tests.

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don't drop teh charges, then he wins. you should go press MORE charges against him.

as far your mental state from all this, you have 2 choices: put up with his crap or move. which one is going to calm your nerves more?

also, maybe you should buy some acreage and move outside the city with no one right next to you. guaranteed not to have this problem then!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 5:00PM
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Oh I am SO sorry for your situation. There are some long threads on awful neighbors. Hoarding and loud music seem to top the list.

It makes you wonder, are we living in a country with laws, or what?

Could you request a meeting with a police officer (like a community outreach officer) at a police station? Could you detail the various threats this jerk has made? Are you noting the date, time and circumstances and the specifics of the statements? If you can get out notes and detail the information calmly, as opposed to in an acute confrontational moment, maybe the police will get a better overall picture.

I think there are usually laws about the "peaceful enjoyment of your domicile" (or something along those lines) so what you are requesting is reasonable and decent and what he is doing is illegal and awful.

I lived once in a nice small neighborhood where a renter on the edge of it was dealing drugs and the traffic was spilling over. The cops couldn't quite 'catch' him for some legal reason but they finally just kept a patrol car in front of his house almost 24/7. This cramped his style so much he packed up and left.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 5:26PM
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As DavidandKasie said, DO NOT DROP THE CHARGES. In fact, continue to file complaints and by all means, get the threats documented with the police also. The guy is a bully and is mearly trying to intimidate you. By you complaining to the police is no grounds for his being able to file a harassment suit against you. You already have proof by way of the police officers, that you did have a legitimate complaint. You also have grounds for a suit yourself...trespassing. Any time an action of another person causes you to lose full use and reasonable enjoyment of your property, it is considered a trespass. You may want to check your library...the laws and ordinances of your municipitality will be available, usually in the law reference section. They cannot be checked out but you can read them there. A local lawyer will have a copy of them also (purchased of course). I suggest you retain a local attorney (a retainer doesn't cost that much)and make sure they have all documented complaint dates and associated action by the police, police reports, etc. Yes, it's a frustrating thing to have to go through but when you show this character you will not stand still for his "bullyness" and you intend to hit him in his pockets, you bet he will back off. If he makes a threat (your husbands job, guns, etc.), tell him that's fine, take it up with your attorney and they just follow due process and make up the difference. Then go immediatly and file a complaint to have the incident documented. Even if he doesn't do anything to you, if something does happen to you or your property, the courst would feel it reasonable to consider him an accessory due to the documented threats. Freedom doesn't always come without a fight but you will win, you just have to stay with it. Too many times, folks have this sort of situation "sneak up" on them. You put up with it a while figureing it might just be a temporary thing. Then when you nicely present the situation, you find out the guy is nasty and has no intention of being a good neighbor. Devote 30 minutes a day documenting and discussing the situation with you and your husband. You both will feel less helpless since now you know you can do something and, have a plan for ending this mess and, eventually it will end. It would be legal for you to install a voice monitoring system to further help you when filing the threats as well as having more proof of the situation (video would be good too!!)

Good luck and remember....when you fight back to a bully, they will back down ...they only want to deal with weak submissive people whom they canj intimidate.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 8:44PM
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Thanks so much for all the replies! I have let him get the best of me for sure. I am not backing down though. My peace is at stake and I am sick of it! I am going to call the police today. We have been keeping a record of everything and turning it in as we go. You all are right, that he IS a bully and he has been all his life. We could tell that by how he talked and did things right away. He has been given everything his whole life and is rich now, thinking he is better than everybody else.

We would move it is were possible, but with the economy, we are lucky to have a savings to live off right now. My hubby hasn't had work in three months and has to sit out at work everyday just hoping for something to come in. He is in the construction field and has worked out there for almost 30 years now, so can't afford to leave his job.

I just wish I weren't so sick and was better able to deal with all of this.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 8:02AM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil

Whatever you decide to do legally, document, document, document. Dates, times, describe the music (what time it started and stopped), threats, who said what to whom, etc. etc. Then when you need it, you have it. I would also inform the cops in writing, in detail, about the threats, in case anything ever happens. You can do this in such a way that you don't look like a whiner but it clearly documents a pattern of abuse on his part. If you have the whole picture from the beginning in writing, you won't have to remember it and it will be clear to any sane person reading it what has been happening.

Good luck, we're rooting for you.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 5:15PM
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treat yourself to a copy of 'the gift of fear'

so you understand the mentality (or lack there of) of the sort of person who needs to let the whole neighborhood know what he's listening too all the time...

it might help you with the anxiety of standing up to the bully a bit.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 3:26PM
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Definitely document everything and let the police know that you are doing so to help your court case. Tell the police that you only want some peace and quiet. The officers that have already been out and heard the noise can spread the word to the other officers about what is going on and possibly you can get extra patrols to roll by the houses all hours of the day and night.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 8:07PM
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We feel like we are living in the ghetto when in fact we live in an upper class subdivision with all brand new homes. ... He doesn't work as he owns his own business so he is home all day too.

I've never known anyone who was self employed and didn't work pretty darn hard, especially if he has a mortgage in a nice neighborhood to pay. What kind of work does he do from home? I couldn't imagine being on the phone with customers/clients with music blaring in the background. Where does he find the time to play this music???

As other have said, keep records and keep calling the police. Might not be a bad idea to talk to an attorney.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 7:28AM
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hmm - loud music, self employed, but home all the time?
barring a dead relative or an affluent wife, he's up to some sort of no good - pot dealers tend to be better neighbors than this dude. that sounds like guns, stolen goods, or Amway ;)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 9:21AM
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You could check and see if he actually owns the home or just renting it ... That may give you a few more options

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 11:54PM
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I would sever contact with "Fred". It hasn't gotten you very far anyway. When the music comes on loud, call the police. Don't wait for an hour, and don't call just sometimes. As long as it's still loud when the police come over, they won't consider you a whiner or crying wolf.

Don't call "Fred" names, don't get emotional. Let each officer know in a matter of fact tone and demeanor that this needs to be documented because the neighbor is loud on a regular basis and you just want it to stop. Thank the officer for any help they can offer, and that you'd like the police report number of the incident before they leave. Then go back to doing whatever you were doing.

If there really is a court date for his noise violations, find out who in the DA office is handling it, and make sure they have copies of all the police reports.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 7:36AM
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...barring a dead relative or an affluent wife, he's up to some sort of no good - pot dealers tend to be better neighbors than this dude. that sounds like guns, stolen goods, or Amway ;)

I'd vote for the dead relative. One would think that folks involved in illegal activities would want to keep an low profile to avoid having the police show up at the door on a regular basis. Of course, most criminals aren't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 8:09AM
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You need to inform the police (preferably stop at the station in person) that he's claiming he has a CCW permit and is making veiled threats with that weapon. Don't know how familiar you are with firearms or CCW permits, but growing up rural, firearm ownership is commonplace (hunting mostly) where I come from. Many also have CCW permits. No self-respecting firearm owner would ever make a threat like that. (And if proved they made it would be in a world of trouble.) It's a citizen's right to bear arms, but there are stringent laws attached. There is a screening process (usually local police, then submitted to state police, local and federal background check), but that varies by State. Some States require xxx hours of classes be taken first. Once that CCW is issued, permit holders in general do not advertise they have one. Typically don't even discuss it unless among others of like mind. Two reasons it's issued (and in my state you have to check off the reason you want it): either for legal transport (such as to and from a gun range for target practice) or for personal protection (e.g. in the home, or business owners who might find themselves in risky situations, etc.) In my State it can't be carried in certain public places, can't be carried within so many yards of a school, etc. And you sure as heck can't threaten someone with bodily harm. It's for defense. Those laws, when broken, do not result in a slap on the wrist.

Your neighbor is a reckless, irresponsible moron and doesn't deserve a CCW (if he's even truly got one). Responsible CCW permit holders would tell you that in a heartbeat. He screws up with the law, authorities will pull that permit from him, and could be banned from ever getting another in his lifetime.

Don't let that veiled threat go by unreported.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 11:14AM
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what ever happened?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 9:19AM
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