Tuesday, March 4, 2014

part 2: My special neighbor Dale Shelton (was: Dale Strawder )

I've been having issues with my neighbor again, and it's been distracting, but I figured that it's a pretty good story, and it's worth telling.  My neighbor has filed for a restraining order against me.  For background on my relations with Ms. Strawder/Shelton, you can look at the previous blog entry.    She changed her name from Dale Strawder to Dale Shelton for reasons that aren't clear.    You'll find part three here, or you can skip directly to the end and get the results of the court hearing.  

Dale Shelton, refusing to return my pig

Now, there's lots of things I can say, and I've thought about it, but I consider Ms. Sheltons filings with the court to be plenty good.

She filed an anti-harassment order against me in the local district court; I guess I'm in good company -- David Letterman got one of these too.   But mine is its own kind of special.  Here's her complaint, emphasis and comments in square braces [] are mine:

Statement in support of an anti-harassment order:
"May 2013 Bruce King stated that he was using my property access to access his farm fields.  He stated he wanted keys to any locked gates into my pasture.  June 2013 He cut the boundary fence between the two farms and installed a 16' gate directly across from the entrance to my home.  I had to have my former husband come repair it for $150.  Bruce was billed for this but he never paid it.
He [Bruce] stated the fence north from my home to the river is not on Snohomish County Right of Way but 17' onto my property so he is taking the 17' by adverse possession.  October 2013 while disking his field he broke off a wood fence post and bent a metal "T" post over.  I told him he needed to replace the posts and he said "it isn't your fence".  It is the east side of my pasture fence and was constructed in 2009 when I moved to the property.  I bought all of the materials for the fence.  The farm owner at the time and his hired hand installed the fence as their cost share.  Bruce should not be allowed to destroy my pasture fence.  Bruce disregards Snohomish County animal confinement codes with his pack of Airedale dogs & his livestock.  The dogs have killed 3 cats and 4 kittens at Paul Gudevs property across the street from Bruce's house.  His pigs and cows get out on a daily basis.  October 2013 He disregarded no trespass signs & came onto my property to retrieve his cows that were out.  His dogs are in my fields or menacing my dogs at my yard gate every day just this week of Oct 6-11.  When I stopped to get my mail at the end of the county road his pack of 7 dogs attacked my car and were jumping on the hood & doors, barking and snarling.  The dogs scratched the paint on the hood and doors with their nails.  I had to lay on my horn to get him to call off the dogs.

His pig was in my pasture Oct 11 looking for a place to have babies.  Animal control and the sheriff wouldn't help or respond so my granddaughter & I had to herd the pig back to Bruce's [property].  I do not want Bruce on my property, hence the no trespass signs.  He was video and voice recording me and my granddaughter for his blog ebeyfarm@blogspot.com [actually it's ebeyfarm.blogspot.com, but close enough] and said he was going to start putting me on his blog.

I do not want to be on his blog where he will misrepresent issues to his advantage and want him stopped from video or voice recording of me and my family.  The pig was back the next day and had her litter of 9 babies in my back yard.
the offending piglets!  ACTUAL PHOTO!

He is consistently bullying, contentions and making untrue statements in our conversations.  I have recently retired and am on a fixed income.  I don't have the funds to keep hiring attorneys to combat his aggression and attempted hostile takeover of my property.  He simply does what he wants to do and does not care about my property or rights.  I am left to fix the damage.  He should be made responsible for any damage to my property and the repairs thereof that he causes.  He should also be required to keep his animals contained to his property per the law.

Bruce installed a camera pointed at my mailbox and garbage containers.  I do not want to be under surveillance by Bruce at all.  The camera does not capture Bruce's mailbox.

Jan/Feb 2014:  Bruce yells or waves his arms as I drive past his residence.  On Feb I walked to my mailbox after dark.  Bruce was in his front yard and said something.  I ignored him as our confrontations are never civil and raise my blood pressure.  He said "I see you have lost your hearing.  I can help with that."  And proceeded to tear down my "no trespass" signs at the beginning of my driveway and toss the signs in the grass.  I called the sheriff who said that he would go talk with Bruce.

Bruce King will not stop his aggression without an anti-harassment order.  This is what the deputy sheriff advised me to get.  This has now gone on for 10 months.

I am retired and on a fixed income and he is trying to force me to spend all my money because he doesn't care what he does to a neighbor [sic] property

Bruce puts letters in my mailbox from him instead of mailing them.  I am not comfortable with him getting in my mailbox as he can look through my mail or tamper with it.  "

Ok Dale.  These are your words.  I think they speak for you pretty clearly.

What she's seeking is to have me restrained from contacting her in any way, mail, email, phone or by third party, and that I be barred from coming within some distance from her residence - it was initially 400', which prevented me from actually doing anything with a couple of acres of my property that abuts hers.  These orders are granted pretty easily and without notice to me; she comes into court, says this, and the judge grants the order for 14 days.  After the 14 day period is up.  Here's what I get to do:

"The respondent is directed to appear and show cause why the court should not enter an order for protection effective for one year or more and order the relief requested by the petitioner or other relief that the court deem proper, which may include payment of costs.  FAILURE TO APPEAR AT THE HEARING OR OTHERWISE RESPOND WILL RESULT IN THE COURT ISSUING AN ORDER FOR PROTECTION PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 10.14 RCW EFFECTIVE FOR A MINIMUM OF ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF THE HEARING.  THE NEXT HEARING DATE IS SHOWN BELOW THE CAPTION ON PAGE ONE" emphasis in original.

Yep.  My special neighbor.  Howdy.

Note:  I cannot contact her or cause any third party to contact her.  This is offered for entertainment value only and should not be considered to be my asking for anyone to contact her.  She has her own little world and it's clear that she should be left there.  However, if you have an opinion about this, you are welcome to express it here, whatever it is.


6 comments:

Steve said...

I feel for you. We had a neighbor that lived in an alternate reality just as yours does. We were reasonable and tried to be polite, but ultimately using the law created a stalemate. The only thing that that solved the issue is when they were at odds with the rest of the neighborhood and they moved.

I feel your pain.

Meredith A said...

What's the problem? don't interact with her in any fashion or step on/touch her property. seems easy enough. what's the deal with the gate? does she have a certified plat showing property boundaries? do you? not sure what public right of way has to do with it, can't modify property that isn't yours, public or private. the cute piglet picture doesn't negate the fact your sow with a litter (a their most aggressive/protective) was repeatedly on her land.

Bruce King said...

Merideth - you're right. the pig shouldnt' have been on her property. And had she allowed me to retrieve the pig, it would have been on her property for the shortest time possible.

Livestock escaping a fence is a fact of life if you have livestock, no matter how good your fence is. What surprised me is that she wanted to make a multi-day ordeal out of what should have been a 5 minute issue. "hey, sorry the pigs over there. I'll come get it".

And I do have a certified, registered survey; with corners staked and capped rebar at the corners. I know where the property lines are; she does not. She continues to threaten my workers with tresspass even when we're working on my property or on my fences. It's a little ridiculous.

00goddess said...

So, I am curious: did your dogs really attack her car? Did they really kill cats and kittens at a neighbor's place?

Bruce King said...

Goddess wants the details. Ok.

What she said in court was that she was getting her mail and my dogs came out and surrounded her car and scratched it, and then she blew her horn and I called the dogs off and they ran away.

What she said way back in July, when this happened, in a statement to animal control, is that she was on her way out to put her garbage out, and the dogs surrounded her car and scratched it, and she blew her horn and they ran away.

She testified in court that she didn't hear me, or see me at the time of the incident.
Truth is, I wasn't there. I don't think that this happened, but I guess it's possible. She has a pit bull that is about the same size and weight as my dogs, and the scratches could have come from her dog. I guess it's up to you to decide who you believe, but it's my opinion that she added me into the picture 5 months after in an effort to make this anti-harassment order stick.

With respect to the neighbors cat and kittens; the neighbor came over one day and said that he'd found his cat and kittens dead in his yard; they were semi-feral, and lived in a shed on his property. I looked at the cat and kittens and there wasn't an obvious cause of death, but it could have been a dog. My dogs had gotten out, the neighbor down the street to the south had dogs that ran loose, and there are coyotes in the area -- but I don't think that it was a coyote, because when a coyote takes a cat it's just gone.
So I buried the cats for the neighbors and bought them a new kitten, and said that I didn't know if my dogs had done it, but that I was sorry about their loss. they accepted the kitten and we're remain on good terms now. Was it my dogs? I don't honestly know. But when dale asked them to sign a declaration about this to support her attempt they refused.

That enough detail for you?

And Dale and her grandchildren read the blog. If you are one of them, Hiya!

Bruce King said...

Goddess wants the details. Ok.

What she said in court was that she was getting her mail and my dogs came out and surrounded her car and scratched it, and then she blew her horn and I called the dogs off and they ran away.

What she said way back in July, when this happened, in a statement to animal control, is that she was on her way out to put her garbage out, and the dogs surrounded her car and scratched it, and she blew her horn and they ran away.

She testified in court that she didn't hear me, or see me at the time of the incident.
Truth is, I wasn't there. I don't think that this happened, but I guess it's possible. She has a pit bull that is about the same size and weight as my dogs, and the scratches could have come from her dog. I guess it's up to you to decide who you believe, but it's my opinion that she added me into the picture 5 months after in an effort to make this anti-harassment order stick.

With respect to the neighbors cat and kittens; the neighbor came over one day and said that he'd found his cat and kittens dead in his yard; they were semi-feral, and lived in a shed on his property. I looked at the cat and kittens and there wasn't an obvious cause of death, but it could have been a dog. My dogs had gotten out, the neighbor down the street to the south had dogs that ran loose, and there are coyotes in the area -- but I don't think that it was a coyote, because when a coyote takes a cat it's just gone.
So I buried the cats for the neighbors and bought them a new kitten, and said that I didn't know if my dogs had done it, but that I was sorry about their loss. they accepted the kitten and we're remain on good terms now. Was it my dogs? I don't honestly know. But when dale asked them to sign a declaration about this to support her attempt they refused.

That enough detail for you?

And Dale and her grandchildren read the blog. If you are one of them, Hiya!