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Country Discussion Topics
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Neighbor problem- advice wanted
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Countrymom    Posted 08-17-2003 at 18:53:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm a frequent lurker- new poster, so I'll try to make a long story short.

The guy who owns all the fields surronding our property was a long-time friend. We have recently had a major falling out- he is upset that one of his relatives was just convicted of molesting our daughter. He felt that we shouldn't have gone to the police and that we have ruined the young relative's life. To show his displeasure he has been creating a large manure pile (60'x60'x4' deep and growing larger daily) just over the property line by the creek that runs across our land. In all the years that we've lived here he has never before spread anything in this pasture.
I have done a little research and found out that the DNR does not permit such piles anywhere where they can affect surface water or within 500' of a residence without the written consent of the owner of the residence. The pile is 50' from the creek and 309' from my house and I certainly did not give consent written or otherwise for the pile. What is the right thing to do - ignore it as part of rural living or report him to the DNR?

P.S.- I realize that this stuff does need to go somewhere and I don't complain when he spreads it on the fields or my driveway, but this seems excessive.

Thanks


2Close4Comfort    Posted 08-19-2003 at 11:52:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
I haven't had your same problem, but I did experience having revenge taken on me for complaining to a neighbor. I wrote my neighbor a very polite letter about a cat that I thought was theirs.(I knew it was.) I explained how it got into a fenced area ( I fenced just to keep this cat out) and into a sandbox that the kids were playing in. I saw it leave the yard while they were taking a 10 minute break to get a drink inside. They went back out to play and came in covered with fresh cat excretement. Three small kids... hands, feet, clothing, my living room carpet, door handle, sandbox - all covered in cat poop!

I kept this sandbox covered at all times because of this cat and it still got us - again. I was trying to inform them that I had done all I could and I hoped for their assistance. By the way, we lived 20 feet apart.

Later, this guy turned out to show himself a real jerk repeatedly, so writing a letter turned out to be a paticularily bad choice. since I insulted(or humiliated) him, he killed his cat, and soon after, called the fire department the next time I was using my grill. I had a 3+ foot high baby yard around the grill, and was allowing my 7yo son and his friend to toss little twigs into it.

They were on the outside of the fence/baby yard and couldn't get near the grill. I was at all times less than 15 feet away, repairing a playhouse. The firedepartment showed up, yelling at the boys to "go get your mother." The neighbor ran out to greet them , and ran back in the house as soon as he saw me walking twards them.

Never-the-less, one threatened to write me up for child neglect; the other looked on, amused. I called the fire chief, and he was sympathetic to me since he has seen many such "jerks" in this business. He said some have reported neighbors for leaving oxegen out on a carport just a short time after it was delivered.

Not to discourage you from working on this problem of yours. I'd say, talk to him in person first. Then bring others into it, if he doesn't change his evil ways.


2Close4Comfort    Posted 08-19-2003 at 11:49:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
I haven't had your same problem, but I did experience having revenge taken on me for complaining to a neighbor. I wrote my neighbor a very polite letter about a cat that I thought was theirs.(I knew it was.) I explained how it got into a fenced area ( I fenced just to keep this cat out) and into a sandbox that the kids were playing in. I saw it leave the yard while they were taking a 10 minute break to get a drink inside. They went back out to play and came in covered with fresh cat excretement. Three small kids... hands, feet, clothing, my living room carpet, door handle, sandbox - all covered in cat poop!

I kept this sandbox covered at all times because of this cat and it still got us - again. I was trying to inform them that I had done all I could and I hoped for their assistance. By the way, we lived 20 feet apart.

Later, this guy turned out to show himself a real jerk repeatedly, so writing a letter turned out to be a paticularily bad choice. since I insulted(or humiliated) him, he killed his cat, and soon after, called the fire department the next time I was using my grill. I had a 3+ foot high baby yard around the grill, and was allowing my 7yo son and his friend to toss little twigs into it.

They were on the outside of the fence/baby yard and couldn't get near the grill. I was at all times less than 15 feet away, repairing a playhouse. The firedepartment showed up, yelling at the boys to "go get your mother." The neighbor ran out to greet them , and ran back in the house as soon as he saw me walking twards them.

Never-the-less, one threatened to write me up for child neglect; the other looked on, amused. I called the fire chief, and he was sympathetic to me since he has seen many such "jerks" in this business. He said some have reported neighbors for leaving oxegen out on a carport just a short time after it was delivered.

Not to discourage you from working on this problem of yours. I'd say, talk to him in person first. Then bring others into it, if he doesn't change his evil ways.


Jay    Posted 08-19-2003 at 11:34:45       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Countrymom, I wanted to ask you about raising your children in the country, but I misplaced your contact info. Please email me at above address.



Maggie/TX    Posted 08-18-2003 at 06:47:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Countrymom, this is a problem that you should not just sit back and accept as part of rural living, as the neighbor will perceive it as weakness rather than neighborliness. If he gets the idea he has you intimidated, he will escalate the harrassment. Either call the county sheriff, or go see your County Attorney. It won't cost you anything to consult the County Attorney, he was probably the prosecuter of the case about your daughter, and he will be familiar with the situation and will see what is happening for what it is right off the bat. This is "retaliation" and that is a crime in itself, besides the fact that he is violating Federal law. If you sit still and do nothing, you will never be able to live in peace again.


Linda    Posted 08-18-2003 at 10:48:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree with Maggie. The County Attorney will know how to handle this and can advise you. If he or she was the prosecutor in your daughter's case, they will have a special interest in this current harrassment. The County Attorney is the chief law enforcement officer in your county (even above the Sheriff) and they can be a tremendous help. Call and make an appointment so they will have time to spend with you.

I don't know how old your daughter is. No matter what her age, she needs to know the protection her mom is giving her extends in all directions. She's going to have some rough bumps ahead, but she will draw strength from you actions and from your love.


BOSS    Posted 08-18-2003 at 02:55:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
I don't know where you live, but I wouldn't call the DNR, I would call the DEQ. They are WAY more powerful than the DNR. I have had them help me before, and I have seen them work on other problems. They don't mess around, what they say, goes. Call the DEQ.


Willy-N    Posted 08-17-2003 at 23:10:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Boy he would be glad he is not my neibor! First off I would have a hard time forgiving him if this is the way he acts after his blood did what he did to my daughter. I won't tell you what I would do but I don't think this would go on very long! Mark H.


Ron,Ar    Posted 08-17-2003 at 22:50:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
Call the county sheriff, make a complaint first. He should go out there and ask him to remove the pile to be in compliance with DNR rules. If the neighbor refuses the sheriff can act accordingly. You may have to actually file charges if that is what sheriff requires. I think manure will burn in some stage of decomposition. May have to have an accidental fire over there.


Hal/WA    Posted 08-17-2003 at 21:25:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wow, that's a fair sized manure pile! I hope it isn't chicken or hog--they are pretty potent. In all seriousness, manure usually will lose most of its odor within a couple of weeks if it is spread or in a pile. Especially if it is hot and dry. Not too much fun during that time though. You didn't mention where you are and how much manure this guy has access to. You probably want to research your state laws and zoning ordinances. Your vindictive neighbor might be within his rights as a property owner, depending on what those rights are.

The clean water aspect is another matter altogether. There are more and more laws that restrict what you can do around streams and "wetlands", and many of those provisions are Federal. But you almost have to research or have someone research that mess to find out if there might be a violation. Another thing I would think about is the question of whether you really want the econazis to be alerted. It might really cost you as well as your neighbor. Sometimes the remedies those folks come up with are completely out of reason or common sense.

If that mans actions pollute your well, you very possibly have grounds for a lawsuit against him. You probably need to talk to a lawyer about the whole thing anyway. I would suggest that you spend the money now to get your well water formally tested to establish a baseline of levels of various substances in your water. This cannot wait very long, depending on your ground structure. In some areas it would take years to pollute the water if you had a huge pile 50 feet from the well; but in other soil and geologic areas (like sand and gravel) you already could be having problems.

I hope you are dealing with your daughter's molestation the best way you can, whatever that is. If she is tiny, she will probably not remember it long, but if she is older, she probably needs competant counselling to deal with it and the repurcussions. Of course that would vary too on just what happened. My heart goes out to you and your family.....

You might want to talk to the prosecutor who handled the case to see if they have any recourse. That shouldn't cost you any money. You also might want to talk to the law enforcement officer that worked the case.

Unfortunately this kind of thing does happen all too commonly. Your neighbor will need to realize that the suspect caused his own problems and that you did the right, appropriate thing in reporting it. Maybe you have saved someone else's child from being victimized by that young man and maybe he can get on the right track.

Good luck in dealing with these problems.


Birds of a Feather..Jimbo    Posted 08-17-2003 at 20:58:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sounds like he wants a record also. I would call the DNR.

As for the relative, he is a scumbag. Quality people like yourselves do not harbor criminals. Call the police as well. Your neighbor is harassing you & your health. Relative had no regard for your daughters health as well.


tuffnut    Posted 08-17-2003 at 20:56:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
Report it to the DNR, he is in violation and will wreck groundwater for many besides you. Hope your daughter is getting help & hope the neighbor's relative gets the electric chair.


screaminghollow    Posted 08-17-2003 at 20:39:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'd say report it. Bad enough what happened to your daughter. Now your supposed to just sit by and let this clown pollute not only a waterway, but your water well to boot. Who gets their house condemned if your well goes bad? Who'll buy your house if the well is bad? As far as I'm concerned, neighbors are supposed to be neighborly only so far as one is not creating a risk of injury or damage to the other. This guy is attempting to concentrate the stuff to pollute the stream and groundwater, including your well. Throw the book at him now before your the one with a house you can't live in or sell.


C Kulig    Posted 08-17-2003 at 19:54:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm not sure what I'd do. But I do worry what else the DNR will see when they come looking. Might end up with other neighbors upset also.
just my 0.02


JDK    Posted 08-17-2003 at 19:40:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
You are correct on this type enviromental violation.I have seen heavy fines and cleanup cost levied for manure pollution of waterways etc in WI.Its a shame some folks cannot accept a "bad seed" within their family and deal with it,rather than blame others for the problem...If you report this,the DNR will prolly be on it like hair on a bear,BUT no doubt your neighbor will just become more bitter and vindictive.There is also a very thin case of witness intimidation here in a sense.You might make an appt with your DA and just discuss the issue and possible resolutions before dealing directly with enforcement folks.


Sid    Posted 08-17-2003 at 19:01:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
Personely I think I would ignore it, it is really petty compared to what happened to your daughter. In my mind that is a wound that will take time to heal but getting into a quarrel over a manure pile is not going to help and will just lead to something else to quarrel over. Just my opinion.


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