Sunday, February 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

We called the police on our neighbors, now they’re harassing us

By
From page C2 | January 25, 2014 |

Q:  I have a question about how to deal with my neighbors. We’ve live in Dover Terrace South for almost 20 years now. My husband and I are both in our late 70s and my husband is wheelchair bound. About three months ago some kids moved in next door. I call them kids but they’re probably all in their early 20s. They have motorcycles and loud parties all night long. We’ve called the police out several times to quiet down the parties. The last time I guess one of the officers must have told them who complained and ever since they’ve been harassing us. They’ll stand at their property line, which is right by our bedroom windows, and yell obscenities in the middle of the night. They’ve thrown empty beer cans and bottles at our house. They’ll bang pots or whatever to wake us up at 2 a.m. They’ve even deliberately parked their motorcycles in front of our driveway. I’m afraid if I have to take my husband to the hospital I won’t be able to get out. We are afraid for our safety and about at our wits’ end but don’t know what to do. Can you help? 

A:  I’m sure as people are reading this on Saturday morning their coffee cups are shaking and any number of them are ready to march over to your neighbors’ house with torches and pitchforks.

And as much sense as that makes, I have an ethical obligation not to suggest it. However, there are a number of things you can do, but all will involve you standing up and deciding you’re not going to take it anymore.

First and foremost is keeping the police emergency number on your speed dial. Find out from the Suisun City Police Department what the best number is to call them directly when you need an immediate response.

Next, document everything.

That means recording the noises they make, what is said, etc. A tape recorder, video camera, or a trusty iPhone will do it. In addition, keep a log book with the what, when and where’s documented.

At this point you have the ability to call the police department at a moment’s notice and to prove what’s going on and how often.

Police make records of every call, including what house caused the problem. As more and more calls regarding your neighbor’s house add up, the chances that your problem will be kicked upstairs in the department, and ultimately to the District Attorney’s office, goes up. The police will try to do more daily drive-bys, etc.

If your log, and maybe even your recordings, document threats to you, your husband or your property, that will constitute a crime and the police can take immediate action. So pay attention.

Now, criminal justice aside, there are civil things you can do.

First, and this is a little outside my area, but you may be able to go to court and get a civil restraining order that keeps the neighbors from, say, having a noisy party after a certain hour or parking in front of your driveway.

With a restraining order in hand, the police can take action, and even make an arrest that they normally couldn’t.

You can file a lawsuit based on the nuisance the neighbors are creating. But the problem with that is not only the cost of a Superior Court lawsuit, but even if you win the day all you get is another restraining order and a judgment for some money they probably won’t pay.

One other thought,  you didn’t mention if these “kids” own or rent the house. I’m taking a wild guess here that they rent the place.

You can find out who owns it at the county Recorder’s Office on the second floor of the county building in Fairfield. Find out who owns the house and call them. Make forceful demands and rattle their cage.

It’s possible the property owners don’t live anywhere around here and have no idea what’s going on. The neighbors’ conduct is likely a violation of their rental agreement and would allow the landlord to evict them.

Frankly, any responsible landlord doesn’t want people like this in their properties.

But the take-home from this discussion is that there’s no Lone Ranger going to ride to your rescue. You have to take the proverbial bull by the horns and keep pushing.

Tim Jones is a real estate attorney in Fairfield. If you have any real estate questions you would like to have answered in this column you can contact him at [email protected].

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 16 comments

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  • Skeptic ScroogeJanuary 25, 2014 - 3:51 am

    Make sure you get it on video, then call the police. Otherwise the police will label YOU as crazy. of all the things mentioned in the article, the best was omitted: you should call anonymously so you dont have to worry about retaliation. If they block your driveway, call the police for that too. Fairfield cops are great about checking out vehicles that don't belong.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Blanca BotwinJanuary 25, 2014 - 6:12 am

    Suisun police knocked on my door after 11 pm one night, because unbeknownst to me, there was a car blocking my driveway. They asked if it was mine, if I knew whose it was, and when I didn't, they had it towed! I am not complaining, at all. I didn't know the car was outside until the police told me, so I can say they do not play with cars blocking driveways. Also, one day there was a car blocking my neighbor' driveway. Police came, turned out it was stolen and dumped, so it's always best to call regarding your driveway being blocked. It's more than annoying-it could be part of a crime.

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  • Rich GiddensJanuary 25, 2014 - 12:47 pm

    Put the Suisun City non emergency number on speed dial. Check. Record and document everything. Check. Appear before the police chief, city council and the city manager. Check. Video and audio Record the scofflaws illegal and nusiance activities. Check. Call for and appear for neighborhood mediation you request and neighbors fail to appear. Check. Get a restraining order. Check. Call and write Police internal affairs. Check. Adjudicate a small claims case for loss of quiet enjoyment of home by cop's kids renters and their numerous party and live in / out guests. Check. RESULT? SUISUN POLICE AND DA SAY ITS MY FAULT. Pp GO TO FEDERAL COURT AND SUE THEM ALL. YouTube = Sewer Soon City

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  • Rich GiddensJanuary 25, 2014 - 1:21 pm

    Brooks----justice is not determined by who you like.

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  • Rich GiddensJanuary 27, 2014 - 8:34 pm

    Mr Faison ----I hate to complain but it appears you have censored Mr. Guynn's last comment that was highly critical of how local government is not handling these sorts of problems in neighborhoods. There's no excuse this time. Nobody was named as he described what happened, nor was there any profanity or violation of your terms of service, was there? Mr. Gunn has been informed. I believe someone has used undue influence on you and pressured you into this rash and foolish decision on your part. We depend on a free press to present the facts and be the watchdog of our Republic.

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  • Blanca BotwinJanuary 25, 2014 - 6:09 am

    I'm so sorry this is happening. It is WRONG, and it should NOT be happening. I live in Dover Terrace South, so this really bothers me.There was another Suisun resident whose neighbors were retaliating against him,throwing wild parties, neglecting children, and even having relations on the front lawn. It didn't do him any good to call the police,repeatedly.. One time, HE was actually arrested, and it's on video. I really wish I had hope that this was going to change, but as far as the authorities go, I don't see it. I hate to blame it on "renters" because I was a renter once, and I didn't behave this way, but some renters do. The resident I mentioned took the landlord of the neighbors to court-one of the neighbors causing the problems father was LAW ENFORCEMENT. If anyone is interested the gentleman' name on youtube with the neighbor problems is IdolHans.His problems with the city are documented. I don't want to use his real name.I don't have a problem with him, and don't want to blast his real name.Again, I really hope this changes for the homeowners that wrote this letter.

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  • JazzAzzJanuary 25, 2014 - 7:59 am

    Gee Whiz, if by pure accident the address of the PUNKS causing these people's problem, JUST ACCIDENTALLY showed up in this discussion, the problem might suddenly GO AWAY, kind of like those torches and pitchforks, that Mr. Jones is talking about, but more to the point, Jersey (Giovani Style, bent nose, LOL, style). Not making any threats, just saying, since the coppers are obviously too busy at Starbucks, I say Starbucks, since I never see them supporting Suisun's one and only REAL donut shop, untypical for Coppers :-).

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  • SobreakitdownformeJanuary 25, 2014 - 11:31 am

    I feel bad for this lady and her husband. It was already bad enough with the loud music and midnight annoyance but now they seem to be harassed. But just like the article tells us all she can do is record these nuisances, make a detail log, and take those evidence to court/police. I would, also like the article tells us ,contact the property owner. Let them know about the disturbances. I wonder if you could take the homeowner to court also? One thing I might suggest is get other neighbors involved. There is always strength in numbers.

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  • JazzAzzJanuary 25, 2014 - 11:57 am

    Yes, you can take the owner to court and sue him or her. Also I would put up video cameras, well concealed to record all that is going on in front of the seniors home. But I still think hiring Bruno Giovani or one like him with that bent nose would work quicker, giving this punks an opportunity to swim with the fishes :-). Then they can FOGETABOUTIT.

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  • ceeJanuary 25, 2014 - 4:33 pm

    you shoulda just put your street name on there... might have ended up fixing itself...

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  • Rich GiddensJanuary 25, 2014 - 3:59 pm

    Mr. Jones assumes the Suisun Police will do their jobs. Such an assumption and belief is reasonable, but after seeing their biased policing, I wouldn't count on it!. Several months ago, I had a neighbor come home and start cursing and threatening me. I recorded it and it was time date stamped of course. Their thug cops not only refused to take the subject into custody, they then wrote a report that made it sound like it was my fault. Let the lawsuits against them begin!

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  • George Guynn, JrJanuary 25, 2014 - 4:01 pm

    For everyone that has commented on this blog, fyi, I know Rich very well and he has tried all the things suggested and they didn't work, so far. For C.D Brooks, so Rich should be happy to be jailed and spat on after 24 years in the Air Force? Rich and I both appreciate that you agree that Rich has good arguments and was wronged. However, to expect Rich to just continue to take being wronged and not fight back is silly. If people in the military all went home when the going gets tough, we would not have a country, would we? Furthermore, weren't you once connected to the Marines and isn't their motto, "SEMPER FIDELIS"?

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  • CD BrooksJanuary 25, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    GGJ, my comments were in perfect order. Maybe you should read them again? Your "happy being jailed and spat on" comment is hyperbole and out of line. We must fight when necessary but there are protocols for that, he did not manage his case in a proper fashion.

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  • Rich GiddensJanuary 25, 2014 - 4:28 pm

    wrong---you werent there and you dont know what happened.

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  • Rich GiddensJanuary 25, 2014 - 4:37 pm

    ALL OF YOU PEOPLE ARE NAIVE---THE SUISUN COPS WILL NOT ACT AND THEY AND THEIR POLITICIAN ENABLERS DO NOT HEAR THE PLEAS OF THE SENIOR CITIZEN COUPLE WHO COMPLAINED.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • George Guynn, JrJanuary 29, 2014 - 6:52 pm

    Rich Giddens did precisely what Attorney Mr. Jones suggested but because of continued biased policing to help a California Corrections Cop and his degenerate kids, Rich was never granted any relief and was blamed continually even though he provided more then enough irrefutable evidence! Rich did everything right---he put the non emergency number on speed dial, appeared in person numerous times before the city council, city manager and the police chief , requested mediation by the police (that Rich showed up for and the cop family never showed) Rich got a restraining order (that the biased cops wouldn't enforce at 4am ) Rich filed a small claims action against them (the judge is the cops pal) Rich contacted the State Correction cop's internal affairs, made numerous audio and video recordings of their illegal and nuisance activities. One night outside his home, Rich Giddens even made a citizens arrest against Name Deleted per Daily Republic request for disturbing the peace (Name Deleted is a convicted drug felon recently arrested again recently for drugs, stolen credit cards and counterfeit money)---you name it, Rich Giddens did it to stop the crimes, yet the Cops and the District Attorney's office refused to do anything other then protect the cops out of control kids! YOUTUBE = SEWER SOON CITY

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