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Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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Wondering about bullying in a community. In October 2013 we

Customer Question

wondering about bullying in a community. In October 2013 we moved to a rural community subdivision where half the properties are fulltime residents and half (maybe not quite anymore) are recreational properties only. There is a group of these property owners that consider themselves the "community" and try to control anything and everything around here. They are all older couples with no kids...and they seem to not like that young families are moving in here and complain constantly about them being loud when they play and the fact that they don't like dogs. My dog got out of our yard almost a month ago because one of the owners visiting friends pet had been loose and came in our yard. Because my dog left my property chasing and then eventually hurting that dog, I am being charged for it. I don't think this is fair as that dog was on our property numerous times by itself, not on a leash bothering my dogs who were in their locked pen at the time. what can I do and what are my rights? We are at the point with this community where we want to move. We are the 3rd young family to have issues with these people.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

So are you saying that the dog only got loose because someone else's dog was loose and came into your yard?

What are you being charged for exactly?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am being charged because my dog left the end of my driveway and hurt their dog. They are trying to say that their dog was on a leash, but I saw the dog to the north of my property myself on a separate occasion and my across neighbour actually saw the dog leave MY yard via a broken fence board (that we have since replaced to keep other animals out). My dog is large...a great dane mastiff 1.5 year old and they don't like that.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we both submitted statements saying this, but the bylaw officer was very on-sided. I did feel bad so I did pay their $217 vet bill for getting the dog checked. They had since reported us to bylaw. My dogs don't roam. Even when our gates are closed. They are very doscile animals. We have 3 young children and I run a day home and never ever had an issue with either dog doing that to anything or anyone. I can see them chasing a dog out of our yard tho as they are protective over their territory as any dog is. I don't know what my rights are and I feel like this "community" is ganging up on us younger families and bullying us out. I've talked to 2 other young families here and they have reported the same feeling about their own dogs and children.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

But what is the actual charge? What is the name of the by-law and what does the ticket say?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The bylaw officer called me today and told me that I am being fined a $ amount for my dog running at large and charged for my dog harming another dog off my property. I don't know the exact bylaw he keeps referring to, but he said he will serve me the actual papers tomorrow. I cannot find a copy of the Clearwater County Bylaws anywhere online.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

When you are served the papers you will be told what to do if you want to plead not guilty.

You should plead not guilty and have your day in Court.

Your dog was not allowed to run at large but rather then other dog was running at large and came into your yard and caused the problems.

And while your dog did hurt the other dog not only was this not your fault but you paid for the vet bill.

So it would make sense for you to plead not guilty.

Second, I suggest you and perhaps the other young families ask for a meeting with your elected municipal counselor and tell them what is going on in terms of the harassment and bullying and the fact that the by-law officers are treating the new families unfairly and explain that you are seriously considered moving away.

I would expect that this meeting will end in the by-law officers no longer treating any of you unfairly though I don't see it making these hateful neighbours any nicer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you! That is what we plan to do. My problem is that the bylaw officer has ONLY taken into account their statement. He didn't seem to care that their dog was running at large based on MINE and the other neighbours statements. Are their laws against bullying neighbours? and what rights do we have being on the bullied end? What if we can't sell our house so we can move because of the way the "community" is?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

There are no laws about being bullies. But there are laws about lying to by-law officers.

But it is not unlawful to be a disgusting person.

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