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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
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"Barking Dog Issue" I have an issue with my neighbor concerning

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"Barking Dog Issue" I have an issue with my neighbor concerning my dogs. Every time my wife and I go out in our yard and play with our dogs, my neighbor calls the police. The dogs only bark when we play with them or do yard work. This occurs usually when we get home from work and we catch up on our yardwork and exercise our dogs. The dogs only bark for 10 or 15 minutes and then get tired and lay down. My neighbor imediatley calls the police. The ordinance with the city has two places that address barking dogs. One address's dogs that bark all night long and really does not pertain to my situation. The other addresses dogs who cause a nussance. It is really vague. This situation has been going on for several years. When the police show up they apoligize and tell me they must respond because a complaint has been called in. Most of the just say "are you kidding". It has gotten to the point that I don't dare go out into the yard for fear of the police will show up.
What can I do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 4 years ago.
Hi and thank you for using JustAnswer!

I am sorry to learn of your experience. You are not the first or only one who has a bad neighbor problem. What's the real cause of your neighbor's beef with you? Why the bad blood?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I really do not have a beef with them. I have always taken the high road with them. I have tried to be neighborly and I have helped him with cutting down his trees. They are the fouth couple who have lived in the house. They moved in about 4 years ago. I have tried to understand his thinking but I can not understand his motive. I have come to the conclusion that he just does not think that dogs should bark..... We have had no bad contact with them other than my dogs. I have finally had enough of his behavior and now I am trying a legal way to resolve the issue. These neighbors are very different idividuals. They are not neighborly with anyone who lives in the area. It is almost like living next to the "Adams Family". I can live with that though. I just want to enjoy my animals. They are our kids.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 4 years ago.
I understand.

You may not have a beef with him. But he has a beef with you. So, you need to go over there (or invite him over) and just talk and, more importantly, listen.

Are you willing to do that?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have done that. He has taken the position that dogs should not bark at all.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 4 years ago.
Okay, no problem. Do you know why he believes that?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He is a person who is very different. You are asking me what he believes? I have not a clue. I do know that when they first moved in they had a dog. Brought in by marriage. I have never seen an animal mistreated like that animal was. It was not allowed in the house at all. It finally run away. I believe he does not like animals.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 4 years ago.
Thank you.

Do you currently have any pending barking dog tickets?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No the only one I recieced was from Vicky the animal control officers and she was crying when she gave me the ticket. She had to comply with a signed complaint. The animal control officer spent several hours interviewing all my neighbors to see if they had a problem with my dogs barking. They all said no, in fact one of the neighbors did not know I had dogs. I have never had any issue with my dogs barking until this neighbor moved into the house next to me. The police usually laugh when they see what the complaint is about. I have two pembroke welch corgies. I used to have three but one died of posioning. I am not pointing fingers but it wouldn't suprise me that he posioned my other dog.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. Have you asked the police to press charges for filing false police report(s)?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
When I talk to the police they tell me that they have to respond to a complaint. That is a teriffic idea, I did not think that you could counter a complaint with a complaint. Interesting!!!
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 4 years ago.
Yes, that's the only recourse you have.

You cannot sue her in civil court because she has a First Amendment right to petition her government for a redress of grievances. That includes calling the police. So she's immune from civil liability. I know it sounds absurd but it's true. I've litigated such cases.

However, it's a crime to file a false police report. And the police have the discretion to pursue such charges.

So, you can ask the police to charge the neighbor with filing false police reports and attack it that way.

It has been my pleasure to assist you today with your information needs. It is my goal that you are satisfied. No expert can promise you an answer that is favorable to your circumstances. But I will do my very best to explain the legal principles that are related to the facts you’ve described so that you can better understand the “why” of things.

Please let me know if there is anything else I can provide to give you excellent service!"
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