what recourse under the law does a neighborhood have regarding a neighbor who repeatedly calls police on neighbors with complaints of noisy hot tub motors, chickens clucking, overheard backyard conversations, etc.?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): California
Three or four of us have asked her specifically to call us if something is bothering her before calling the police. One of her next door neighbors has moved as a result of the constant harassment by the police (who are very sympathetic to the problem as they receive many calls from her).
If the woman is making repeated phone calls and complaints after being asked to cease and desist, and those complaints are false, the other neighbors can sue her in civil court on the grounds of intentional infliction of emotional distress and slander/defamation of character.
can you provide code section information?
Here is the relevant statute from the California Civil Code: 44. Defamation is effected by either of the following: (a) Libel. (b) Slander.45. Libel is a false and unprivileged publication by writing,printing, picture, effigy, or other fixed representation to the eye,which exposes any person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy,or which causes him to be shunned or avoided, or which has a tendencyto injure him in his occupation.45a. A libel which is defamatory of the plaintiff without thenecessity of explanatory matter, such as an inducement, innuendo orother extrinsic fact, is said to be a libel on its face. Defamatorylanguage not libelous on its face is not actionable unless theplaintiff alleges and proves that he has suffered special damage as aproximate result thereof. Special damage is defined in Section 48aof this code.46. Slander is a false and unprivileged publication, orallyuttered, and also communications by radio or any mechanical or othermeans which: 1. Charges any person with crime, or with having been indicted,convicted, or punished for crime; 2. Imputes in him the present existence of an infectious,contagious, or loathsome disease; 3. Tends directly to injure him in respect to his office,profession, trade or business, either by imputing to him generaldisqualification in those respects which the office or otheroccupation peculiarly requires, or by imputing something withreference to his office, profession, trade, or business that has anatural tendency to lessen its profits; 4. Imputes to him impotence or a want of chastity; or 5. Which, by natural consequence, causes actual damage.
what abut the emotional distress component? One neighbor moved out and is renting her home as a result of the continual harrassment.
Here are the elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress: INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESSThe elements of a prima facie case for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress are:(1) outrageous conduct by the defendant;(2) the defendant's intention of causing or reckless disregard of the probability of causing emotional distress;(3) the plaintiff's suffering severe or extreme emotional distress; and(4) actual and proximate causation of the emotional distress by the defendant's outrageous conduct. (Alcorn v. Anbro Engineering, Inc (1970) 2 Cal.3d 493, 497-498
10+years of experience in all matters of civil litigation and Hearing Officer/Arbitrator
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