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Thelawman2
Thelawman2, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Attorney-at-Law
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neighbor who we feel is stalking/harrassing our family. Teen

Resolved Question:

neighbor who we feel is stalking/harrassing our family. Teen daughter and mother scared as he leaves window wide open overlooking our driveway purposely and stands and watces every time day or night when we pull in. We tried putting shrubs up and a lattice with vines to block view but he and wife are on HOA/ ACC board and denied. said we block their view. Now he is watching us constantly when we are in our front driveway. Very worrisome and afriad to leave our home. What laws protect us?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 7 months ago.

Thelawman2 :

I know this sis scary, but if all the person is doing is watching from their window, then there is not much you can do from a legal perspective. You could file for a restraining order, but since they are just looking out onto a place where the public can view, then there is not really any law that the person is breaking.

Thelawman2 :

However, if you feel that the HOA is being unreasonable in denying your requests to put up privacy shrubs, then you could challenge the HOA

Customer:

what about penal 42 072 which states on more then 1 occasion the person tries to scheme or course conduct to knowingly engage in conduct that 1) knows and believes victim will view his actions as threatening or 2) cause fear???

Thelawman2 :

I was just about to mention stalking statutes, which the provision you just cited would fall under.

Thelawman2 :

Let me look up the statute on Westlaw and see what cases say about it

Customer:

very odd situation seeing we live right next to them. We were cordial until we put up an 8 ft. fence which they said blocked their view and hated it. CRAZY. Thus the reason we put up said fence but now they are becoming worrisome and we are not sure how to block their view seeing HOA/ACC board(which they are on) will not allow it. We are at wits end.

Thelawman2 :

A conviction for stalking requires proof that the defendant (1) on more than one occasion and pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct directed at another person, (2) knowingly, (3) engaged in behavior that (a) he knows or reasonably believes the other person will regard as threatening, (b) caused the other person or a member of the other person's family or household to fear bodily injury, death, or that an offense will be committed against that person's property, and (c) would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury, death or that an offense will be committed against the person's property. Avilez v. State (App. 1 Dist. 2010) 333 S.W.3d 661

Customer:

so what would you consider proof? Should we video tape our arrival and leaving daily becuase thats when he is there

Thelawman2 :

Here is another example of what has fallen under the Stalking law, which seems somewhat similar to your situation:Evidence was sufficient to show that defendant conduct caused former co-worker and her mother to be placed in fear of bodily injury or death, as required to support conviction for stalking, even without evidence of physical assault or destruction of property; record reflected that co-worker feared for her safety and for her parents' safety and that she contacted law enforcement authorities, and applied for and obtained restraining order, several times, and officer who arrived at parents' home testified that co-worker's mother feared that defendant would harm her or her daughter when the mother saw defendant peering in window and pounding on door, and later, defendant called home to speak with co-worker.

Thelawman2 :

That could be used as proof, as well as keep recordds of conversations with the neighbors showing that you are afraid of what the neighbor is doing. That way, they know that what they are doing is causing you to feel threatened.

Thelawman2 :

You should also contact the police to let them know that you feel threatened by the actions

Customer:

but he isn't per say looking directly into our window, he is just standing in his own knowingly do so to harass us.

Customer:

?

Thelawman2 :

He doesn't have to be directly into your window, just looking at you and knowing that such an action is making you feel fearful

Thelawman2 :

*looking directly

Customer:

Well thats reassuring!

Customer:

so just have to show proof?

Customer:

under texas law correct?

Thelawman2 :

There has to be evidence of two things: 1) That he is performing an action that is causing you fear; and 2) that he knows it would cause you fear

Thelawman2 :

Yes, it is Penal Code § 42.072

Customer:

how can we legally use a camera phone to tape him standing there each time or just writing each event down be ok?

Customer:

so how does one attempt to get evidence

Thelawman2 :

You can use a camera phone for evidence. Just writing down each event might not be sufficient since it will be your word against his. You could also have the police come out to investigate so they can see what is going on.

Thelawman2 :

That way the police can be used as evidence.

Customer:

well surely he wont stand there in view anyway if local police come by

Thelawman2 :

Right, that's a problem. So your best bet is to get pictures as often as possible

Customer:

So basically we need to video tape him each and every time we go outside? Ok well thank you. Anything else you can think of before we end?

Customer:

If we spoke to local police to just notify them would they keep that on file?

Customer:

also how can we challange the HOA? By hiring a lawyer?

Thelawman2 :

Yes, if you contact local police, they will file a report.

Thelawman2 :

To challenge the HOA, you would need to hire a lawyer and bring a lawsuit challenging their actions

Thelawman2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 574
Experience: Attorney-at-Law
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