Thursday, June 08, 2006

A plea for advice, help or information


Hello All,

May I apologize in advance for the somber tone of the post. I try to keep my blog silly and upbeat, but not today. Today I am angry and I am asking you for help.

I live on a pond, along with 2 other houses. The pond is home to many fish, beavers, turtles, frogs and is a popular watering hole to deer, raccons, opossums, and the occasional coyote.

One of my neighbors has decided to hook a pump up to the pond and use it to water his yard like a damn golf course. Our neighborhood utilizes well water becasue we are considered "county" as opposed to "city". In the summer when the water tables get low it is almost impossible to wash clothes, run the dishwasher and take a shower all at the same time because there is just not enough water pressure. Forget about a sprinkler system. It works well for about 10 minutes then the pressure is just too weak to keep it going. It is unfortunate that we live on a well, but we do.

Last year my asshole neighbor did the same thing (draining the pond to water his yard) and by August my end of the pond ( I live on the end and asshole lives in the middle) got so low that it was littered with dead fish. It was very sad, not to mention dead fish in the August heat do not smell very nice. The ends of a pond are much shallower than the middle---so my part was the part going dry.

I tried to talk to my neighbor about this and at first he lied and said he did not run his sprinkler system hooked up via the pond very much---I responded in kind and informed him that I had witnessed it run for HOURS A DAY all summer to which he got very defensive speaking very hateful to me and he told me that it does not take very much water from the pond...and that most of it runs back into the pond. I got angry and informed him that the great quantities of water runs into the street and NOT BACK INTO THE POND......So not only is he an asshole, he is an idiot. I thought that since I let him know that I knew exactly what he was doing, and he knew it was wrong (hence the primary lies about it) that this year he would not drain the pond becasue he wants his yard to look like a golf course--however it is only June and already he is draining the pond for the vanity of his yard. Might I add...he has no special flowers or trees, he simply wants his yard to look like a golf course--while every other house on the block respects the water tables and by July has dry, crispy grass.

My question to you all is this: What would be my best course of action that is effective as well as conducive to a positive outcome? I will start by writing a letter to the Housing Board in my neighborhood, and I have contacted the Environmental Protection Agency--but they are bombarded with mosquito epidemics and much bigger problems than mine. The pond is owned by the 3 households that live on it, and not by the neighborhood or the county, so it may just be my problem. The asshole neighbor is an attorney, so I do not want to just get my own attorney and have a pissin' contest (as they say in the South) with him because I am sure he knows all the tricks and scare tactics, which could just end up being very expensive for me in attorney's fees.
I want my actions to be effective and honorable without making him too mad becasue it is quite obvious he has no respect for animals and wildlife, and I would not put it past him to be evil and petty and do something to my dogs. Seriously. He is an asshole.

He does not have the RIGHT to drain my pond, and kill all the fish in the process. I am so appauled at his audacity.

Thank you very much for any and all information, advice or help.

Please excuse any errors in spelling and grammar, but I am pissed and short on time.

13 Comments:

Blogger melanie said...

Major asshole. I would call your local police department as ask them for help. This guy is a menance to wildlife. If you wanted to be an assbucket back, you could report him to PETA or one of those fishinghurts.com Web sites. Some states have really nice Department of Natural Resources Web sites that talk about laws regarding fish ponds, but unfortunately I don't see anything on http://dnr.state.il.us/.

What he is doing has got to be illegal. I just hope it rains a lot for the fishies in the meantime. Otherwise, I'll come over and start dumping in cases of Poland Spring water for them. LOL!

6:52 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

What a jerk! Its possible that you could take him to small claims court - where his standing as a lawyer would do little if anything for him - to seek redress for 1.) the cost of any clean up you have to do and 2.) the decline in value/utility of your end of the pond. This would be more time-consuming than expensive for you although it would likely cost you something.

I definitely would not 1.) relocate dead fishies to his lawn, 2.) stop up or disconnect his little pump system or anything that would cause *you* to be on the wrong side of the law - as satisfying as those actions might be.

You three must have some sort of written party agreement regarding the pond, right? Does that address anything like this? If you don't already have one, you might look into how one goes about drawing that type of thing up. I know that we have a party agreement with our neighbors regarding our mutual fence. One of them couldn't just take a hatchet to it since we all own it.

Anyhow, sorry I don't actually have anything concrete to offer you. And sorry it took me so long to say nothing concrete. :) I hope you and the fishies get some relief from the jerk!

7:56 PM  
Blogger Parisjasmal said...

Mel**
Hello. Thanks for answering. I contacted a few wildlife programs and the likes and I was told that all state funded resourses are being used with the mosquitos and West Niles...not to mention the ever present threat of the Bird Flu. GRRR.

I agree it has to be illegal, but it seems like none of the major agencies care. GRRRR

Hello Jennifer**
Thanks for answering. I had never thought of small claims court before. I did think about writing up a proposal offering to let him buy my end of the pond for some crazy high amount of money--then if he agreed to purchase my end he could do what he wants to do with it.
You are so right about the decline in property value. We moved here to live on a pond, NOT on a muddy dirt pit full of dead fish.

AFAIK we do not have a written agreement where the pond is concerned. I never in a million years would have guessed that people would be so pompous and arrogant to think they had the right to drain the pond.
I will look into that sort of thing.
Thanks again for your ideas and thoughts!

Lovely day to all!

3:49 AM  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

That really sucks. If the three of you co-own the pond, doesn't he need your permission to do something like that? Can't you call the police and tell them that he's draining the pond without your permission? If he was abusing other parts of your property, the police would be the appropriate agency to contact.

I realize this is all easier said than done. He's bound to get even more hostile if you call the police. Have you talked to the other pond co-owner? It would be good to have some solidarity here. I like Jennifer's comments. If you frame it as an issue of wildlife, he'll continue to see you as some tree-hugging fruitcake, but if you frame it as declining property value on your end of the pond, he'll know you mean business.

4:25 AM  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Parisjasmal said...

K-
WOW- Thanks for all the useful information. I truly appreciate it, and I appreciate G's professional input. D also sends his thanks!

I will call the number you gave me on Monday. I printed out all the information you sent, as I know it will be useful for me when looking for resources.

I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again for being so kind!

xo to you and the lovely fam!

12:05 PM  
Blogger bitingblondewit said...

Suing him in civil court may be your best option, but because the courts, even those for small claims, are backlogged, the damage could be done before you even get a trial date. Have you considered hitting him with a TRO (temporary restraining order) or injunction? That would prevent him from using the lake/pond in that manner until proper ownership of said lake and water rights could be determined. He may an attorney, but no one wants a headache like that to deal with...he may be willing to stop if faced with one.
Also, does he have a wife you could speak with? Men to be very stubborn about things, but if his wife could be persuaded to speak to him on your behalf, he might decide to act in a more neighborly fashion.

7:29 AM  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Sorry to hear that you are so pissed off, J!

Maybe a law suit in small claim's court will perk up his ears, and get him to listen.

Look into what the maximum amount of monetary damages are, and you can have him served. I bet you he will listen to you then.
xoxox
b

1:07 PM  
Blogger Fightin' Mad Mary said...

Do you have a local PETA group you can contact. Nothing says I want you to stop like a rally right outside his house! They can march with giant posters of dead fish. Then you can also get the local media involved. I say embarrass the crap out of him!

12:13 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

That is absolutely awful. If I come across any clever methods of stopping this, I will be sure to let you know. Until then, good luck!

3:12 PM  
Blogger TessaJ said...

Oh, how awful. I don't have any suggestions to add beyond what others have already said; I just wanted to say that I just think that stinks. What a jerk.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Parisjasmal said...

THANK YOU to all of the awesome information and the good vibes you sent!

--Mary,

I called PETA, but they said they are overwhelmed with domestic animal abuse right now (so so so sad) becasue of the horrible dog fighting rings in Chicago that they cannot focus on wildlife issues at this moment.
That was one sad phone call.

--Bitingblonde-
Thanks for visiting and for the information. Your comment about talking to his wife is a good one--however she is never around. They have another home in California and that is where she spends most of the year. That is why the pond is not so important to him--he has another home elsewhere so he is not as emotionally invested in the neighborhood.

K and B--Thank you!!

Jenn--Thank you too sweetie!!!!

Have a great day all, and thanks again!

12:31 PM  
Blogger lostokie said...

Jen,

Sorry, I have not read your post in awhile.

This kind of blog is more my style! Let's get a little heat going. Fortunately for you I have a few suggestions.

1) If you find out where he lives in CA I will first go over to his house, tail him till he is alone in a dark alley, and then I will beat the Holy living shit out of him just because I hate bullies. I also hate attorneys, guys who water their lawns and rich assholes with more than one house. Seriously, it would please my adrenaline levels to dance down knuckle junction with this guy. Don't worry I won't hurt him bad...I would just give him a taste of his own medicine.

2) Since you know a lot of improv comedians this will be a fantastic opportunity for you to put together a fake news team (ala Ron Burgundy) and have them go to his house to do a sting interview on his atrocities to the poor little fishes, his general lack of understanding and respect for his community, neighbors or the millions of ameba he kills hourly. (You think that I am kidding but I am not). You could film the whole thing, get him putting his hand over the camera acting like a jerk and then send it to your local news stations. But, it would have to be funny. No serious stuff-think SNL. The improv group would probably jump at the chance to be goof balls for a good cause and it would be a positive way to handle a negative situation. Just think of what fun you could have!

Oh wait...I just thought of another one. You could fake him winning the publishers clearing house award for biggest asshole neighbor of the year!!! Bring 100s of your friends and neighbors over to present him with the awards - have balloons, confetti, cameras, a giant notarized certificate, a marching band playing the Benny Hill Theme, Miss Chicago Watermelon Festival, a guy in a fish costume, a fake mayor, Al Pacino, that crazy Cubs fan who screams CUBS WHEW, CUBS HEY, WHEW CUBS, GO CUBS!!! Stop…I’ve created a masterpiece. Write that in your class and you get an A+ with belly laughs! I’ve handed you gold on a silver platter.

All of these options are meant in all seriousness. I AM NOT JOKING ABOUT ANY OF THEM! We as a society are getting to far away from our animal instinct which is why so many people walk on each other. There just aren't any consequences any more. Every thing is handled in the courts. Oh, I'm really scared. See you in two years! He knows you won't spend thousands of dollars, hours and hours of your time and all of your grief (not his) on trying to resolve this situation politically and peacefully. F#@% him!!! He’s probably a defense attorney too. I’m too hot…I need to stop now.

You know deep down you would love for me to carry out option 1) for you.

Option 2) would just be more fun for you and your friends where as option 1) would be more fun for me. Who are you going to satisfy? "You want me on that wall; you need me on that wall."

8:20 PM  

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