Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

When Your Nasty Neighbors Become Scary…

This isn’t really political…it sorta is, but I’m gonna write about it anyway because it’s on my mind. Hope you don’t mind.

My parents live in Commack, New York…a quaint far out suburb of New York City on Long Island about halfway between NYC and The Hamptons. (Exit 52 on the Long Island Expressway)

Recently, my parents have had some neighbor trouble and my mom thinks part of it is political. Here’s the story.  

We have lived next to our neighbors for 17 years since we moved into this house from London and our relationship has been pretty cordial. Recently my neighbor has been taking care of cats. She has so many that she kept up to ten of them outside in her yard. The cats wandered all over the neighbors yards and became a nuisance. For us, we didn’t really mind, but the smell was awful. She didn’t neuter the cats. So we asked a vet how to get rid of the smell (Mom’s allergic). He suggested mothballs because cats are immune to the toxins in them and would walk away from them. So we put a few mothballs outside to kill the smell and the cats stayed out of our yard. Over the winter, our neighbor down the block started trapping the cats and bringing them to a shelter. He started doing it after one cat actually froze to death in his yard during a blizzard.

She got enraged that her cats were disappearing. While home in March, I politely suggested maybe they were being picked up (not wanting to out my neighbor down the block) and helped her find the cats.

Then one day last month, the Town of Huntington Buildings Department shows up wanted to inspect our yard. Mom was confused, she didn’t let him in and after he left, we looked online and discovered she called the buildings department to complain that her pool deck was too close to her backyard fence. The deck had been there since 1993!!! Her late husband even helped my dad build it!!!

After two tries, the Buildings Department closed the case. Her daughter apologized to me, saying she felt her mom acted “hastely” and she said she was really distressed about the cats. I nicely conveyed my sympathies and politely asked her to stop and said I hope she finds the cats. In the meantime, my mom and dad are dealing with my grandmother who just moved into my house after suffering a dehibitating stroke and is unable to take care of herself, so we’re adjusting to that. My neighbor knows this and still did what she did.

We just found out that she ONCE AGAIN called the Buildings Department to complain about the deck a second time. I was nice for nothing.

So where does this get political? Well my next door neighbor is a teabagger. We’re convinced she’s the one who defaced our “Jon Cooper for County Legislature” sign last Fall. (For those who don’t know Jon Cooper is a Democratic county legislator in Suffolk County, is openly gay and married his husband in Connecticut last year). When last I saw her, about a year ago, she asked me if I was still living with faggots and terrorist-lovers. My mom is convinced part of her vindictiveness is political. Her anger over Obama’s election and Democratic successes drove her to do this, she says. This woman told a neighbor of mine that she would “shoot the traitors if I could, and there are quite a few on this block” last summer.

I’m a lawyer…technically, I guess I am, I don’t work for a law firm, but I have a JD (which got me an excellent job as a…newspaper editor?), so I’ve looked at Suffolk County law and as it is, a violation cannot be writen unless an inspector gets on our property, which they never will…but my mom wonders how long this woman is going to keep harassing us…or whether or not it’ll get worse.

Advice? Scary Neighbor Stories?  


  1. fogiv

    Now I just want the bitch dead.

    Prolly a bit much.  We’ll all be pushing daisies soon enough anyway, let the hag stew in her own bile until then.  No point wishing it — don’t let her ‘sour’ get on you, you know?  

    I don’t know much of anything about building or zoning codes, especially there, but I wouldn’t think there’d even be grounds for a complaint so long as yout stuff is on/within the property prism, right?  On the other hand, there might be plenty of animal cruelty laws you could look into.  Drop a dime to Animal Planet or that animal resuce show.  Heh.

    I’ve had some bad neighbors before, and odds are I will again sometime, but right now I can’t complain.  Well, not entirely true.  Someone within wifi range has named their network Big Fat Pussy Lips, which is awesome because when our guests and relatives try to jump on our network, it show up in their network search.  

  2. spacemanspiff

    Now I just want the bitch dead.

    Way over the line and not appropiate here or anywhere else.

  3. sricki

    about the deck? Is that the only problem right now? If so, I don’t really see the big deal. If the deck is not positioned in a way that violates city ordinances, then let them come out and inspect it. If it is… well, I still don’t see the big deal. It’s just a deck.

    I don’t see how this is in any way scary — or am I missing something? I dunno. Maybe when one has lived in the Deep South all of one’s life, the prospect of having a tea bagger neighbor is just not terribly disturbing. Down here, tea baggers aren’t just your neighbors — they’re your parents, your teachers, your employers, your lawyers, and your doctors as well. How’s that for scary?

  4. Rashaverak

    However, if she does anything in the way of making threats, or destruction of property, I would not hesitate to file a criminal complaint.

    As far as the deck is concerned, if it violates the local codes, it is probably better to address that situation sooner rather than later.  If it ever comes time to sell the house, you will need to disclose the problem, and the buyer will likely require that it be dealt with before the closing.  So, better to deal with it while you have the luxury of time.

    The daughter seems sympathetic, so you should probably cultivate that relationship.  She may be able to exert a moderating influence on her mother, and, if the situation gets worse, she would be in a position to seek a guardianship or conservatorship.

    I’ve had my share of rude and unpleasant neighbors, though nothing as bad as what you describe.  You have my sympathies.

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