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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12081
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am having issues with a neighbour and now ex neighbour and

Customer Question

I am having issues with a neighbour and now ex neighbour and have been having issues since last April.
In that month of 2014 one of my neighbours who was at the time dealing huge amounts of cannabis and had been selling to my partner who I threw out and subsequently moved in with her. They together lied to the police, telling them I had threatened to kill him, when I had done no such thing it was an attempt to frighten me into silence. As a result I had to go into a station under caution, an experience I found extremely upsetting. I am a masters student studying a masters in Public Health Nutrition and if I receive any criminal charge my career would be over before it even started, this was their main motivation. I received the police call on the Sunday but due to childcare issues for my six year old disabled son I could not attend the station until the Wednesday of that week. I didn't eat at all that week and I cried and wretched through the entire experience in the police station. I was released without charge.
Following from this, another neighbour, who lives between the afore mentioned neighbour and I accused a foster dog I was housing of attacking a stray cat in her garden. I tried to take the cat to the vet but after she swore at me in front of my child, threatened to kill me in front of him and then refused to wear a seatbelt I asked her to remove herself from my car and that I would be contacting the police. I instructed her never to come near me or my son again but twenty mintues later she appeared pounding my door further upsetting my son who I had just calmed down. When I went to my door to ask her to leave she yelled at me to 'come and see what you have f**king done'. I told her I did not want to converse with her, that the terrified six year old who was witnessing all of this took priority and she should leave my door and call the police as I already had. She attempted to force her way into my home again, at this point I walked towards her with my arms raised to create distance between us at which point she started screaming assault, assault and declaring that she was going to have me charged with assault and that my career was over. She and the afore mentioned neighbour then colluded to claim I had assaulted her. The police later came and took the dog, which I surrendered with no resistance, and all statements. They told me she had made a claim of assault but they found it suspicious that she had told them she came to my door. That to them this looked like a case of the assailant trying to accuse the victim and would I like to counter charge. At this point I didn't want any more dealings with the police, so I declined. As a result I had to go into the station under caution a few days later when I could arrange child care. I was released without charge and the dog was also released and has been rehomed. It later transpired that this woman had messaged the dog charity the day I got the foster dog threatening to sue them if anything happened to any of her animals. I have reason to believe she may have engineered the entire incident in an attempt to extort money as she is in a lot of debt and has a history of being incredibly litigious. She is now cyber stalking me and as she had told me prior to us ceasing to be friends she stalked her ex husband to the point where he had to disappear completely to get away from her I am concerned for the safety of myself and my son.
The second neighbour (the one involved in the cat incident) mentioned has now vacated the property. However, I have heard through the grapevine that she and my other neighbour are colluding to attempt to sue me for psychological injury due to the death of the cat. I have conducted a little research and I believe it wont be possibly for them to sue me for a case when the police deemed that no blame could be attributed.
However, I am now tired of this. I am very busy between my studies and looking after my son and I just want a peaceful life but it is becoming obvious that to get this I need to take legal steps if there are any I can take. Could you advise me of where I stand.
I reside in Edinburgh Scotland.
Many thanks in advance,
Lyndsay Hepburn
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
You need to go to see a solicitor and discuss taking interdict and protection from harassment proceedings against these neighbours. Unfortunately, however, your description of these people is such that I'm not sure that they would obey such orders, even if that is the correct civil remedy for you to follow.
If they start a course of conduct towards you you also have the opportunity to continue reporting them to the police and they could be charged and if the council became involved an anti social behaviour order could also be a possibility.
However, all of these remedies are not without a certain amount of continued pain and suffering for the victim, however much you try to do the right thing. Sometimes it can be easier just to move on and find somewhere else to live away from these people.
Happy to discuss further.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.