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QLD How to Stop Neighbour's Harassment?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Debra Taylor, 12 July 2016.

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  1. Debra Taylor

    Debra Taylor Active Member

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    How do I stop a neighbour's harassment as my health is being affected & this has gone on for 3 years now? I am fed up.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    What kind of harassment is occurring?
     
  3. Debra Taylor

    Debra Taylor Active Member

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    Yelling out at me when I am in the backyard, phoning council on all sorts of issues & none of them found to be any issue at all. I have had her tailgating me.
     
  4. Debra Taylor

    Debra Taylor Active Member

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    This person next door is a tenant & as an owner I feel that I shouldn't have to put up with this. I will only go in my backyard when I think she is not home.
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    You need to document the instances of harassment, show there is a pattern of harassment and take her to court. Would be best to see a local lawyer or legal centre to tackle something like this. You have a right to the quiet enjoyment of your own property.
     
  6. Debra Taylor

    Debra Taylor Active Member

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    Thank you so much.
     
  7. jennifer johnson

    jennifer johnson Active Member

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    Debra, I am in the exact same position and I can assure you, unless you have 3 years worth of documented evidence and affidavit of sworn witnesses, there is nothing you can do retrospectively: in fact, nothing substantial you can do legally even in the present.

    The first and immutable step is to initiate mediation.

    Neither police nor legal people will take any notice of you unless you have taken that first step - particularly if they decide there is no 'criminal' act in the harassment. They will immediately begin referring to it as 'just' a 'neighbourhood dispute' at which point you will be totally patronised and then ignored. 'mediation' is the catchword for all social, legal, justice and law enforcement personnel. If you believe your neighbour will not stop harassing you in the interim, start keeping a diary of those harassments immediately.

    If your neighbour rejects mediation there is still nothing you can do without evidence. Police and legal personnel will ask to see your proof of his/her tailgating. Proof of his/her verbal abuses. This means you have to have audio & visual CCTV proof, and/or impartial witnesses willing to sign affidavits - and most people [70% of Australians in fact] 'don't want to get involved'; and the behaviour you describe will not be viewed as criminal and therefore not worth the attention of our mighty police force. And the more you complain and ask for their help, the more they will view you as the cause of that 'neighbourhood dispute'.

    It is true we are all entitled to quiet enjoyment of our land, but you have to offer substantial and consistent proof that you are being denied that proof. House ownership/rental is of no consequence as we are all equal before the law. A solicitor at this point will only be able to write and ask the person to cease and desist in an officious manner. This may scare your neighbour into compliance. on the other hand, it may incite an escalation. Not worth the money the solicitor will ask for such an action I don't think...

    If you haven't done so already, you could write to your neighbour explaining how you feel and asking her to stop...Invite her in for coffee and a talk about the situation, etc...[keep a copy of all documents!].

    Basically, that is an attempt at mediation too, but unless you go through the 'official' channels, it won't count.

    Bullying is not illegal in Qld - only Victoria. If it wasn't so damn cold down there I'd move just for the safety of that legislation! Up here, the system still requires physical injuries and/or a corpse before acting. No doubt you will understand after three years as well, why i am so frustrated.

    Hope this experiential information helps you
     
  8. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Utilising the police is one method and as you point out not normally well received by the police.

    The other is to take your own civil legal action. Advantages: Can be done without any help from the police, quicker to have action started. Disadvantage: Costs money on legal fees, and you need to collect all your own evidence.
     
  9. jennifer johnson

    jennifer johnson Active Member

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    Civil action is only available via a peace & good behaviour order and again one has to have physical proof of the behaviours you are complaining about before you apply for a P&GB O. It costs about $86 which may be beyond the impoverished although legal aid can help in such circumstances. But when the system says; 'proof beyond a reasonable doubt' what they really mean is proof beyond all doubt!

    The onus is on you to prove you did not provoke the behaviours; that you tried all legal and reasonable methods to deal with such behaviours; and so on ad nauseum. Yhe legal and law enforcement system is geared to seeing bullying in the neighbourhood as simply 'neighbourhood disputes'. Even if you initiate and P&GB O and get a hearing, the first thing the magistrate will ask is 'have you tried mediation'.

    Mediation is the absolute and unavoidable first step.

    If you're initiating a p&gb o via private solicitors you will waste a lot of money just for the magistrate to refer it to mediation. In fact, you will pay for the legal advisors to tell you the same thing in the first instance: seek mediation. And they will charge you to initiate it on your behalf although the service itself is free.

    Even if you have irrefutable proof of neighbours bullying you, the police will not act unless there is what they see as criminal behaviour...so even one's proof of the bully's criminal behaviour - e.g. tailgating - will not incite them to act against the bullying. They may give the offender a warning but are unlikely to issue a traffic notice unless you can prove longevity of such tailgating behaviours.

    You also have to have proof that you have exhausted all other legal and reasonable methods of dealing with the bullying before bringing it to court - otherwise, you can be charged with wasting the court's time and have to pay all court costs and be counter-sued by the offender for making 'vexatious claims'...

    All of which is a huge amount of money.

    Bullying is not illegal in qld.
    Police will first refer you to mediation. If you continue to approach them they will refer you to the P&GB O.

    Officers will also ask: why don't you just wear ear plugs so you can't hear the alleged abuses: or why don't you move: or why don't you just go out the front way: and other such insulting questions. And the offender is not obliged to answer any questions from the police; nor are they obliged to attend mediation.

    It is an endless circle of further victimisation of the victim...

    The only other alternative is the 'name and shame' route by contacting current affairs programs...but even then, you have to offer them proof of your allegations.
     
  10. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    The OP's cause of action is not limited to a peace & good behaviour order. Private nuisance may be available as a civil remedy.

    Forget the police, as you have found out they don't care and have no interest in helping. They will only take action after you finally snap and assault the offender, then suddenly you are arrested and charged in the space of 2 hours.

    I'm not disagreeing with how difficult it is, especially if you take the DIY approach. I am pointing out the OP has another option available if she wishes to use it.
     

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