Evil Neighbor Blues

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While my mother was on Cape Cod taking care of my grandfather, hospitalized with what we believe to be an intensely painful compression fracture, she went home for a day of picking up mail and rest and found the neighbor had torn our fence down.

Fortunately she had left her dog with me at my grandfather's house.

We can be so certain it's the woman driving things, because we've seen her tear down the fence with her bare hands herself. Twice.

As for motive, we don't know. We do know that the neighbors are trying to expand their property on both sides. On the other side she put up a fence with some of the posts physically in the other neighbors' driveway, blocking the use of the handicapped van they need for their severely disabled daughter. This fence stayed up for months while the town fired their best inspector, who had ordered it taken down immediately (as it was put up without a permit anyway), and it went through a long bureaucratic process before the town started charging a fine, and then the dear neighbor took it down.

We also know the neighbors have re-landscaped multiple times in the years they have lived there.

Have any empires demonstrated the expand and redecorate impulse?

Anyway, whatever the motives, this time she took down our fence. Our fence that has been there since before she bought the house. Our wooden stockade fence which has the ribbing facing inside toward us. As in, no question under any ordinary conventions that it is our fence.

My understanding is she told the police it was her fence. Which is important. Last time she denied tearing it down-- she stopped when i grabbed a camera, but we did take pictures of the hole.

So we are on record wanting the fence up, and she is on record wanting it down. And there's no question whose fence it is, or whose property the fence is on, even though the police want to act like it's not their business to figure out a property line dispute.

There's actually hundreds-of-years-old laws designed to prevent exactly this-- a new owner or a new generation can't dig up old records to disrupt how people are living. In nearly every state, including the dear Commonwealth of Massachusetts, if property lines have been visibly set and used for over fifteen, twenty, or thirty years, that is where they are by law.

And indeed our property line has been where it's been, with a fence on it, for more than 30 years, with most of those being before this neighbor bought the house after a foreclosure.

Besides the fact that that our survey shows it has indeed always been the land associated with the property we've now owned for twice as long as the neighbors have been around.

If theft, destruction of property, harassment, and intimidation (or pick two) aren't something the police will get involved in, what are the police here for? There are fortunately very few shootings in Natick.

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And on Monday my mother receives registered mail from this woman-- with only blank papers inside. The neighbor can't possibly be planning another dangerous outright lie, could she?