the Law Firm’s Attorney and You,
Supervised by the Attorney
Paralegal, I need your assistance with
this legal dilemma. We represent Sky
Jones (“Jones”), a 76-year-old widow who has been a client of ours for many
years. I believe Jones has a case
against Tasha and Ernie Colts (“Colts”), for nuisance, trespass, and
intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Please draft an internal memorandum of
law analyzing the merits of Jones’ potential claims. Review the facts in great detail and brief
the case in order to identify if there are any other possible claims.
Case Facts Provided
by the Supervising Attorney
Jones has lived alone since her
husband died seven years ago in her own home at 887 Post Line Drive in Pebble
Beach, California, where she has resided for the past 37 years. Approximately four months ago, the Colts,
both 31 years old, purchased property adjacent to Jones at 889 Post Line
Drive. The Colts were pleased with the
purchase of their new home because they were first time home buyers, and wanted
a large back yard for their four dogs.
In addition, they wanted more room for their three children to play.
When the Colts first moved in, they
walked over to Jones’ home to meet their new neighbor. Jones, at the time, was on bed rest from hip
surgery and told her housekeeper to send them away. The Colts were angry that their neighborly
visit had been rejected Jones and decided Jones was a snob.
The Colts began to have large
gatherings at their home that would last until all hours of the night. Jones’ bedroom faced the Colts’ patio. As a
result, Jones was unable to sleep because of the bright back-yard lights, loud
music and conversations. Jones was still
weak from recent surgery and was beginning to get sick and feel dizzy due to
the lack of sleep over the past weeks. She
decided to complain to the Colts about their late night gatherings every
night. Ernie Colts responded that it was
his house and he could do whatever he wanted and told her not to come near
their home again or they would have their dog, Sirius, take care of her.
Occasionally, the Colts’ children
would throw their toys over the fence into Jones’ flower garden where she had a
bird bath. Jones cherished her garden
because her husband had created this garden for her as a surprise on their
anniversary before his death. The Colts
children played a game to see who could land the ball in the bird bath. Jones became so angry at the children that at
one point she yelled, “Stop throwing your toys in my yard! They are ruining my flower garden!” The Colts overheard her yelling at their
children and replied, “OK, if you want our kids to keep their toys out of your
yard, you’ve got it!”
The following day, the Colts hired a
construction crew to come out and erected a large fence along their property
line. However, the fence was so large
that it impeded over Jones’ property line and blocked the sun to the point that
the flower garden started to deteriorate.
A few days later, the flowers
wilted and the plants turned yellow and died.
Jones went into shock at the
destruction of her flower garden and started to cry and scream at the Colts for
what they had done. Ernie Colts replied,
“You wanted our kids’ toys out of your yard, so we put up the fence. So, you will just have to learn to live with
appalled at his response, put on her shoes and charged over to her neighbors’
house. As she approached their house, their dog, Sirius, came running after
her. She was so frightened that she
tried to run to escape their dog. However,
due to her recent hip surgery, it was difficult for her to move. She fell on the sidewalk, screamed and cried
out loud, “Leave me alone!” The dog stopped chasing her only because he was
distracted by another dog roaming the neighborhood.
Jones finally arrived back at her home
in a complete panic. She stayed locked in her room for hours. She became angrier the longer she thought about
her neighbors and the things they had done to her. First, she developed a nervous tick, followed
by a phobia about going outside fearing the Colts’ dog would attack her. She went to her physician, Dr. Clark. He prescribed medication to control her nervous
tick. Dr. Clark prescribed other medication
to help Jones become less paranoid about leaving the confines of her home.