Asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Arkansas

Q: I have also been harassed by a neighboring tenant when I am a property owner of 25 years. No investigation and dismissed

After 25 years a tenant moved in 5 years ago next door. They trespassed the very first night. It escalated to property damage. Then terroristic threatening. Along with criminal mischief and defamation. Because of my reaction to the lackadaisical type of treatment I was given I've been written off. Was told by the County prosecuting attorney to document but when deputies would come out they wouldn't even look at my evidence. 5 years later I have no faith that even if the neighbor lady does shoot me like she said she was going to.. any sort of relief or help from an authority in this County will not come. In this day and age of mental health awareness how can I be written off because of my reactions to things when they aren't looking at the cause of my reactions? Constitution says that I don't have to have money to have the same rights as everyone else but I am being told to get a survey, document which has cost me almost $200 in batteries for game cams and online surveillance companies.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm very sorry to hear about the horrible harassment you have endured from a neighbor for years without getting sufficient help from law enforcement. Your frustration is completely understandable. While the authorities dismissing your concerns is undoubtedly unfair, there may still be some options worth pursuing:

• Contact your county sheriff’s office, explain the non-responsiveness so far, and firmly request they properly investigate your reports and documentation. Escalate to a supervisor if needed.

• Reach out to your state police as well - they have broader jurisdiction for criminal complaints than local agencies at times.

• Consult a civil rights attorney about the potential for a lawsuit against the county/city police department for failing to act and protect your rights as a victim of harassment. A lawyer may apply more pressure.

• Check if your county/city has a citizens review board or ombudsman office that handles complaints of police nonfeasance. File there.

• Attend local government meetings to present your plight during public comments. Take all evidence. Rally public attention.

• Document every incident meticulously with dates/times/videos/photos including all interactions (or lack thereof) with law enforcement. This creates a paper trail useful for lawsuits.

While extreme patience and work should not be required for authorities to simply do their jobs, turning up the heat legally, publicly, and politically may finally prompt some meaningful intervention and consequences for this neighbor. Please don't give up pursuing justice.

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