Thursday, September 23, 2004
Unneighborly Dispute about Smoking Sparks a Trial
He is a 72-year old retired professor. She is a 29-year old wife and mother of two children. In June, 2002, she moved into a condominium adjacent to his; they shared a front porch for a little more than a year. She would smoke on the front porch. He didn't like it. He kept a log of her smoking behavior -- it grew to 24 pages -- along with photos and other "evidence." He was described in court (by someone from the condo management agency) as a frequent complainer, one who was warned that harassing his neighbors was against the rules. Now a jury will decide whether she was tramping on his rights by smoking or whether he is a cringing weasel (er, perhaps that is not the precise legal terminology employed in the charge to the jury.) It is all taking place in Akron, Ohio. Read about it here and here (registration required).