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Malibu Couple Not 'Sue-Crazy'; They're Defending Property

June 23, 1991

Your reporter, Shawn Doherty, contacted my husband several weeks ago, indicating that she wanted to do a story on our plight to stop construction within spitting distance of our Malibu residence.

My husband, Richard, spent hours accumulating and disseminating information to your reporter regarding architectural data and court documents, even measuring property lines for her. We are currently suing a new neighbor and our association.

Bottom line: We stand to lose up to $500,000 in the property value of our home if this construction is finalized. We have owned this home for 13 years and it is our major lifetime investment. We are angry and attempting by all means available to protect our property and our rights.

The resulting article, "Bad Neighbors," published on June 9, painted a portrait of my husband as a crazed maniac, pacing his land with measuring tape in hand, raring for trouble.

The article quoted a new neighbor, whom we have never even had a conversation with, who characterized us as "sue-crazy." He alluded to our consideration of a lawsuit "when a rock dented our garage." In fact, a boulder the size of an auto engine did fall off a construction truck traveling above our house several months ago. The boulder careened down our hill and smashed a 3x3-foot hole in our garage wall, narrowly missing our 6-year-old daughter and two dogs. Frivolous concern? I think not.

We were portrayed as wanting to remain "king of the hill." Two very large homes are now being constructed above our home and we have no problems whatsoever with these projects.

MARYELLEN-OLMAN FINE

Malibu

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