Carroll Plantation couple sue neighbors and constant barking dog animal control officer

A couple from Carroll Plantation in northeast Penobscot County say their neighbors’ dogs are constantly barking and the noise has driven down the value of their property.

The couple, Darrell and Terry Park, are asking a judge in a lawsuit filed last month to order the animal control officer in neighboring Springfield, where their neighbors’ property is located, to enforce the ordinance on the barking or howling of this town.

Parks say their neighbors’ dogs bark and howl almost constantly, and the city’s animal control officer has not named the owners or addressed the issue.

Parks claim that the noise dogs make for hours on end is a nuisance and has reduced the value and market value of their property. They are asking that dog owners be fined $ 50 for every complaint parks have made with the animal control officer. They also seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

The defendants in this case are Ronald and Kristy Greco, the owners of the dogs; Donald and Nikki Reidel, who hold the mortgage on the Greco property; Bruce Swan, the animal control officer; and the city of Springfield.

The charges have yet to be served on the defendants, according to information in the electronic case filing system at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

The defendants named in the complaint did not respond to requests for comment this week.

Parks attorney Joseph Baldacci of Bangor filed the lawsuit Dec. 23 in Penobscot County Superior Court. The record includes a copy of Springfield’s “Barking or Howling Dogs Ordinance” which prohibits repeated barking by dogs at night, as well as a list of nine dates between May 24 and September 20, 2021, when Darrell Parks claims he texted Swan complaining about the barking dogs. The complaint also states that records of the barking were sent to the animal control officer.

The ordinance stipulates that no owner or guardian of a dog should allow the animal “to annoy or unnecessarily disturb a person by continuous or repeated barking” from 8:30 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. The animal control officer or law enforcement officer may investigate and give written warnings to dog owners if the complaints are found to be substantiated.

If the barking continues, the owners can be charged with a civil offense in the district court. The fine for the first offense is $ 25 and $ 50 for subsequent offenses.

“Darrell and Terry Park own their home, and like everyone else, they have the right to enjoy their home and property with peace of mind without the constant harassment that has lasted for over a year,” Baldacci said. . “They have had enough.”

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