Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

A dispute between two neighbours in Campbell River in which one intended to “upset, offend and cause stress,” has resulted in more than $16,000 in damages, according to a recent decision in B.C. provincial court.

Judge Catherine Crockett made her decision July 31, against Reno Pellegrin in his dispute with John and Sherri Wheeldon which lasted more than six years, primarily involving a concrete retaining wall between two neighbouring properties.

In 2008, the Wheeldons constructed a sports court at the back of their lot, and a concrete retaining wall between their property and the Pellegrin’s. Due to a miscalculation of the property line and the fact the concrete spread, part of the wall ended up on the Pellegrin property.

In her decision, Crockett noted the error was inadvertent, not intentional.

RELATED: $2.9 million judgment in B.C. blueberry farm sabotage lawsuit

RELATED: Student files class action lawsuit against University of Victoria over parking fees

She also explained Pellegrin testified that despite the wall being on his land, it was also to his benefit, as it effectively shored up his yard, which is higher than the Wheeldons’ property.

Around 2013 to 2014, the cordial relationship between the neighbours broke down. In April 2014, Pellegrin dumped approximately 20 pounds of dog feces on the Pellegrin/Wheeldon property line.

Crockett said it is clear the retaining wall constitutes an ongoing trespass. On Dec. 15, 2015, Pellegrin took the position he was entitled to remove the wall, and partially took it down with a jackhammer. He estimated he removed 14 inches from the top.

“Mr. Pellegrin submits that spraypainting the word ‘Remove’ on the wall in May and June of 2015 was a form of warning, as was his letter of June 9, 2014,” she wrote.

In the decision, Crockett reviewed videos of Pellegrin taking down the wall. Some of the statements she heard from Pellegrin on the videos include: “Hope you and yours have a merry merry Xmas …. This is what happens when you don’t get along with your neighbours …. Call the cops about every little thing. Call bylaws and animal control about every little thing. Here’s what happens.”

She said Pellegrin created a dangerous situation with concrete falling to the ground, jackhammering at the level of people’s faces and causing the fence to fall.

“The evidence also establishes, quite clearly, that Mr. Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice … in short, this was a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act.”

Crockett added while the law does permit a person to remove a trespass or nuisance in certain circumstances, “this is not the case.”

There was no urgency to the situation. The wall caused him no harm. In fact, as he testified, the wall benefited him, she wrote. “His jackhammering of the wall was anything but a proportionate response to the trespass. There was nothing approaching ‘exceptional circumstances’ to justify his action.”

Due to trespassing, Crockett awarded $2 in favour of Pellegrin against the Wheeldons: $1 for walking onto Pellegrin’s property on various dates and another dollar for the ongoing trespass of the retaining wall.

She awarded $16,801 to the Wheeldons which included $6,300 to replace the retaining wall, $6,000 in general damages and $2,500 in general, aggravated and punitive damages for various repeated nuisances and trespasses.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two-way race in NDP nomination for Boundary-Similkameen, party confirms

The results of the online contest will likely be announced Thursday afternoon, Sept. 24

Veintimilla to run as Liberal candidate

The Oliver councillor will run for MLA of the Boundary-Similkameen riding

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Mayor Taylor to ask Grand Forks council to develop Bare Ass Beach

Taylor says making the beach more accessible to public will discourage future trespassers

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Most Read