After five years of reckless neighborhood driving, enough was enough.
Earlier last month I learned about a small claims court case in Carlsbad, California involving two homeowners, one BMW driver, and his Mom.
I not so much learned about the case as I came across the defendant tweeting about it (it’s still up by the way.)
The homeowner directly across from Bryan Hillman,the BMW driver, claims Hillman breached the “covenant of quiet enjoyment of their home over a five-year period through his vehicles loud modified mufflers and reckless driving.”
They also claimed “Hillman used verbal assault and intimidation.”
They filed for $10,000, $2,000 for every year.
The homeowner directly behind where Hillman lives filed a similar suit for $5,000 claiming “Hilman’s behaviour interferes with the quiet enjoyment of my property due to his reckless use of his vehicles.”
Hillman owns and operates at least 3 BMWs.
According to small claims court documents I obtained, all involved parties have gone to trial over video conference (because Covid) on the same day, the presiding judge quickly submitting a ruling on the matter. The plaintiff’s case suing for $10,000 was decided in less than 20 minutes (according to video timestamps.)
The judge found in favor of both plaintiffs and were awarded with $5,000 and $500 respectively after considering all written and oral arguments including at least one submitted video for evidence.
It looks like the Hillmans want to be done with the matter ASAP as record of payments in lump sumps were recently submitted, both checks totaling $5,914.74 (principal, court cost, and misc. fees.)
Furthermore, I learned, despite this small claims case resolving, the Hillmans were given outs and could’ve saved themselves, in hindsight, thousands.
The neighbor across the street mailed a Cease and Desist letter to both Bryan and his Mom in late February with the neighbor behind them doing the same in March. Both records of cease and desist marked “no response” from the Hillmans. Had Bryan shown an effort to calm things down, his neighbors would’ve presumably not gone this far.
A small claims lawsuit was their last resort after three months of much of the same.
At first I didn’t think they’d collect any damages until Attorney Jonathan Michaels, legal friends of Motor Trend, dropped some knowledge about “quiet enjoyment.”
Michaels maintained if the plaintiffs had enough video and audio evidence and could show a pattern of abuse over five years (being more than enough time) the case was legitimate.
The amount awarded proves that the nuisance, to some extent, was of substantial interference.
Many neighborhoods have “that guy” who couldn’t care less about their loud exhaust or high-speed antics in residential streets.
Usually, it’s never personal. Here, papers served looks like it became that, forcing them to take legal action.
It’s one thing to rip a couple of donuts in an empty parking lot or taking artistic freedoms entering a freeway entrance, but when your car hobby starts negatively affecting the lives of others, it’s time to take a step back to re-evaluate things.
I’ve reached out to one homeowner if they’d like to fill in the blanks of how bad were Hillman’s actions over the five-year period and I’ll update this post accordingly if I hear back (if ever.)