Friday, June 1, 2012

A "Neighbor From Hell" Story for the Ages Is Unfolding In a Minneapolis Suburb

Lori Christensen

A Minnesota woman has been barred from her own home in a bizarre twist to a "Neighbor From Hell" story that is likely to attract national headlines.

A district judge in St. Paul, Minnesota, ordered Lori Christensen, 49, to stay at least one mile away from the home of Greg and Kim Hoffman, a couple Christensen has serially harassed over about five years. Christensen had been ordered last December to have no contact with the Hoffmans, but a judge found this week that she had violated the order. That led to the latest restriction, and since the Hoffmans live across the street, it means Christensen cannot go to her own home.

That order will be in place until Christensen appears again before Judge George Stephenson next Wednesday.

I've written extensively about my own experiences with a Neighbor From Hell (NFH)--a guy named Mike McGarity, who has an extensive criminal record and prompted a 12-year legal battle that caused my wife and me to be cheated out of our jobs.

I certainly have major empathy for the Hoffmans, who appear to be facing a neighbor with mental-health issues. But if I had to choose Lori Christensen or Mike McGarity as a neighbor, I would choose Christensen every time.

What did the Hoffmans do to incur Christensen's wrath? Not much of anything, it appears. Their mere existence, in a house across the street from Christensen's, seems to be the problem. The first signs of Christensen's displeasure came when she began cursing and taunting the Hoffmans about five years ago. Most recently, she videotaped the Hoffmans and made repeated phone calls over code violations they had allegedly committed. That came after she had been ordered to leave the Hoffmans alone.

Kim Hoffman was treated several years ago for alcoholism, and Christensen seems to take special delight in reminding her about that. From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Last week, Christensen was charged with two counts of aggravated stalking in connection with the recent videotaping and phone calls. The incidents occurred after Christensen served time in the county correctional facility for violating a harassment restraining order obtained two years ago by the Hoffmans. 
The two have accused Christensen of repeatedly taunting Kim Hoffman, a recovering alcoholic, with numerous signs that included a handwritten statement, "I saw mommy kissing a Breathalyzer." 
Christensen's behavior has generated at least 80 calls to police in the past three years, Police Chief Lynne Bankes said last week.

No two "Neighbor From Hell" stories seem to be alike; each one takes on a life all its own. That means it's probably not wise to compare two such situations, but I will do it anyway. Given the utter hell that Mike McGarity has caused Mrs. Schnauzer and me, I simply cannot resist comparing him to other NFHs. How does McGarity stack up to Lori Christensen? Consider the following:

* We've seen no signs in news reports that Christensen ever intruded on the Hoffmans' property; McGarity repeatedly trespassed on our property and said, "I'm going to sue you for harassment" when I warned him to stay away.

* We've seen no signs in news reports that Christensen ever physically threatened the Hoffmans; McGarity committed a felony assault against me.

* We've seen no signs in news reports that Christensen initiated legal proceedings against the Hoffmans; McGarity filed a bogus lawsuit against me, and got a lawyer with a 30-year record of unethical behavior to do it.

The Lori Christensens of the world undoubtedly cause pain in the posteriors of people who live around them. But as long as people like her semi respect your property rights and keep matters out of court, it's possible to deal with them, I think. It's the Mike McGaritys of the world, who violate your fundamental property rights and launch baseless lawsuits, that become more than just troublesome--they become dangerous.

When I told Mrs. Schnauzer about the Lori Christensen story, I could immediately tell she was comparing it to what we have been through with McGarity. The missus thought for a while and responded with this:

"With the woman in Minnesota, you would have three choices: You could ignore her, since she stayed on her own property; you could give her some of her own medicine by yelling stuff back at her; or you could embarrass her by recording what she was doing and putting it on public display."

The Hoffmans ultimately decided to follow that third path. They captured some of Christensen's antics on videotape, and that seems to have played a major role in the judge's decision to administer some "tough love."

You can check out snippets of the videos in the following news report from a Minneapolis TV station. Lori Christensen certainly appears to be a loon. Is she worse than Mike McGarity? She's not even in his league, in my opinion:


Robby Scott Hill said...

Christensen is a self-righteous person with mental health issues who decided to become a homeowner and nosy neighbor. Her behavior was checked by a judge who was doing his job. In Alabama, the self-righteous people with mental health issues become judges who persecute law abiding citizens who might not be welcome at some radically right-wing church. That's something George Carlin pointed out during his last standup routine when he mentioned "those assholes down in Alabama" when Roy Moore was Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Never forget the Greatest Commandment - "Keep thy religion to thyself!"

Anonymous said...

I do not know the entire story here. This is not the reporting I am accustomed to, LS, snippets of the whole truth and therefore, not investigative enough to discern what to do about this new twist in our courts.

Crystal Cox on your blog was far more informative and opened networking across the nation, BRAVO!

Where is the deep reporting, the integrity of our system which can take away life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as though there is no real law?

Throw someone in jail for 90 days because a "judge" decides the apology of the person who is also with RIGHTS, but no, CRAP?!

Sure the woman is not safe in the neighborhood, where is safe in the State of Minnesota when U.S. Bancorp is in the judges' portfolios for retirement and high on the hog, too.

Going to find the story so we can assess how ignorant exactly are the courts in the State of Minnesota: corruption is when a woman can go to jail for videos which are NOT anything other than her embarrassing herself, no violence BUT 90 days of violent abuse by a "judge."

Wow, America is not.

Anonymous said...

Post at the "news paper" that has the story about Lori Christensen,

FACEBOOK ONLY for "comments," gosh, get ready for this LS and all the "men" in the "know"

Profit-Driven Surveillance and the Spectrum of Freedom: “We will offer electronic monitoring services in every state.” - 06/01/2012 - Matt Stoller @ naked capitalism.



No real due process of law and that is the true felony, committed by the courts to continue on in this attack against our inalienable human rights. What started the problem? Maybe the sober person when out of mind with alcoholism? What about the behavior of alcoholics? Is it ok, when finally the act gets clean? How about those people harmed from the sugar imbalance in the brain and liver, OMG, what did the sober for three years do as drunk for how long? And the JUDGE? No doubt addicted to the poly BIG pharma drugs and other such poisons which Americans not only LOVE, the LUST for addictions is very obvious and throwing neighbors in jail in the U.S., yes this is what has been aborted to be "community."

Problems? Solve them without the so called "law" since there is no such idea.

BUT all we have now is making crime pay and what better commodity than a human uninformed.

legalschnauzer said...


I provided links to reports from major Minnesota news outlets, so you shouldn't have to look far. The info that has been published so far is referenced in my post.

I agree that the judge is on somewhat thin ice here. But as I state in the post, Ms. Christensen persisted in her behavior until she was captured on videotape, and I suspect that's a big reason the judge came down on her.

Is it really a crime in Minnesota to dance around like a fool and put up goofy signs, even when you don't intrude on someone else's space. Like you, I find all of that questionable--and it's why I say that her actions don't even come close to what I've experienced with Mike McGarity.

Here are two areas where I'm guessing Ms. Christensen crossed the line:

(1) According to one report, to which I have linked, Ms. Christensen followed Ms. Hoffman in her vehicle on a few occasions. Again, that's fairly thin based on what we know, but I think that is what produced the aggravated stalking charge.

(2) The biggest thing is this: A judge issued an order for Ms. Christensen to leave the Hoffmans alone. She didn't do it. That seems to be her biggest problem. People do have a right to be left alone, and when a judge orders you to do that, it's a good idea to take him seriously.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous June 1, 11:34

I am curious to see if your opinion has changed after reading up more on what the neighbors of Lori Christensen have endured for years and years.

Minnesotan for all my life

jeffrey spruill said...

"I saw mommy kissing a Breathalyzer."
Somewhere within the depths of a fevered mind- she's able to pull out small morsels of humor.


In Virginia people with mental health issues become judges & lawyers too.

Anonymous said...

Minnesota also arrested the ZOMBIES, a group of kids who were dressed up as though Zombies and demonstrating against the banks, due to the banks causing the crash.

READING AT the Minnesota rap sheet(s), basically, the same agenda is going on with MEN, yes I must say here "gentlemen" FAR TOO MANY ready to be less than honorable to what the female species in human are really upset about.

Minnesota is a HUGE CORPORATE POWER STRUCTURE and setting the very carefully constructed new ideology of innocent victims with rights decided accordingly, yes the judge had control.

WHAT JUDGE IN AMERICA IS NOT IN COMPLETE CONTROL DURING GWB and his new world order of old world cannibalism - colonialism?!

Lori Christensen endured something. Yes the Judge issued a restraining order, HOWEVER, what did the other COUPLE and KIDS do to cause Lori to act so ridiculous in getting filmed on video as though she were a very bad act on stage, at best. AND stalking? Hardly that when in video it is clear she is clueless when it comes to the Murdock VilEvil.

HERE IS THE REAL CRIME SCENE in the U.S. and globally, the ESTABLISHMENT that gets paid huge digital sums of monies to sell us all in our minds, the idea that going to jail for whatever is the way it is, ho-hum pass the pirates their rum it is the digital AUGHT YEARS of super duper take the lesser able to defend oneself and toxically shame for what?

The family has never been exposed in the regards of mommy and the breath blowing device? Why not? Seems parts of the important facts are missing.

BUT BOYS WILL BE BOYS? Is this a new brand of how to control?

OR predators VS. compassionate investigation for ALL.

"... Cheering him on, if discreetly, were those now running what Max Hastings has called the "new establishment": the media's managerial middle class, often liberal to a fault, that was later to fall at the feet of Murdoch's man Blair, the future war criminal, whose election as prime minister was celebrated in the Guardian with: "Few now sang England Arise, but England has risen all the same." ....

Minnesota is in the same boat as the other sinking ships of fools.

LS, you are one of the best in the U.S. with "news," keep the stellar standard and let the JUDGE in Minnesota have some real blow back for violating rights that Lori deserves for us to protect.

We all get the alcoholic is in a serious disease and cannot be exactly held in peril else they go back out and do the best to kill themselves and others. Our SOCIETY made this handicap and it is intentional. Lori has a handicap, too, she cannot for some reason resolve something that happened in the alcoholic syndrome?

Why not an interview?

legalschnauzer said...

FWIW, I saw one report in the press that said Ms. Christensen has several DUIs in her background, so perhaps she's had struggles with alcohol, too.

Not sure why she couldn't just leave the folks across the street alone.

Also not sure why this became a criminal matter. It sounds like more of a civil issue.

Anonymous said...

You saw one report in the press. The press that does not lie, correct?

Not sure why she was treated like a criminal, that is what bothers me most of all - Lori Christensen has been charged as a criminal when she was not an actual criminal, she was a neighborhood pest for some reason.

No reason really given other than the neighbors took a video and there was behavior from Lori Christensen which was used by that JUDGE and of course then the PRESS and we get new world orders in our faces rather than a rule of law.

Judges LOVE this new cha ching in their retirement portfolios. Should a human move, shoot to kill and ask questions later. That's our America!

Gotta just love the future cha ching ideologies. We all get to be programmed or brainwashed and more special are the DERIVATIVE chemicals poured into our skies, water, food. MORE FUN is when the judges get to use language which is legal nonsensical criminal in taking away inalienable rights and pales the alleged "crime."

The cannibal classless to have protoplasm blubbering for the final torture chambers.

Aren't the pillars of our society a beacon of light to emulate!

Perhaps the neighbors were in the treatment together for the DIS-EASE of alcoholism AND please watch Yoav Shamir's ON DEFAMATION for how did Americans become so prone towards the spirits.

Three years, the sober neighbor says she is chemical free? Her face is totally swollen and so whatever drugs she is on to not drink?, causing the internal organs to fill with liquid is called congestive organ failure.

Dial up Minnesotans and dial in.

Anonymous said...

Civil issue, yes this was civil and somehow the FAMILY of a man, woman, and children were against one woman and her only daughter.

And a Judge was able to take the one woman and her daughter and make sure the lesson is well taught to all Minnesotans, ET AL,


OBEY the decisions of hired thugs in essence we have learned, dressed up in robes and paying dues to a foreign British Accredited Registry, retiring in high hog fashion on our human flesh, mostly.

John Pilger's writing about Murdock's ghoulish mission for the insatiable lust after so-called "money," the entire gangs of "new establishment," "media," or call it what for pity's sake! NEWS, where did this most rhyming interesting name appear from.

Let us JUST SAY NO to the ignorance of our press. NO to the constant selling of criminal insanity called digital no due process.

The technology of the "case" of Lori Christensen in this point, rules and not any good law.

Did anyone else notice how cleverly Hollywood movies our minds into the pit of wondering what kind of life we're actually living?

Lori Christensen is a mirror for each and every human being in the times of -- only those who retire in secret style of computer keystrokes get to HAVE -- and the nots so fast, sole of Americans' soulless shoes marching off the Lemming cliffs?

Do we choose to read the true news, do we know which is real or do we see the picture show is not reality other than making certain a style of life gets to be for some and NOT for others' who do not get equal time in that scene which flashes in our brains.

It is like chemistry working without our hands holding the equations in a balanced form.

Lori Christensen deserves letters from other undereducated victims of the system and also, the news media gets to have copies as well as that so-called man of justice, to remind him that the internet has grown in the power of more transparency in the matter, please and thank you, "Sir Dictator Judge." PLEASE 90 days in jail and using words that are expected since GITMO has not closed.

legalschnauzer said...

I'm not familiar with the Minnesota criminal code, but I suspect it is similar to what we have in Alabama. If so, Ms. Christensen probably crossed the line in three ways:

* Following Ms. Hoffman in a vehicle, which can go to stalking;

* Putting up large visible signs directed at a neighbor and causing alarm, which could go to harassing communications;

* Violating a court order, whether she thought it was well grounded or not.

I don't know for sure if the judge ruled correctly under MN law. But Ms. Christensen isn't deserving of public support, in my view. She had numerous opportunities, it appears, to nip this problem in the bud, and she didn't do it. I know from personal experience that you just cannot reason with some people, you can't make them understand that you do have rights and you want them respected.

If the Hoffmans were engaging in misconduct toward Ms. Christensen, she could have initiated a legal action against them. She apparently chose not to do so. Does that mean they had done nothing wrong toward her? Sort of looks that way.

If something untoward is in the Hoffman's background, I imagine it will come out.

As for Ms. Hoffman's problems with alcohol, I don't see how that is an issue in this case. Are you saying she deserved to be bullied and harassed? If so, I have to wonder where you are coming from.

As you know, if you read this blog, I'm not a big defender of judges. But this problem had been going on for five years, and Ms. Christensen had been ordered to cease and desist. She did not do it.

Stalking and harassing communications laws can be broadly interpreted, and I suspect the judge acted within his authority here. This could have been handled as a civil matter, but that probably would have cost the parties involved at least $10,000 each.

If Ms. Christensen was violating the criminal code--and a judge determined that she was--I can understand why the Hoffmans went that route. Going civil, by the way, is no guarantee the problem will be solved.

Ms. Christensen gets no sympathy from me. My wife and I have been the victims of a neighborhood bully, one way more dangerous than Ms. Christensen, so I know how it feels.

Since Ms. Christensen was staying on her own property, I probably would have just ignored her or laughed at her. But I can understand why the Hoffmans took action.

Anonymous said...

Over the years, I've learned the hard lesson that a victim of neighbor harassment/stalking is at the mercy of the discretion of their local police and court system. They either will work with your or wash their hands off it like Pilate.

The police where I grew up did nothing to protect my mother and I from our neighbors of 14 years (the only silver lining in our situation being that they were foreclosed on and forcibly evicted from the property several years ago -- they've since moved out of state, and are undoubtedly harassing someone else). Amongst the actual complaints we filed with our local PD were:

- teenage son of neighbor attempted to run my mother and sibling over with a truck (nothing was done by PD)
- male neighbor threatened to rape me on two separate occasions, as I walked past on the main road (told by PD to 'ignore' the threats. I started carrying a billy club.)
- male neighbor threatened to beat my mother, when she asked them to stop trespassing. (PD told neighbors to leave us alone).

These people also watched us constantly from their windows and porch, called out insults and threats, attempted to poison our dogs, attempted to come onto our property. We built a secure, padlocked fence around our property, and had a gun permit and a weapon, while making it quite clear we would shoot any intruders on the property. A lawyer advised us that we could take out a civil restraining order, but that overall it would do little good. These people, big surprise, had extensive criminal records for theft, drug possession, and domestic abuse. Had the neighbor attempted to run over a LEO, I have a feeling that the PD would have taken that action seriously.

I feel no sympathy for Ms. Christensen -- she was warned to leave these people alone, and instead she chose to escalate her behavior, likely because she believed, as most bullies do, that they won't be held accountable. Had she yelled something or put some ridiculous sign up once, she wouldn't be getting into trouble; someone who keeps up a campaign of harassment for 5 years is and should be considered a safety concern.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 2:08--

Thank you for a thoughtful and well-written comment--one that comes from experience.

These words:

"Over the years, I've learned the hard lesson that a victim of neighbor harassment/stalking is at the mercy of the discretion of their local police and court system. They either will work with your or wash their hands off it like Pilate."

. . . well, you could not be more on the money.

When our trespassing problems started, I told the officer who came to take a complaint that he might be able to solve the problem by going next door and explaining the law to the guy and the potential repercussions if he continued to violate it.

The officer said: "We don't do that; we take reports."

Anonymous said...

U.S. Bancorp is in Minnesota and it pays for the POLICE as well as the COURTS to be exactly what is being constructed: TOTAL CONTROL without any due process of law.

Piper Jaffray & Co, U.S. Bancorp corruption that collapsed and what do we hear about it? Not much. Then the U.S. Bancorp. "President" when NEW CENTURY MORTGAGE subprime collapsed he was simply heard in California apologizing about "how much subprime do we do."

Where is the news, Minnesota and how the middle of the country road may converge to ruining how many families?

Yet we hear about Lori Christensen getting 90 days for criminal charges that we actually do not have any due process to understand.

A pattern? Appears to be an apartheid alright. We have no information about "MONEY" but certainly the police and courts can solve our stalking neighbors from hell.

Which hell by the way? I believe the financial hell may be causing lots of Loris and other alcoholics to act out, as well, the people who are awake and feeling - like me - I am appalled at our non neighbor ability to solve the problems of communication, cooperation and of course then, the quality of life promised in our PREAMBLE.

Anonymous said...

Where did I see a Neighborhood Coalition, Anon who spent a decade and one-half nearly, filing police reports and other please help me from the neighborhood bully and bullies ... just wondering how many neighbors got together and held community outreach for our AMERICA, the government of the governed.

OH I almost forgot, we LOVE the police and courts to intervene since we are only growing up to understand our true law is self governance.

GOD FORBID in the digital aught years that we can actualize the dream of communication and cooperation [Marx said this and NOT "communism" by the way], to reach across the apartheid in the U.S. and touch our SMART brains.

Killery likes to use the word SMART as do the Tim Geithner cultists, SMART gets to lead.

Problem is the word smart must become more than just a word.