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El Dorado Hills Couple Sues Neighbor Over Cigarette Smoke

Offbeat  (tags: smokers, neighbors, off-beat, crazy, Human Rights )

- 3488 days ago -
Conflict with neighbors was the last thing Donna and Richard Ganguet expected to encounter when they moved into a gated community for people age 55 and older.


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Lone W (1428)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 11:55 am

Ainsley Jo Phillips (250)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 12:30 pm
I'm not a smoker, but I do think that the rights of smokers are getting stomped like grapes in Italy. For example, I think that a private business should be able to decide whether or not to allow smoking within its walls, and I think that you should have the right to smoke in your own home.

However, that isn't the case here. The lady who owns the house doesn't want her friends and relatives smoking in her house, so she orders them outside. I'm the same way, and I do the same thing.

However, there's quite a bit of space between my neighbors and me, so one of my friends smoking out in my front yard and away from my house still isn't forcing the fumes and residue on the neighbors.

I'm guessing that these houses are built so close together that you can practically shake hands with your neighbor with each of you in your own home, and the smoke and residue is very much intruding on these other neighbors.

Just as this woman has sent her guests outside to smoke because she doesn't like to smell it, the neighbors also don't like to smell it.

After they tried to make contact with her on several occasions and just ended up getting ignored, they finally had to go to extremes and take them to court.

If this home owner with the smoking guest thinks that her neighbors are just being petty, then, she should invite her guests back into her home to smoke away.


John R (56)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 12:44 pm
These people seriously need to get a life. Sounds typical of the residents of gated communities and the body corporate mindset.
In a perfect world the gates would be locked from the outside.

Ainsley Jo Phillips (250)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 1:12 pm
The woman needs to have her guests come into her house to smoke--either that, or not have them smoking at all. If the neighbors are being "petty" for not wanting to put up with the stench and residue, isn't she being "petty" by not allowing them to smoke in her house? Sorry, but, while I don't believe in these nanny laws that intrude on parts of peoples lives that are nobody else's business, their freedom to smoke has wafted into their neighbors' yard.

Rhonda Maness (580)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 1:40 pm
Thanks Terry

John R (56)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 2:05 pm
As a non-smoker I think the neighbours are being unreasonable; in the photograph there is considerable distance between these houses.
If the worst thing your neighbours do to piss you off is smoke in the open air perhaps you should be truly thankful.
I still think it's just people with nothing in their lives.

Arild Warud (174)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 2:16 pm
I could not have put it more clearly Lone.

Arild Warud (174)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 2:18 pm
Just to add one thing: " If you can't stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen".

Esther S (45)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 2:39 pm
If the people who filed the lawsuit are telling the truth, it seems that it is not the usual person who goes out sometimes to smoke a cigarette.If their claim is true, it seems that the problem is that an awful lot of people are constantly smoking and causing the smoke to travel into the neighbor's property including their house. That would make it different than the usual situation. I have some neighbors who smoke outside their condo units and it does not bother me one bit because there is no heavy smoke in my area.
I have to add that I stopped smoking decades ago when they started raising those taxes on cigarettes. I think that those who pay so much just to smoke are nuts. LOL

Eugenie F-s (9)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 3:54 pm
Oh goodness me has it come to this already! Heh guys, there are people dying out there every day, fighting for your rights, fighting for a democratic world and you worry about whether or not you should sue your neighbour because of their smoking near your house. I really hope you are proud of yourselves and you obviously don't think those young peoples' lives are really worth much when you do things like this.... get a life, get a grip and just TALK. Lawyers make enough money as it is. All I can say is that this really is pathetic.

Tierney G (381)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 4:32 pm
This is a creepy gated community where people live like they love to be controlled. That is the problem here. No way I would ever live in another one of those types of nieghborhoods again. One person complained about a flower garden I had in my front yard! it also had vegetables growing in it. One person tryed to start a rucuss about it but luckily for me most of the people in the neighborhood loved the garden and they got free veggies so that made them happy and they stood up for me. But really ... a flower garden?? Talk about pettiness geez.!

Susan D (116)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 5:38 pm
I cant stand cigarette smoke -- pipes etc are ok -- and if iI breathe in 2nd hand smoke eg at a friends house, my voice starts to go and I keep coughing. It also makes me feel I will vomit if I get too close. So I know what it must be like having neighbours constantly doing that-- its an invasion -- sending you foul air to breathe. If my neighbour smokes on the patio, I just go to a different bit of my garden. Its not worth getting unfriendly about. But maybe these folks had only a small yard, which they could not enjoy the benefit of? Or maybe the smoking was excessive?

Sheryl G (359)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 5:38 pm
I had something similar happen to me. My husband and I had a wood stove and therefore a chimney. We met all the codes for this and everything was installed properly. My husband would get lots of free wood from the type of work that he did so instead of the wood going to rot it helped to keep us warm. All trees that were felled due to storms or a new house going in and trees removed.
This woman bought a house next to ours and then started to complain that our smoke was blowing towards her house and going inside making her sick. The previous owners never complained and we use to visit them from time to time never smelling smoke.
She kept it up and kept it up....our situation somehow was found out by the local newspaper and we became a headline...."Neighbors relationship goes up in Smoke". Oh ha ha ha. I was pregnant with my first child and found all this rather stressful as she kept calling the Fire Dept. in the middle of the night and I'd awaken to the red lights flashing and banging on my door by the Fire Dept.
The Town stood up to her, said it was an act of God where the smoke blew. The Town could find no codes we had broken. The Fire Dept was volunteer and they were getting tired of running for false alarms in the middle of the night in weather that was below zero. The Selectman told her if smoke bothered her so badly she should of been more careful of where she bought...perhaps she needed to be further out in the Country.

Finally the Chief of Police and the Fire Chief showed up together at her home and told her if she made one more false fire alarm call she'd personally pay for it and the Chief of Police said he'd arrest her on the spot. We had no more of that from her after they spoke to her, but everytime my husband would do some home repairs she'd call to ask if we had a building permit or needed one and she'd run outside with her camera and take pictures of us while we mowed the lawn or I planted flowers.
Some people are thorns in the side and these two people in this article would get along fine with that whacky woman we lived next to. I do not smoke and as I know a few people who have died of lung cancer I wish that cigarettes did not exist. I wish everyone could stop smoking. But it should be their right to make that choice for themselves. It should also be their right to do what they want on their own property within reason and this certainly is within reason having their guests smoke outside....just stay away from the fence I'd say.

This is just so stupid what these people are doing, maybe they could go volunteer and spend more time helping others than making a big issue on something as silly as this. Not much smoke comes out of a cigarette that would filter way over to their yard. Give it a break people....I hope the Judge throws you and your lawsuit out of court.

Gorilly Girl (339)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 5:41 pm
Yes I smoke and agree this is Bullcockey....What happend to our freedoms????

Big Gorilly Hugs

Mandi T (367)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 5:55 pm
Where is our freedom? Geesh!
Tks Terry

Shevlin R (10)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 7:22 pm
"Steve Solone said he didn't think the smoke would travel outside the yard." Can we say "DUH"? That's an addict for you.

Suppose they were spraying insecticide or friable asbestos that went over the fence and into the neighbor's back yard? Would that be any worse than second hand tobacco smoke that has been proven to be carcinogenic to those who inhale it?

Those who are crying "Where is our freedom?" might also ask where is the freedom for the Ganguet's to enjoy the use of their patio, pool, and whole-house fan without having to breathe toxic and malodorous fumes? When it comes to a case of this person's rights vs that person's rights, I am of the opinion that the rights that are potentially detrimental become secondary for that reason.

La Loba L (49)
Tuesday November 3, 2009, 11:04 pm
Right on, both Wolf and Ainsley. They attempted, in Hawaii, to make it illegal for anyone to walk within 30 feet of an open window with a lit cigarette. I can just see someone, if it were here in the U.S., intentionally opening a window nearby so they could gripe. (or call the cops) However, most locals in Hawaii just ignored it. I doubt anyone has ever actually gotten written up for it. The people there are very much "live and let live", with the addition of *heart*!

La Loba L (49)
Tuesday November 3, 2009, 11:27 pm
I have always contended that anyone who lives in southern California who complains about second hand smoke needs their heads examined!! Try driving any of the freeways out there, or simply leave your car outside one night. Guess what? You can take your finger on the hood of your car (or trunk) and if you look closely, you'll see lots of bright little metal flecks. That's what they're really breathing, and that can make you sick. California also used to spray for medflies, with low flying dusters, just at the time I'd head home from work. You'd have a hard time convincing me that wasn't harmful.
Glad your problem worked out as well as it did, Dandelion!
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