Thank You everyone for your Kind Consideration in our Time of Need.
First of all let me tell you who we are. My name is Nicklas and I am a widowed single parent, I buried my wife 6 years ago – she died from complications of a lifetime illness. My youngest, a girl, is now 13 and I also have a retarded adult son from my first marriage who lives with me, his mother abandoned us when he was 18 months old. I am not a socialist, therefore we do not participate in receiving SSI, welfare, foodstamps etc. from the government. It is my sincerely held religious belief that all charity should be voluntary. The Good Book says, You have not because you ask not, so I am asking. It also says that God loves a cheerful giver.
This is the unbelievable Story: About Aug 2004 an acquaintance (Mr. G) asked me if he and his wife could park a travel trailer on our property until they could make other living arrangements. He explained that they had put all of their savings in escrow, a non-refundable $5,000. deposit to guarantee that they would be able to obtain financing to purchase the rental home they were living in. They were unsuccessful, so he offered to help with our ongoing construction project and provide security, I did not ask them for any money. You see we had just closed our escrow in March 2004 and were in the midst of building. I was a retired building contractor, so intended to build my own home for my retirement years and provide an inheritance for my children. Mr. G did what he said he would do by helping me on Saturdays with water and electric lines, helping install the septic system etc. Of course having these services installed benefited him too.
When he offered to purchase half of our 10 acres I had no reason to believe that he was not sincere. But I didn’t know if the property could even be subdivided. So instead of a down payment, because their savings were gone, they would apply and pay for the subdivision of the property. We reduced our agreement to writing, $60,000. for the five acres: If after thirty days they were satisfied the the property could be subdivided they would begin to make $600. per month payments on the agreed subdivision. And they did make the first payment on March 1, 2005. But when I pressed him about the progress of the subdivision in October because I wanted to refinance my half, he notified me that they were not happy with the agreed upon subdivision and wanted to change it.
When we could not agree on an alternate subdivision map (he now wanted more than half of the ten acres) I gave him a check for the eight payments he had already made. I had written Church Mediation into the agreement, so when he said he wanted to go to mediation I of course agreed, telling him that I would abide with whatever the outcome. All he had to do was set up the mediation and let me know the date and time. They made no payment for November, then December came and went without a word. I determined, One: they concluded that mediation would not yield the result they desired, of that I was confident, and Two: they were no longer interested in buying half of the property.
So in January 2006 I returned his Note with the words “VOID” on the face of it, with a letter letting them know that they were welcome to stay on the property for a reasonable amount of rent while they looked for alternate living arrangements. Still silence, but he was now paying the electric bill for both households. So I accepted that as payment in lieu of rent. We were on friendly terms so I figured they would move when they saved enough money and got tired of living in a travel trailer on my property. Hindsight tells me now that this is when I should have pressed them and initiated eviction if they refused. I could have saved myself years of anguish and 10’s of thousands of dollars – maybe, but I could never have guessed what they really had in mind.
Fast-forward: August 2009, I finally press them, its been long enough. I tell them that I would like them to move off the property by the end of the year. They became immediately hostile and told me that they own half of the property because I refused their payments under the original agreement! I counter with the stipulated mediation in that same agreement, giving them notice of three different dates the first two of which they did not appear. After the second miss I served them with a NOTICE TO VACATE by 12-31-09. When they did appear for the final date they feigned that they were still interested in purchasing the west half of the property. Of course they knew that there was no way the church was going to award them half of the property for free on a technicality. They did default in the church mediated agreement.
My Ahab and Jezebel had a different tactic in mind: they would take the entire property from us by this technicality of State law. In her own words from the transcript of our Eviction Action, “The California law is very clear on that, and the Civil Code is, when a good faith payment is tendered and rejected, it is a debt forgiven.” When I tried to refund their money, then canceled the Note, according to her understanding, I gave them the property! And I have discovered that was their intent the whole time they stayed on the property because information from property and family trust files that went missing from my office about 2007, showed up in some of their pleadings. I was clueless until they showed their hostility.
I still wanted to amicably work out a solution, until about Dec.15, 2009 when I noticed some men working on my electrical service meter on the corner of the property (from there the wire goes underground to our house). When I walked over to inquire as to what was happening, Mr. G told me that he was disconnecting my house from the service, because I was not paying the bill. When I insisted that the Electrician he hired cease and desist Mr. G assaulted me knocking me down in the gateway and when I tried to stand up he hit me with the gate again knocking me down in the gravel approach. I then called the Sheriff who notified him that he could not disconnect my house from the service. His workers “didn’t see anything” and Mr. G said I swung at him first. That was the last straw, because the Church Mediation has no enforcement arm I decided to file the Eviction Suit.
It was end of March 2010 by the time our Eviction Suit was heard, they would “move off if I would pay them $60,000.” They successfully muddied the waters so much that the Judge decided to deny relief on a technicality. My Lawyer said we would need to file a Quiet Title Suit. Within days I learned that they had closed escrow on a 5 acre ranch home in a nearby community earlier in the month. I would now just wait until they moved – I breathed a premature sigh of relief. April went by with no movement and at the end of May I went camping to a Memorial weekend family reunion. About a week after we returned home I was visited by a Sheriff Deputy who wanted to ask me some questions about an incident that happened while I was away, he needed to close the case. They reported that I shot at them and killed their dog while I was away on our camping trip. They had no witnesses and none of the neighbors heard gun shots, so the officer didn’t take it very seriously, he did wait a week to interview me after all.
I just wanted them to go in peace, because they would not talk to me, I sent them a friendly letter offering them a Lease to stay on the property or to fill out and sign a Notice of Intention to Vacate. The next thing I heard from them was a Restraining Order lawsuit based upon the alleged shooting incident. I explained to the judge that I was no threat to them, contrarily Mr. G had actually assaulted me. The wise judge granted mutual restraining orders – we had to stay away from each other while they were on my property. They now used that secured possession as a launching pad from which to execute their plan to destroy me, my family, and my livelihood in order to take our property. Their plan was to have me thrown in jail on gun charges then move into my house. When a neighbor asked them where my family would go, they coldly replied that “they can live in a motel.”
They then filed a lawsuit against me claiming that I was trying to deprive them of their home and property by offering them a lease – remember they think they own the property by some technicality of law. We filed a cross-complaint for Quiet Title about Nov 2010, the court decided the Quiet Title Issue was core therefore bifurcated to be heard first. After numerous legal stalling tactics including 4 attempts to recuse the judge with long reviews, and filing bankruptcy, chapter 7, then chapter 13 they were able to keep the Quiet Title from being heard until July of 2013. Because of their bankruptcy filings, I learned for the first time that their combined earnings are almost $10,000 per month – more than 3 times what I earned in a good month.
In the mean time they had sabotaged my phone and DSL lines finally severing them completely, then destroyed my electric service causing us to have an almost one month lapse in service. This in an attempt to destroy us financially so that we could not afford to fight them in court. They were successful. I lost all of my syndicated production accounts simply because I could not provide reliable service, and with them most of my earnings disappeared. My meager savings were exhausted quickly. I notified my lawyer in Jan 2013 that I could no longer afford to pay him anything, he told me that he would finish the Quiet Title only, as it was unlikely that the court would allow him to drop the case anyway. We are now surviving an about $1,000. per month. With the downturn in the economy it seems impossible to replace the accounts that I lost.
We finally got our day in court in July 2013 and the judges Oct 2013 decision declared that I had successfully rescinded the contract when I attempted to refund their payments and that our family was the injured party because Mr. G changed his mind and never applied for the subdivision, therefore they had no ownership interest in our property. A date was to be set on the “Ejectment and Balancing the Equities” portion of the trial. However the date was taken off calendar when they appealed and again recused the Judge for bias and more months ensued before the judge was reviewed and cleared. The court however decided to now give us a different judge. We did not get back into court until March 2014. The case became so fragmented it was like starting over with a different case.
This judge decided Balancing the Equities meant that I would pay 80% of all the electricity bills incurred by them. They would get $15,000. for work they never did on our property which supposedly added value. And they would only pay us 250. per month for rent, but we would get nothing for damages, legal expenses and other losses. This put us in debt to them for almost $20,000. Now I have 90 days to come up with the money before they begin legal action to force sale of our home, which I am sure they will do because they have filed at least 6 other lawsuits against me; My lawyer, other family members and even business associates are named as co-defendants.
I believe our first judge would have rendered an entirely different decision. An appeal would mean more years in court and more in legal fees than the $20,000. judgment against us. I wish Mr. G and his wife no ill will, I really hope that they will find something good to devote the rest of their lives to – really I just want this nightmare to be over – and I hope they will leave us alone after we pay them off. I hope we can raise the money by telling our story — Any extra donations will go to legal, accounting and other losses.
This is the short version of this story. These people have caused so much anguish and emotional distress to all of us. If you can only give a few dollars Please help us – I pray that you never have such friends in your life that could betray you as these people have us. If anyone wants the long version – perhaps it would make a good human interest (terror) movie of a sort – I have some good ideas about that. Please contact us for further details and proof or if you cannot give by cc.