Dispute between Hanover neighbors continues as lawsuit looms due to swastika
HANOVER — A lawsuit over an offensive flag on display at an address on Hanover Road remains ongoing as the case prepares to head to court. The lawsuit stems from a series of disagreements between two neighbors, all of whom show no signs of letting up, and culminating into the pathetic marvel it is today.
The origin of the lawsuit goes back to a Feb. 27 Nydailyrecord.com article, where Rochester-based attorney Jeffrey Wicks was listed to be representing area resident Catherine M. Kaicher, who claims Todd Schilling’s Nazi flags have caused her “severe psychological distress.”
The reasoning for the lawsuit based on the official complaint, provided to the OBSERVER in an email by Wicks, states that “As a result of the defendant’s action, Ms. Kaicher has suffered severe psychological distress, trauma, nervousness and anxiety,” the suit claims.
The seven-page complaint also goes into detail as to why the swastika itself is an offensive image. “The swastika continues to be the symbol of modern Nazi hate groups in the United States,” according to the complaint. “Such groups continue to organize and strike shock, horror and fear of violence into the hearts and minds of ordinary citizens.”
The OBSERVER spoke with Wicks via a phone call, and inquired about the current situation of the court case. “We were served an answer, there were various demands, typical litigation,” Wicks stated. “Nothing earth-shaking.”
From there, Wicks offered the OBSERVER a copy of the official complaint and insisted that the OBSERVER not contact Kaicher for further comment.
The OBSERVER contacted Schilling for comment, who recalled the events leading up to getting served the lawsuit. “Now what happened was, I think it was Feb. 27, I got a call from one of the Rochester papers,” Schilling said. “They tipped me off a week before I was actually served. As far as the court dates go, I was served on March 7 I believe.”
Schilling was quick to share his thoughts on the case, before going into a more lengthy recalling of the events thus far through his perspective. “As far as my stuff goes, it’s First Amendment, it’s pretty cut and dry,” he stated. “The Martins and I are also fighting over some land on the other side. He’s trying to claim all the land, which he has no claim for.”
The Martins, the family involved in the initial dispute and featured on several local news reports, continue to endure the Schillings on a daily basis and vice versa. The story of what started the disagreement between neighbors, the Martins’ chickens, remains a contentious point for either side and a clear-cut case of he said, she said, guarded by heavy rhetoric, neither refusing to be wrong and no real plot in the sad short story it has become.
A previous article in the OBSERVER reported that there was a video camera facing the Martins’ daughter’s bedroom. Schilling, and the article “Lawsuit filed over Nazi flag display in Western New York” from WGRZ, both say the camera was a fake.
“They (the Martins) got chickens and they’re totally not contained,” Schilling said. “The house back is totally fenced in. What was happeneing was, the chickens were flying into the yard. I asked them three times over the course of a year and a half. We’ve been here 27 years and we get along with all the other neighbors fine. Dogs are just going to pursue the chickens, its what they do. They (the Martins) wouldn’t clip the wings, which is a very easy thing to do. They’re contained, but they’re very close to the property line.”
When asked about litigation, Schilling said, “I’ve retained Paul Cambria, I was referred to him, they’re handling it, there’s two: Justin Kinnear and Cambria … Cambria is filing for dismissal, I was hoping it would go to trial, because Mr. Wicks is going to come down all the way from Rochester and make a fool of himself going for a frivolous lawsuit as an established lawyer.”
Schilling was also asked about recent police activity at his house. “They’ve (the police) been here for visits, there’s been four total,” Schilling said. “That was April 9, the reason the cops came down is because I was picking at the surveying flags at the end of my driveway. Now Martin is saying my driveway is on his land and he put stakes in there.”
The stakes haven’t been the only recent activity in the hate-fest between neighbors, according to Schilling. “He (Martin) cut my cameras up by the flag that watch the fence,” Schilling also claims, even going as far to add. “He’s clearly seen cutting my camera wire. … Somebody down there at the station is protecting him.”
Should the case move forward, both sides appear prepared for a long and lengthy debate.