Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


September 12, 2013

Property feud back in court

Rep. Lyons, neighbor back in court


According to last week’s court hearing, the Johnsons have bought the Reynolds Street property, which they had a purchase-and-sales agreement on for years, and are proceeding with construction of the house. The Planning Board has approved the house plans and police documents indicate the Johnsons have hired a contractor to clear trees on part of the property.

The site clearing is what led to the hearing. It triggered Bernadette Lyons’ curiosity. But when she went to take a look at the abutting property, she was “stunned” to see William Johnson through the woods talking to his contractor, Jim Lyons testified in court.

Johnson left the property as soon as he was spotted, but his presence led Jim Lyons to approach the contractor. What happened next is a point of contention.

According to police records, Johnson called police to report someone continually coming onto his property and “yelling at his workers.” Johnson also submitted a court affidavit from his contractor saying Lyons was “extremely loud and aggressive” while shouting that the work was being done on his property.

However, responding patrolman Brian Blouin’s report said that Jim Lyons “was non-confrontational and left the property without incident.” Blouin reported that Johnson then asked police to give Lyons a verbal no-trespass order. In response, Lyons told police “that he would be going to court to have Johnson `arrested.’”

In his report, Blouin concluded “that there was no criminal action committed on behalf of both parties and there will be no court action stemming from (the) incident.”

Jim Lyons said after the court hearing that the judge’s decision is what his family was looking for.

“There is no question that just (Johnson’s) being there previously has had a dramatic impact on our family,” Lyons said.

“The fact he decided to build a house in our backyard, we feel, is mind-boggling,” added Lyons, who is suing the Planning Board over an approved modification to the Johnsons’ house plans.

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