Actor Reaches Settlement With City Over Neighbor's Barking Dogs

barking dog
 A barking dog. | Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An actor known for being the voice behind the Cheetos Chester Cheetah mascot and his wife reached a tentative settlement of claims they filed against the city of Los Angeles, in which they alleged the have endured a neighbor's barking dogs for years and that City Hall has ignored their pleas to do something.

Watch: "SoCal Connected" goes inside L.A.'s Animal Court.

Attorneys for Adam and Maral Leadbeater filed court papers on Feb. 8 with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Randolph Hammock stating that the partial accord would be final once the city complied with "certain obligations" that were not specified in the documents. The lawyers stated they expect to seek dismissal of the part of the case against the city by March 31.

The Leadbetaters sued on Nov. 9, alleging nuisance, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the city and the neighbor, James Hansen. Hansen has at least one large dog, possibly a German shepherd, and a small animal believed by the couple to be a Chihuahua, the suit states.

The Leadbeaters seek unspecified damages and a court order directing Hansen to abate the nuisance.

On Jan. 30, the judge issued a tentative ruling granting the city's motion to dismiss the couple's claims for declaratory and injunctive relief, but he gave their attorneys time to provide more briefing.

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Hansen's dogs bark and create excessive noise throughout all hours of the day and night, often exceeding more than 10 minutes without interruption, according to the lawsuit.

The couple endures as many as 15 such disturbances in a day, the suit alleges.

"This barking and excessive noise has been ongoing for years with varying levels of disturbances to the Leadbeaters; presently, the level of disturbance is so high as to frequently deprive the Leadbeaters of sleep," the suit states.

On Oct. 27, Hansen's dogs began barking at about 3:45 p.m. and continued intermittently until about 9:55 p.m., the suit states.

In addition to barking, the pets scratch at a fence dividing the neighbors' property, causing more noise, the suit states.

The Leadbeaters cannot stay long in their back yard because of the noise and so they retreat to their home's interior, where the sound is diminished but not eliminated, the suit states.

Hansen has failed to stop the dogs from barking despite attempts by the Leadbeaters to "amicably resolve" the dispute, the suit states.

The couple has filed multiple complaints about Hansen's dogs with the city's Department of Animal Services, the suit states.

The couple contacted the city again in August and an officer told them their case "expired" because the hearing was held more than four months earlier, the suit states. The city's Municipal Code actually has no such expiration provision, according to the complaint.

Leadbeater has had roles in the films "Star Wars: The Old Republic" and  "True Blood" as well as the daytime series "Days of Our Lives."


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