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$1 Million Claim Filed in Neighbors’ Fight Over Dog

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It started out as bad blood between neighbors, a Ventura County Fire Department captain and the Moorpark school board president, over the barking of a miniature dachshund.

The eight-month-long feud has now escalated into a million-dollar legal battle.

Board President Cynthia Hubbard filed a $1-million claim against the county earlier this month over the alleged verbal abuse that she suffered when Fire Department Capt. Richard Dobbin “recklessly taunted and screamed” at her.

In the claim filed April 3, Hubbard said that the alleged abuse during a spat on Oct. 13, 1990, put her in fear for her life. During the argument, Dobbin drove a county firetruck staffed with firefighters to his home to confront Hubbard.

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The feud began last September, when Dobbin and his wife started to complain about the barking of Hubbard’s dog, Ginger.

The dispute became so heated that a Ventura County Superior Court judge issued the neighbors a mutual restraining order Oct. 1, barring them from coming within five yards of one another’s property.

The Oct. 13 argument began when Dobbin’s wife, Elizabeth, started to do some yardwork near a fence that separates the two properties, according to the sheriff’s report on the incident.

Hubbard told Elizabeth Dobbin that the landscaping was damaging the fence, the report said. The two began to argue and Elizabeth Dobbin called her husband, who arrived in a fire engine, the report said.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived and separated the neighbors. Both Hubbard and Dobbin were charged with violating the restraining order. However, a spokeswoman for the Ventura County district attorney’s office said the charges have been rejected.


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