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Peacock Lawsuit Ruffles Neighborhood's Feathers

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on June 29, 2011 9:46 AM

It appears as though a Grand Rapids neighborhood has been hit with a peacock lawsuit, a rare breed of complaint that is brought only by those with a secret fear of birds.

Or William Tingley, a resident of the neighborhood near Kent Country Club, where a group of wild peacocks has made its home for the past several years.

He wants his neighbors to stop feeding the birds.

No one knows where the peacocks came from, according to WXMI-TV, but neighbors generally seem to be in agreement that the magnificent birds are wild, and that they are a welcome addition to the area.

But William Tingley does not agree with this assessment. It's unclear why, but he thinks the birds need to go.

But, because the city has repeatedly refused to help in his crusade, he has turned to his last option: a peacock lawsuit.

Filed against neighbor Fred Schoonbeck and the nearby Wildlife Rehab Center (a local non-profit), the peacock lawsuit alleges that the defendants are harboring peacocks and breeding them, reports WXMI-TV.

He also calls them "dangerous and offensive" and bothersome, even though there appear to be no reports that they have done anything wrong.

Given the birds' apparent innocence, will the peacock lawsuit prevail?

It's unclear on what grounds William Tingley is suing, but he's likely alleging that the birds constitute a public and private nuisance, even though most seem not to be bothered by their presence.

His peacock lawsuit may thus be asking that a judge force his neighbors to stop feeding the birds, as doing so arguably contributes to that nuisance.

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