This is Episode 13 in the story of the formation, rise and fall of the little education collective that used to exist up here on our mountain. I wrote and posted this account three years ago on my blog and then pulled it off because someone whose name I had not changed, objected. Now I have changed both the name of the little school itself, and the names of everyone who might be negatively impacted, and plan to re-post the story, one episode per day, until all 32 are again on my blog.
No Shortage of Cash
For a period of time, commencing with the delivery of the letter to Dominican College in July of 1989, and extending into 1992, we became embroiled in the legal system and all of its pitfalls. Though there were eight distinct court battles, they never occurred when they were originally scheduled, and they were rarely settled with one appearance.
The legal system is difficult enough to navigate with a competent lawyer, without having to travel the hour and a half each way to Ukiah, in order to play the game. Communication was challenging in these pre cell phone days, so there were times when we arrived at Barry’s office, and found out that Imika had filed for this stay, or that continuance. She used to spend a great deal of time in the court’s public library, seeking information to further her cause.
I found it ironic that she used finances as the reason for doing her own leal work, rather than hiring a lawyer, because I saw her routinely do business to acquire money to pay me, Dave, and Rob, all three of whom worked for her during the period leading up to her involvement in the legal system. There was one time when a transaction was delayed, but there never seemed to be a shortage of cash.
At one point Rob and I extended three of the sides of her octagonal home out about twenty feet or so, a total of more than six hundred additional square footage to her domicile, and she had a lot of materials delivered from Gary’s Building Supply. Gary did not do business with Ms. Chintz unless he had cash on the barrel; he had heard the stories also.
So it was that after we had won the libel suit, close on its heels, Imika filed a cross-complaint against Annie and me. Barry Vogel informed us in a letter dated October 31, 1989, that “Chintz has filed a cross-complaint against you. I believe that it doesn’t meet the minimum legal standards to allow her to pursue it, so I have filed the enclosed objection (the demurrer) and set a hearing date for December 8th. There is no need for you to be present, but you will certainly be welcome to come and watch the show.”
This was Barry’s way of making sure that we knew this one was in the bag. If the outcome were not certain, or if the proceedings promised to be accusatory and sordid, he would tell us that they were just covering parameters, and dealing with logistics.
Unfortunately, he also included this footnote at the end of the message: “As you know, she has filed an appeal of the order finding her in contempt of court. That will drag on for sometime, and I will keep you advised as it progresses.” That was what it was all about. Imika would initiate all of these court proceedings, because she could. They never accomplished anything positive for her, but they vexed the living daylights out of the rest of us.
So after both lawsuits against her, Imika felt that she had to keep her oar in the water, so she filed a cross-complaint that stated that Misha had been yelled at by me on April 8, 1989. Here this case was being tried in December of 1989, after the two cases against her in the late summer. The best she could come up with was an incident where we pulled up in front of the Czech Lodge, with the intent of entering the store. When we saw that Imika and Misha were already there, we had to wait out front until they came out. Here is what occurred according to Imika, as she wrote it out on the complaint:
April 8, 1989 while Mark O’Neill was on the access road of Corrine Chintz and Misha Chintz (a minor) he violated the restraining order by jumping out of his tuck and screaming loudly “I’m HERE! I’m HERE!”
with the intent to intimidate her. He wanted her to leave and he then screamed at Misha Chintz “DON’T EVER KICKMY WIFE AGAIN!” It had traumatising effects on the child.
Irony is the rule of the day, as Imika didn’t even stop to think that maybe a judge might think it was appropriate that someone tell the young girl that kicking people is not very ladylike.
Misha’s statement was included in the paperwork:
“I was getting ready to ride my horseand my mom was nearby, it was strange because as soon as my mom left and I was ready to ride my horse, Mark O’Neill was standing in his truck shoveling out dirt and he looked at me & gave ne a nasty look and he screamed at me at the top of his voice “DON’T YOU EVER KICK MY WIFE AGAIN! “ And I just said I did’nt and I ran off to tell my mom what he screamed. His yelling made me feel frightened. Ann O’Neill lied in court and to her husband about me kicking her! And in the store all we did was brush up against each other by accident at the check out counter.” I swear these statements are the truth. Misha Chintz
When the judgment came down from the Honorable Conrad Cox, it was in my favor. In his decision the judge noted that Imika had already been found in contempt of court for violating the restraining order, by performing acts up until as late as July 17, 1989. So for her to go back to April 8th to dredge up an incident that alleges that I yelled at the child, seemed far-fetched, especially since Misha had kicked Annie. Judgment for the defendant, again. That was number five.