Aspen doctor, wife seek order to prevent alleged peeping
ASPEN – An Aspen doctor and his wife are seeking a restraining order against a former neighbor who they say has been overzealous in her effort to document how much time they spend in their North 40 home.
Kenton and Donna Bruice filed a request for a civil protection order March 11 against Jennifer Hall. Donna Bruice said she became alarmed to learn at a March 3 Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority board of directors meeting that Hall was regularly observing her family and their home.
“She was watching me five times a day and making notes in her Blackberry about what I was doing,” Bruice said. Hall recited “what I was wearing, when she saw my baby playing, when she saw my cat” and other household activities, according to Bruice.
“I am disturbed that someone is looking in my windows,” she said. “That she is recording it [in notes on her Blackberry] is creepy and wrong.”
Hall took a complaint to the housing authority that the Bruices weren’t spending as much time locally as required to own a North 40 home, which is deed-restricted to full-time residents of Pitkin County. Hall is a former member of the housing authority but wasn’t part of the board at the time she made her complaint. She reported to the board that her observations of the Bruice house indicated they weren’t there often enough to meet the requirement of being residents for at least nine months out of the year.
Dr. Bruice is an obstetrician and gynecologist with a practice in Aspen. He works part-time in Denver. Donna Bruice said the family divides their time between Aspen and Denver, but she believes they can document that they spend enough time to qualify for home ownership at North 40. The housing authority board wants to see that documentation.
Donna Bruice said her pursuit of the restraining order against Hall isn’t an act of retribution. “My privacy was violated, and I want it stopped,” she said.
Hall declined to comment when contacted by The Aspen Times.
Bruice said a temporary restraining order was granted Wednesday and that a hearing was set for March 24 to determine if the order should be extended. Court records indicated Friday that the restraining order hadn’t been served to Hall yet, so it couldn’t be verified if a judge had approved it.
Donna Bruice also filed a harassment complaint against Hall with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s Deputy Levi Borst investigated but concluded that no criminal offense had taken place.
“Hall told me she used to live in the neighborhood of the Bruices,” Borst wrote in his report. “Hall said that she did not believe the [Bruices] were living there full time and did not meet the requirements of the Housing Authority, so as Hall would walk her dog every day, she would make a note of whether there was evidence of somebody living at the residence.”
Hall told the investigator she made all her observations from the street and sidewalk. Donna Bruice countered that some of Hall’s observations could only have been made by coming up to windows. Hall did more than give a casual glance at the house, Bruice claimed.
“Hall said that she presented her log at the meeting on March 3 because she wanted attention drawn to what she believed to be a dishonest use of the system,” Borst’s report said.
Hall told Borst that she had made her point and was not doing any more research. Borst quoted Hall as saying, “I don’t even care anymore.”
Bruice said she wants a restraining order even if Hall apparently is no longer her next-door neighbor.