Cockatoo owner appeals ruling, takes case to Superior Court
The case of the cursing cocking is not over yet.
Bird owner Lynne Taylor has filed an appeal that she says has been granted by the Superior Court.
"If we lose in Superior, we'll go to Supreme Court," she said during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.
During a Municipal Court hearing last Thursday, Judge Joel Gersenblatt ruled Taylor guilty of violating the city’s noise ordinance, as her 12-year-old umbrella cockatoo, Willy, squawks repetitively.
The ordinance reads that an animal owner whose pet causes a disturbance through “habitual howling, yelping, barking or other noise,” can be issued a fine for $15, which is the case with Taylor.
Also, her neighbors, Kathy Melker and Craig Fontaine, alleged that Taylor trained the bird to cuss at them. They filed numerous reports with the Warwick Police Department in relation to the bird, as well as other instances with Taylor.
As it has been noted in police reports, plus recent interviews, Melker claims that Taylor has assaulted Fontaine with a garden hose, thrown rocks at them over the fence between their properties, shot Fontaine and Melker’s property and vehicles with a BB gun, and tried to capture Melker’s cat.
Taylor denied the allegations. She said she was raking rocks and throwing them behind her, and that Melker assaulted her own vehicle. Officers noted that Melker and Fontaine’s vehicles did not bear significant evidence to prove any damage.
Further, Taylor said the cat often defecated in her yard and she trapped it to bring it to a shelter.
“Everybody pits me as the villain,” Taylor said. “If I've done anything to offend [Melker], I'm truly sorry. I don't have any ill will towards her. I've never met her.”
Melker, who was interviewed via phone Wednesday morning, laughed in response to the appeal.
“I think it’s so funny because she is wasting more and more money,” Melker said. “What a ridiculous thing. Over a $15 fine? You’ve got to love it.”
Melker said she and Fontaine have officially left the state to build a new home and don’t intend to hire a lawyer and dispute the appeal. However, she said she has a disc of evidence that is “devastating” to Taylor’s case.
“I’ll be there in court with my videos,” said Melker. “If she wants to keep wasting money on lawyers, more power to her. It just goes to show you the level of intelligence. I would have paid the $15 months ago and just said, ‘Oh, well.’ I think it’s a riot.”
As for Taylor, she said Willy isn’t swearing, nor has she taught him to cuss. She claims she doesn’t even swear.
“Willy isn't saying what people think he's saying – he's not a circus freak," said Taylor, noting that she isn't thrilled with photos of Willy that have been circulated in the media. "And it's not about me – it's about someone trying to hurt my feathered friend, my family member. They are moving and they want to go out with a bang.”
But Melker said she and Fontaine are simply glad to no longer live next to Taylor.
“Lynne Taylor is a malicious, malignant, offensive woman and I hope to never meet anybody like her in my lifetime ever again,” Melker said. “She’ll find somebody new to harass now. She’ll find new people to torment.”