Kamis, 03 Januari 2008

Leo's Hoop Dreams, Legal Nightmare (E! Online)

Los Angeles (E! Online) - Leonardo DiCaprios neighbors may have been given more than a sporting chance at victory but the legal score so far is 2-nil in favor of the actor.

A Los Angeles judge has, for the second time in less than three months, ruled that a lawsuit filed against DiCaprio by his Hollywood Hills neighbors, who allege that a basketball court erected on his property destabilized the area surrounding their swimming pool, cannot move forward until more facts are added to their complaint.

Ronald and Joan Linclau filed the apparently information-deficient suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on May 10, seeking at least $250,000 in damages from the Oscar-nominated actor.

It seems to me the complaint is uncertain, Superior Court Judge Tricia Ann Bigelow said. It states that everyone told everyone to do everything and everyone knows the actions were wrong.

Bigelow has given the Linclaus 15 days in which to bolster their complaint with more substantial facts, lest she dismiss the case entirely. On Oct. 22, she made a similar ruling, albeit without a deadline.

The Linclaus allege that while constructing a basketball court outside his home in July 2004, DiCaprio, or at least his hired hands, excavated land and removed plants belonging to the couple.

They claim the impromptu landscaping undermined a slope running behind their home, which provided support for their pool. Per their lawsuit, the Linclaus claim DiCaprio was not only aware that his construction encroached on the duos property, but he flat out refused their request to stop building the court.

The 33-year-old star, who was not present in court, filed legal papers of his own, claiming it was an illegal railroad tie retaining wall erected by the couple themselves, not his court construction, which destabilized the land around the Linclaus pool. He furthermore claims the duo filed a suit simply as a way of financing the backyard of their dreams.

Seeking a scapegoat for the potential problems that they themselves created and the creation of a backyard for themselves free of charge, [the Linclaus] filed this suit in an apparent attempt to extort the cost of construction of a new retaining wall, DiCaprios court papers claim.

Should the couple sufficiently amend their complaint with more solid backing, a trial date has already been penciled in for July 21.

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