Neighbourhood watch blogger wins in court
MONTREAL - A request for a restraining order against an Outremont man who chronicles the day-to-day behaviour of his neighbours on a blog was rejected by a judge Monday.
Pierre Lacerte has maintained his blog, Accommodements Outremont, for the past six years chronicling what he perceives as bylaw violations from Outremont's Hassidic community.
It created tension on his street and triggered accusations of Anti-Semitism thrown in Lacerte's direction, to the point where Michael Rosenberg sought the restraining order that was rejected Monday.
The judge ruled Rosenberg was over-reacting, but she wasn't all that kind to Lacerte either.
"He's excessive, meticulous, passionate, and difficult," wrote Judge Manon Ouimet, "but I do not have any evidence he's a violent person."
Much of Lacerte's ire is drawn from an unmarked, inconspicuous synagogue in a Hutchison St. apartment that he contends creates an undue level of disturbance on his street.
But Lacerte vehemently denies he has any prejudice against the Hassidic community and insists his problems are with Rosenberg specifically,
"Lots of my neighbours are Hassidic Jews, and I never had any problems with them," Lacerte told reporters at the Montreal courthouse.
Rosenberg was not in court to hear the ruling Monday, but the prosecutor responsible for the file says the whole point of the retraining order was to prevent things from getting out of control.
"It was needed for the plaintiffs to feel in security in their own neighbourhood," Jasmine Guillaume said.
Lacerte says he has no plans to take down his web site or stop his crusade against his neighbours. And he will be back in court next year to defend himself in a $375,000 defamation law suit filed by Rosenberg.