July 11, 2020

NO ONE HATES JUST BLM:

Portland Place couple who confronted protesters have a long history of not backing down (Jeremy Kohler, 7/11/20, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

[T]he McCloskeys are almost always in conflict with others, typically over control of private property, what people can do on that property, and whose job it is to make sure they do it.

They filed a lawsuit in 1988 to obtain their house, a castle built for Adolphus Busch's daughter and her husband during St. Louis' brief run as a world-class city in the early 20th century. At the McCloskeys' property in Franklin County, they have sued neighbors for making changes to a gravel road and twice in just over two years evicted tenants from a modular home on their property.

Mark McCloskey sued a former employer for wrongful termination and his sister, father and his father's caretaker for defamation.

The McCloskeys have filed at least two "quiet title" suits asserting squatter's rights on land they've occupied openly and hostilely -- their terms -- and claimed as their own. In an ongoing suit against Portland Place trustees in 2017, the McCloskeys say they are entitled to a 1,143-square-foot triangle of lawn in front of property that is set aside as common ground in the neighborhood's indenture.

It was that patch of green protesters saw when they filed through the gate. Mark McCloskey said in an affidavit that he has defended the patch before by pointing a gun at a neighbor who had tried to cut through it.

This court record shows the McCloskeys challenged a Portland Place resident "at gun point" who they said encroached on their property. 

The McCloskeys have filed many other lawsuits. They sued a man who sold them a Maserati they claimed was supposed to come with a box of hard-to-find parts. In one trip to the courthouse in November 1996, Mark McCloskey filed two lawsuits, one against a dog breeder whom he said sold him a German shepherd without papers and the other against the Central West End Association for using a photo of their house in a brochure for a house tour after the McCloskeys had told them not to.

"I guess we were saving gas," he would quip in a deposition in another case about why he filed two lawsuits at once.

Mark McCloskey has run off trustees trying to make repairs to the wall surrounding his property, insisting that he and his wife own it. In 2013, he destroyed bee hives placed just outside of the mansion's northern wall by the neighboring Jewish Central Reform Congregation and left a note saying he did it, and if the mess wasn't cleaned up quickly he would seek a restraining order and attorneys fees. The congregation had planned to harvest the honey and pick apples from trees on its property for Rosh Hashanah.

Mark McCloskey left this note after he destroyed bee hives placed just outside of the mansion's northern wall by the neighboring Jewish Central Reform Congregation.

"The children were crying in school," Rabbi Susan Talve said. "It was part of our curriculum."

Posted by at July 11, 2020 8:44 AM

  

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