Greg and Kim Hoffman endured harassment by their neighbor for years. So when the White Bear Lake couple faced another court case involving the same woman, they decided to end it — on their terms.
“Kim and I said, ‘It’s time to move on for all parties involved,’ ” Greg Hoffman said Monday. “We thought, ‘What do we gain?’ Lori’s out of the neighborhood, and we were never out for a pound of flesh.”
The case against the former neighbor, Lori E. Christensen, 51, was set for trial Monday in Ramsey County District Court, where Christensen faced two counts of stalking and one count of violating a restraining order for allegedly filming the Hoffmans’ property.
After consulting with the Hoffmans last week, the Ramsey County Attorney’s office dismissed the case.
Greg Hoffman said the county attorney was prepared to go forward, but that he and his wife had moved on with their lives after Christensen was banned from the neighborhood under terms of probation for a different harassment case involving them.
A filing Friday by Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Karen Kugler said that the case was being dismissed “in the interests of justice.”
“We also took into consideration Ms. Christensen’s current probation terms from a prior conviction which, among other things, prohibit her from coming within one mile of the victim’s residence until June 2017,” said a statement from county attorney spokesman Dennis Gerhardstein.
The case was charged in 2012. In 2013, Christensen pleaded guilty to violating a restraining order the Hoffmans had against her, admitting that she could have “inadvertently” filmed their home and car. She was given another five years’ probation to be served after the term expiring in 2017.
She successfully appealed her plea last November, bringing the case back to the start. In reversing Christensen’s plea, the Minnesota Court of Appeals noted that she did not admit to filming members of the Hoffman family.
The Hoffmans first obtained a restraining order against Christensen in 2010, alleging that she mocked Kim Hoffman, a recovering alcoholic, by posting a sign that said, “I saw mommy kissing a breathalyzer.” They also alleged that she made obscene gestures at them, among other accusations. They obtained a second restraining order in 2012.
When Christensen won her appeal, Greg Hoffman said he wasn’t giving up. Monday, he said his family was ready to move on. “Neither of us care how Lori perceives [the dismissal],” he said. “It really doesn’t matter.”