N.H. coast neighbors escalate parking fight

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HAMPTON, N.H. (AP) – Did the wife of a well-known lawyer pound a nail into a neighbor’s car tire? That could be the first question resolved in a lengthy battle over parking rights between two wealthy – and prominent – Seacoast residents.

The dispute between Peter Hutchins, former president of the state Bar Association, and neighbor Beverly Hollingworth, former president of the state Senate, has raged for nearly two years, with they and their spouses trading accusations of harassment, vandalism and stalking.

This Thursday, Hutchins’ wife, Kathy, is scheduled to face charges of criminal mischief in Hampton District Court. She has pleaded not guilty to hammering a nail into Hollingworth’s car tire. The charge was brought by Hampton Police.

The two sides also are scheduled for trial May 30 in Rockingham County Superior Court in a civil suit filed by Hutchins after he and his wife moved to Great Boars Head Avenue in 2004.

Hutchins claims that Hollingworth, her husband and their guests are not allowed to park at the end of the road, which provides the only access to Hollingworth’s home. He says they have turned his front lawn into a parking lot at times. Hollingworth says an old court decision established her right to park there.

The dispute has led to other court fights, including allegations that Kathy Hutchins turned a sprinkler on guests of Hollingworth’s husband, William Gilligan. Kathy Hutchins then filed a stalking complaint against Gilligan, saying he had threatened her in retaliation.

Last October, a judge dismissed the stalking complaint, finding that Kathy Hutchins had “engaged in a course of conduct that is both provocative and harassing” and that Gilligan was simply reacting.

After the sprinkler incident, Gilligan told Kathy Hutchins, “You have no class” and “You have no shame,” according to the ruling by Special Justice Thomas Rappa.

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