LETTER- Now you know the rest of the story

Ms. Jeanne Seering has been my family's neighbor and good friend for many years. Your recent articles [The Fearless Consumer, December 14: "This old house," February 8: "The judge speaks"] paint a very unfair picture of her. I would like to point out a few facts [aggrieved renter Laura] Watkins failed to provide in her account:

• Ms. Watkins did not win her case. In fact, Judge William Barkley denied any of the back rent to which Ms. Watkins claimed she was entitled. In addition, as your story pointed out, Ms. Seering was awarded a portion of the deposit as compensation for cleaning the vacated property.

• Ms. Seering never refused to refund Ms. Watkins' deposit. She refused to refund it early– before Ms. Watkins had moved out.

• Ms. Watkins filed a warrant in debt on November 27. Yet in October, Ms. Watkins approached Ms. Seering and asked to renew her lease. Why would anyone want to continue to live in a house so "extremely dangerous"?

• Furthermore, when asked by Judge Barkley if– at the time of her lease renewal request– she had pointed out anything wrong with the cottage to Ms. Seering, Ms. Watkins admitted she had not.

• Finally, on her "day in court," Judge Barkley ruled that Ms. Watkins had no grounds for a constructive eviction, a point completely omitted from your article.

I won't speculate on Ms. Watkins' motives. However, when she blatantly attacks Ms. Seering's character in a public forum as she has done here, I cannot remain silent.

And now you know... the Rest of the Story.

Sheila Fox


A call from Barbara Nordin, the Fearless Consumer, to Seering for the original story was not returned. She did not attempt to call Seering after the case was heard..– editor.