Politics

No End in Sight for Rand Paul’s Legal Battle With Neighbor

As prosecutors appeal 30-day prison sentence, Paul and Boucher both file civil suits

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is embroiled in three separate cases surrounding his assault by his neighbor, Rene Boucher, 60, last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Rand Paul’s battle in the courts with his neighbor over an assault incident last fall that left Paul with six broken ribs does not appear to be ending anytime soon.

U.S. Special Attorney Bradley Shepard on Friday filed a motion to appeal the 30-day prison sentence of the neighbor, Rene Boucher, who pleaded guilty to felony assault for tackling the senator off his lawn mower after he had “had enough” of seeing Paul’s “unsightly” yard trimmings piled on Paul’s side of their property line.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will be the new venue for the case, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

The prosecution has sought 21 months in prison for Boucher, 60, a Bowling Green, Kentucky, doctor. But at his lower-court sentencing earlier this month, the judge ordered him to spend just 30 days behind bars, commit 100 hours to community service, and pay a $10,000 fine.

He has already paid the full $10,000.

Boucher, who pleaded guilty in January, has denied the tackle was politically motivated — even as neighbors disputed media reports about the seriousness of the yard battle. If evidence showed it was politically motivated, Boucher would face far harsher penalties since Paul is an elected official in the federal government.

“Dr. Boucher has adamantly denied any such political motivations throughout, as even the suggestion of them is completely unfounded and simply not true,” his defense wrote in a memorandum earlier this month.

The district court judge agreed.

Court documents during the criminal case claimed Boucher did not like that Paul continually dropped mounds of branches near the line separating their property and at one point poured gasoline on them and set them on fire — giving himself second-degree burns in the process.

In addition to the criminal proceedings, Paul and Boucher have filed lawsuits against each other.

In Paul’s civil complaint, his attorney, Kyle Bumgarner, has alleged that the senator faces an “increased likelihood of, and susceptibility to, injury and disease and ... he has been deprived of his enjoyment of life” as a result of Boucher’s assault.

Paul is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and has also requested an injunction against Boucher to prohibit him from contacting the senator or his family.

Boucher’s attorney, Matt Baker, motioned to dismiss the lawsuit — and filed a counter lawsuit of his own.

In Boucher’s counter suit, Baker cites alleged violations by Paul and his family of the the Rivergreen Homeowners Association covenants that say each owner “shall refrain from any act or use of his Lot which could reasonably cause embarrassment, discomfort, annoyance or nuisance to the neighborhood.”

Paul’s office could not immediately be reached for comment on this story.

ICYMI: Cattle Call, Grifters and Counting to a Billion: Congressional Hits and Misses

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.