Free speech & property rights legal defense fund.

My name is Paul Drinkwine. I was born with my last name and love it. I’m someone who firmly believes the actions of business owners and leaders in the community they serve should be known, for better or worse. My spouse and I are in the midst of a five-year legal battle with the a local business owner in Seattle. He and his family also sued four of my immediate neighbors. He and his family's legal shenanigans and legal bullying tactics include, but are far from limited to, taking me to court for flipping him off.

After moving into our existing community, this business owner and his family notified the five other property owners, who have an easement over their property, that they would be building over a portion of the easement. He and his family admitted it would interfere with my parking when they emailed their intent. Building over the easement the way stated they were going to would have eliminated the ability to use our parking spot as designed. There’s no end in sight for this legal battle. Our legal bills are rapidly approaching $100,000.00 and going to be accelerating.

I’ve struggled with going public about this business owners actions public for years. I know at least one other property owner sued by him and his family was struggling with going public, I hope they will step forward now. For a business owner to come into an established community, demand more than what he agreed to when he bought his home, and then proceed to engage in some of the most jaw dropping shenanigans and legal tactics the way he and his family have, is reprehensible in my opinion. I believe business owners should be giving back to the communities they live in, not taking from and destroying those communities. I do believe he and his family are bullying me, and have been since I told him and his family they could not build over the easement.

Over the last five years there is one thing I now know to be true… Our judicial system is a mess. We had several outside lawyers review the case and the rulings, and each one has been astounded by the way the judge ruled on this case. The judge upheld the easement yet did not rule about them building over the easement. I believe she did more damage than good to that case. I also believe the local business owner and his family have exploited an obvious failure of the court. Appeals court here we come.

The business owner's latest legal bullying tactic was to take me to court for flipping him off. Yes, you read that right. After the five years of the living hell he and his family thrust upon this community, I figured flipping him off was, as the Supreme Court put it, protected by the First Amendment. They knew winning was a long shot but he decided to roll the dice. The Supreme Court has called flipping someone off protected speech but the judge they landed disagreed with the Supreme Court… Appeals court here we are again!

I believe this business owner is a bully who is attempting to bully us into legal submission. My spouse and I have made the decision to keep fighting as long as needed. We refuse to cave into his bullying. Our property rights and freedom of speech are that important to us. We are asking you to have our backs and help us defray the cost of advocating for property rights as well as freedom of speech… You could easily be in our shoes one day.

We had a lawyer review this ask for help prior to doing so. We anticipate getting served again by business owner and his family over this ask to help us defend our property rights and freedom of speech. We also fully expect he and his family to get nastier than they ever have been in the past. We expect our legal costs to skyrocket due to this ask for help defending our property rights as well as our freedom of speech.

Supporting us will not only help with this burden we did not ask for; your support will send a signal to business owners that their behaviors do matter. I know times are tough for a lot of us right now. Even a small anonymous amount will help us and it will also send a clear signal to business owners that their actions in the community matter.
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    • $20 
    • 10 mos
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    • $30 
    • 11 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 15 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 15 mos
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Organizer

Paul Drinkwine 
Organizer
Seattle, WA