Monkey Problems In Rural Hendry In Neighbor's Noise Dispute
LABELLE, FL. -- In a continuing attack on the increasing number of Hendry County non-human primate farms and associated monkey facilities, a Pioneer Plantation family is continuing a four-year old court suit against the owners of The Talkin' Monkey Project, Thomas D. Misotti and Deborah D. Misotti.
The Misottis operate a facility in central Hendry county next door to Mary C. Harrison and James R. Harrison allegedly containing hundreds of animals.
The Harrisons, in an amended complaint filed this week in court claim the Hendry Board of County Comissioners have illegally allowed the Misotttis to house non-human primates in the rural community zoned as rural residential. Additionally, they claim they are being deprived of sleep due to the constant noise coming from the wild animals.
They also filed under Federal Law for violation of their civil rights and due process because of rulings by the County Commission and zoning officials.
Although zoning regulations for the area do allow animal husbandry, domestic animals, and agricultural use, the Harrisons say monkeys and other non-human primates should not fall under those categories, saying animal husbandry under normal definitions is raising domestic animals for food or fur production, which is not happening at the property next to them.
Although the Hendry Commission earlier had given permission for the facility at 1655 Panama Avenue, the Harrisons claim county officials are acting in secret and improperly interpreting zoning language.
The dispute between neighbors has been ongoing for years. In December 2011, Thomas and Mary Misotti filed an action against Mary Harrison for alleged violence, seeking an order of protection. The court denied the petition.
In late 2012 Mary and James Harrison were charged with breach of peace. The court found Mary not guilty April 11. 2013, but James was found guilty and the court withheld the adjudication of guilty and placed him on probation for six months plus assessing court costs of $570 and an order of no contact with Misotti..
In March of 2010 Deborah Misotti was charged with violation of county ordinance. She was found not guilty in April.
The current case is filed in Hendry Circuit Court under Case 11-32-CA.