Haverhill Judge Denies Pineau’s Request for Harassment Order Against Jennings

Lloyd Jennings appears in Haverhill District Court on Oct. 3, 2019. (WHAV News photograph)

Caroline Pineau and Lloyd Jennings faced off in Haverhill District Court Thursday when the Stem marijuana shop owner petitioned Judge Stephen Abany for a harassment protection order against the contractor, arguing that she lives her life in fear he will harm her or her Washington Street business.

Pineau’s request came less than one week after Jennings, business partner J. Bradford Brooks and City Council hopeful Stavros Dimakis filed suit to appeal the special permit approved by Haverhill’s City Council in June. Testifying before Abany Thursday, a shaken but confident Pineau was asked to illustrate at least three instances of times in which Jennings committed willful and malicious acts done to intimidate or cause her fear.

“I want to be left alone, I’m fearful of Mr. Jennings, I don’t want him around me, I don’t want him around my daughter, I don’t want him around my family and I’m scared,” Pineau said under oath.

As Jennings and his Boston-based attorneys Scott Schlager and Jose Centeio looked on, Pineau described how Jennings allegedly demanded $30,000 from her after she purchased the building from previous owners Sons of Italy in October 2018. When Pineau declined, Jennings “threatened to fight them every step of the way and slow down the opening of her business,” she told Abany. Jennings also allegedly “threatened to burn down the deck” at Pineau’s shop, she said.

Among other instances of alleged harassment include Sept. 30, when Pineau said Jennings and Schlager showed up uninvited to Stem at 124 Washington St. and began taking pictures. Pineau was not at the shop at the time, but her female contractor was there and called police. In addition to taking photos of the construction site, Pineau said Jennings has “incessantly” been calling OSHA and Haverhill’s Inspectional Services department to complain about her business practices and job site.

While Abany was sympathetic to Pineau’s plight, he ultimately ruled her request did not meet the legal qualifications for the harassment order.

“When you tell me you’re upset, I believe you,” he said. “When you tell me you feel threatened, I believe you, but his behavior—as unpleasant as it is—doesn’t rise to the level of harassment under the harassment prevention law.”

Pineau’s civil case alleging extortion and intimidation on the part of Jennings and Brooks continues in Superior Court. Cannabis advocates from across the state are set to rally to support her this Saturday in Haverhill’s Railroad Square starting at 11 a.m.

Comments are closed.