Tying Up the Courts

(WSVN) - A South Florida man says residents terrify him so much, he’s trying to get restraining orders against them. But those same people argue that he’s the real problem. The Nightteam’s Patrick Fraser has this special report Tying Up the Courts.

We went to court to see two men trying to get a restraining order against each other. One of them wasn’t happy to see us.

Patrick Neptune, asking for restraining order: “Better to do and leave me the [expletive] alone!”

Patrick Neptune and John Phillips were both asking for restraining orders against each other.

Patrick Neptune: “I don’t want to be near him. I don’t want to see him.”

Seeing Neptune is nothing new for the Phillips family.

John Phillips, family battling Neptune: “And said that this is my bridge.”

Phillips says it began years ago when his great-grandmother met Neptune while walking across a bridge at her condo complex.

John Phillips: “Saying that, ‘You cannot go on my bridge. You’re trespassing.’ And from that point on, he would just target her.”

After the bridge incident, surveillance cameras show Neptune would bring a chair and sit staring at the elderly woman’s back porch.

She didn’t want to go on camera, but said if she came onto her porch, Neptune would videotape her.

The police were called over and over.

Ileene Phillips, family battling Neptune: “He would sit there and say my mother was harassing him instead of him harassing my mother.”

Neptune then went to court to get a restraining order against the older woman. He failed. She got a restraining order against him. Neptune went back to court to appeal that.

Ileene Phillips: “He filed the first motion — it got denied. He filed a second motion — it got denied.”

Neptune also failed when he sent the elderly woman a letter demanding she pay him $100,000 for making so many 911 calls about him.

Phillips and his great-grandmother aren’t the only ones dealing with Patrick Neptune.

These are court records that show Neptune has filed 22 cases against Broward County residents, which includes eight attempts to get restraining orders against people.

Ten people like Phillips and his great-grandmother have filed restraining orders against Neptune.

Scott Rubinchik, faced Neptune in court: “Just the terror that he’s caused to so many different individuals in the development in which he lives.”

Scott Rubinchik has represented several people he says Neptune has come after.

Scott Rubinchik: “He preys on people he perceives to be weaker than him.”

But it’s not always the elderly. According to court records, Neptune was upset with a Miramar Police officer who gave him traffic tickets.

Neptune sent the officer a letter demanding he pay him $5,000 for harassing him.

He didn’t get that, but police say Neptune would drive back and forth in front of the officer’s home, then stop in front of the house and stare.

Police wrote Neptune was “very agitated” and “verbally aggressive” towards any Miramar Police officer he comes across.

Miramar Police were so concerned they sent an internal alert telling officers to use extreme caution when dealing with this subject.

Scott Rubinchik: “When I saw him in court, he walked up to me and told me to go to hell.”

Rubinchik says he felt Neptune’s wrath for defending people that Neptune came after.

Scott Rubinchik: “He’s threatened my office. That he was going to come and blow up the office.”

Phillips was so worried about Neptune, he carried his concealed weapon when he walked his great-grandmother’s dog.

Neptune drove by once, twice and then the third time.

John Phillips: “The tire started squealing. The engine just revved and then he just floored it right towards me. And at that moment, that’s when I was drawing my firearm.”

Patrick Fraser: “You really thought he was going to try to run you over?”

John Phillips: “Without a doubt, yes.”

In court, Neptune had a different version…

Patrick Neptune: “When I stopped to confront him to ask him why he was filming me, he pulls a gun on me and threatened to shoot me.”

Neptune then sent letters he signed to residents at his condo headlined, “Extremely Urgent: John Phillips is armed and dangerous.”

John Phillips: “It was honestly terrifying but at the same time it was also embarrassing because they feel like I’m somebody that’s dangerous.”

Back in court, Rubinchik wanted the judge to see the pattern of Neptune going after people.

Scott Rubinchik: “[She] is not the first individual that you’ve had a problem with in your community, correct?”

Patrick Neptune: “I’m not going to answer.”

The judge refused to grant either man a restraining order against the other.

Outside, Neptune stopped to deny he has filed suits against many Broward residents.

Patrick Neptune: “Not individuals, but the master association.”

Twenty-two court cases filed by Neptune tell a different story though and Rubinchik says it has to end.

Scott Rubinchik: “Absolutely. He is abusing the court system.”

One lawsuit after another, over and over, tying up the courts.

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