Trouble in paradise: Palm Beach mansion owner sues oceanfront neighbor, alleging barking dogs, rude behavior

The mansion at 1236 S. Ocean Blvd. in Palm Beach.

A dispute between neighbors who own oceanfront palaces in Palm Beach has spilled into court again.

In the latest round, former oil trader Lamia Jacobs says former Goldman Sachs partner John Thornton has engaged in a “campaign of harassment and bullying” that includes barking dogs and calls to police and code enforcement.

Jacobs, who lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 2002 paid $17.5 million for the mansion at 100 Emerald Beach Way in Palm Beach. Thornton, a Wall Street titan, paid $77.5 million in 2008 for the mansion at 1236 S. Ocean Blvd. Thornton later bought the vacant lot at 100 Emerald Beach Way, which sits between Jacobs’ property and South Ocean Boulevard.

Jacobs’ suit was filed this month in Palm Beach County court. The plaintiff, 100 Emerald Beach Way LC, details a list of laments against defendants John and Margaret Thornton.

“Even while attacking 100 Emerald with a series of invented claims and demands, the Thorntons have allowed dogs to run wild on their property, barking at great volume and length,” Jacobs’ suit says.

“In one particular instance,” the suit continues, “plaintiff’s landscaper had a bucket truck on Emerald Beach Way for the purpose of trimming plaintiff’s trees. Rather than raise any concerns directly with plaintiff’s staff, the Thorntons called police even though the landscapers were on the street only for the amount of time necessary to properly trim the trees which could only be reached from the street and were not interfering in any way with defendants’ use of the easement.”

The backstory includes a 2014 suit filed by the Thorntons against Jacobs. In that suit, the Thorntons demanded that Jacobs tear down a concrete seawall that blocked their beach access. That suit also said Emerald Beach Way is “a private road on private property” and that parking isn’t allowed there.

The dispute often devolves into the Thorntons’ employees yelling at Jacobs’ staff, the suit says.

The Shiny Sheet reports that Jacobs is appealing a recent decision from the town’s Architectural Commission to approve two new tennis courts on the Thorntons’ six-acre property. An attorney for Jacobs said the courts are too close to her client’s home and will create noise and parking problems. The Town Council will hear the case next month.

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