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updated: 3/5/2014 5:33 PM

Horse farm owner drops lawsuit over neighbor's noise

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  • Dora Christensen, owner of Epona Dressage, a Maple Park horse farm, has dropped her lawsuit against her neighbor, according to court records.

      Dora Christensen, owner of Epona Dressage, a Maple Park horse farm, has dropped her lawsuit against her neighbor, according to court records.
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The owner of a Maple Park horse farm has dropped her lawsuit against her neighbor -- for now.

Dora Christensen, owner of Epona Dressage, voluntarily dismissed her lawsuit against Donald Cinkus, who she accused of purposefully damaging her business by erecting a motocross track on his land and sounding a large air horn to scare horses, according to Kane County court records.

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The lawsuit also touched upon the larger issue of the balance between private property rights in rural areas and adjacent, nearby businesses,

The lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice by Judge Edward Schrieber, meaning it can be refiled in the future.

"Plaintiffs no longer wish to pursue these claims in this matter," wrote Christensen's attorney, Stephen Scallan, in Friday's court motion.

Neither Christensen nor Scallan returned phone messages.

Despite being served with the lawsuit, Cinkus had not shown up in court since the suit was filed in September 2013. There was to be a hearing Feb. 28 during which Christensen's camp was to argue for a declaratory judgment, meaning a judge could have awarded her damages without Cinkus being present.

Instead, the suit was dismissed.

Contacted by phone this week, Cinkus said none of the instances cited in Christensen's lawsuit and in an interview with her were true before abruptly hanging up.

Christensen sued last fall for damages exceeding $50,000, arguing that Cinkus made a large motocross track in spring 2012 less than 100 yards from an outdoor training area at her farm on the 1N800 block of Francis Road. Dozens of riders created dust and noise at the track, she argued.

In rural areas of Kane County, landowners are allowed to ride motocross cycles, ATVs and other vehicles on their property virtually all day.

Christensen argued her horse farm was there first, and Cinkus crossed a line when he shot off a large propane cannon on Aug. 4, 2013, that caused a horse to throw its rider.

Cinkus, 54, was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. The case is set for trial on April 16. A message left with his attorney, Richard Williams, was not immediately returned.

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