WESTFIELD, NJ — A Superior Court Judge dismissed the civil lawsuit against the former owners of 657 Boulevard, now infamously known as “the Watcher” house, on Wednesday, according to a report on NJ.com. According to that story, the judge said she dismissed three counts of fraud because there was no evidence the former owners intentionally hid a letter from “the Watcher” from the people they were selling to.
The report also says that judge dismissed all four counts in a counter claim, saying there was no proof that the new owners tried to harass them by filing their suit. The home’s previous owners had sought compensatory damages.
When news of the disturbing letters signed “the Watcher” hit in the summer of 2015, the case itself was already about a year old, Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky told reporters at a town council meeting that June. It came to the media’s attention when the home’s new owners filed a lawsuit against the sellers, saying that they should have disclosed that they, too, had received a “Watcher” letter before closing the deal.
“I don’t believe that my clients, as the sellers, had any legal obligation to the buyers that they failed to comply with,” Attorney Richard Kaplow said in January 2016.
In 2015, Westfield Police Chief David Wayman told TAPinto Westfield that police had three letters in evidence, all of which were sent to the home’s buyers. In February of 2017, according to NJ.com, a “fourth, more ‘sinister’” letter was sent to the house from “the Watcher.”
The house recently went back on the market for an asking price of $1,125,000. The current owners bought it for $1.35 million. According to court documents, the current owners say that they have been unable to sell the house because they would not sell the property without first disclosing to prospective buyers the existence of the letters from “the Watcher” that they received.