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Realty show celebrity sues Washington County

December 28, 2010

Little People Stars Sue Washington County building inspectors
By Oregon Tax News

Little People, Big World stars Amy and Matt Roloff decided to sue Washington County for $200,000 and legal costs after John Wheeler, a Washington County building services inspector, allegedly trespassed on their Hillsboro farm on July 16, 2010. The complaint holds that Amy Roloff suffered severe distress after confronting Wheeler for trespassing. The plaintiffs named Wheeler’s supervisor, Jay Winchester, a co-defendant.

A crew filming the Roloffs’ reality television series caught the encounter and broadcasted it on network television.

Wheeler contends that he acted on his supervisor’s instructions, which permitted him to enter their property without seeking permission. KPTV reports that he allegedly passed numerous “No Trespassing” signs, passed a locked gate and ignored a call box he could have used to contact the family for permission to enter the property.

Once on the property, Amy Roloff confronted Wheeler. She asked for his identity and a disposable camera he was using to take photos. According to KPTV, Wheeler refused to identify himself or to turn over the camera. He then retreated to his county work vehicle as Amy Roloff called 911 for emergency assistance.
Apparently, Amy Roloff noticed the county logo on Wheeler’s truck door and climbed into the vehicle to identify Wheeler. This is when Wheeler allegedly came into physical contact with Amy Roloff by pushing her out of the truck. Wheeler then provided his business card before leaving.

The Roloffs are represented by Portland law firm Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt P.C. Their attorneys claim that the Roloffs have a heightened sensitivity to intruders because the “substantial celebrity” brought on by their television program. The Roloffs have had previous encounters with people who have threatened to harm them and their daughter and disclosed that burglars have successfully entered the family home in the past.

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