35 lawsuits later, judge sends Aspen woman, 68, to jail
ASPEN – An Aspen woman who is involved in a combination of 35 local lawsuits and restraining orders was jailed Tuesday following a hearing in Pitkin County Court.
Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely sent Jan Hamilton, 68, to jail after determining she had violated terms of a permanent protection order filed by Joanna Green in July 2009. Bond was set at $5,000. As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, Hamilton remained in the custody of the Pitkin County jail.
Green, a resident of Aspen Country Inn, is among a number of tenants at the senior housing complex who claim Hamilton has stalked, menaced and harassed them. Several tenants have restraining orders against Hamilton, who in turn has either sued or filed protection orders against them.
The judge noted that “not in my 10 years as judge” had she seen someone as litigious as Hamilton.
Fernandez-Ely ordered that Hamilton not return to Aspen Country Inn except to pick up her belongings in the company of a police officer.
Yesterday’s hearing was held to see if Hamilton is competent enough to stand trial for Thursday’s scheduled eviction hearing prompted by the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority, which oversees Aspen Country Inn. Hamilton, who is divorced, has alleged that she is being discriminated against because she is a lesbian and that there is a smear campaign against her.
She has filed all of her lawsuits and restraining orders herself, without an attorney.
“I find this to be very sad,” Hamilton told those in attendance. “There’s not one person in this room I hate.”
Later, when the judge asked those in attendance if they are involved in litigation involving Hamilton, 10 raised their hands.
Hamilton, who is banned from Crossroads Baptist Church because of her alleged pattern of harassment and menacing, was found to be competent by Vince Savage, a local psychologist and director of Valley Information and Assistance.
Savage testified that Hamilton, who hails from Texas and has a Ph.D. in nutrition, has no psychological problems and is able to make sound decisions. He added that she does not pose a physical harm or threat to herself or others.
“Is she irritating? Yes,” Savage said.
One tenant of Aspen Country Inn, 88-year-old William Leonard, testified that Hamilton had called Aspen police several times to complain that he was fighting with his girlfriend of 33 years. However, when the cops showed up it was apparent that there was no quarreling between the two, said Leonard, who was represented by Aspen lawyer Jeff Wertz.
Leonard didn’t mince words about his feelings for Hamilton.
“I dislike you immensely,” he said.
Hamilton replied, “Well, I am OK with you. I want us to learn together peacefully.”
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