A woman who fled charges in Idaho now faces a second warrant for her arrest after skipping civil court proceedings.
According to court records, Denise Gottlieb was ordered to appear in Benewah County Dec. 30 for deposition in a civil case against her. While her attorney was present at the courthouse, Gottlieb herself allegedly remained in California to avoid arrest on criminal charges in Idaho.
Following her failure to appear, a $15,000 warrant has been issued for her arrest.
Gottlieb first came to public attention in 2017 when she moved to Benewah County to start a dog breeding business. She entered into a business partnership with area resident Peter Tryce, purchasing a piece of land near Emida and constructing a pole barn to house her operations.
However, neighbors soon complained over nuisance noise and odor from the area, appealing to both Gottlieb and the sheriff’s office for relief. The conflict escalated throughout 2017 and 2018, with Gottlieb reportedly intimidating neighbors through threatening signs, intentional placement of noisy animals near neighbors’ property lines and directing one or more employees to harass residents.
Conflicts came to a head in May 2018 when Gottlieb, driving a car along John’s Creek Road near Emida, swerved as though to hit the vehicle of Bobbi Slaton, which was pulled off the road as she was talking with neighbor Paul Maughan, who was on foot. Gottlieb was arrested for the incident, and in Dec. 2018 she entered a conditional guilty plea to reckless driving.
Judge Scott Wayman sentenced her to serve 180 days in the Benewah County Jail. However, Gottlieb was not in St. Maries to serve her sentence; while released on her own recognizance, she fled the state for California and has not since returned. A bench warrant was issued for her arrest.
Meanwhile, civil charges against Gottlieb have continued from Mr. and Mrs. Slaton and Ms. Secord against Gottlieb and Tryce. However, proceedings were reportedly delayed as Gottlieb proved unresponsive to discovery requests.
“Obtaining discovery from her has been a laborious task,” attorney Jonathon Hallin, representing Mrs. Secord and the Slatons, said in court. “The discovery asked for a list of her employees, and she said there were none. That was countered by sworn statements in protection orders from Benewah County.”
Gottlieb then also alleged that the employees were Mr. Tryce’s, which he denied. She also said the records were in the Benewah County property, but would not sign a release document to provide them.
Throughout the process, Gottlieb declined to appear in Benewah County, despite court requirements that she be present.
“The fact that there is a warrant for her arrest, I can’t just put that aside,” Judge Rich Christiansen said. “It’s within the same district and the same county. I can’t say it’s OK that she remain outside of Idaho when there is another court order that she be here.”
After three attempts to compel her to appear and numerous motions to dismiss by the defense, Judge Rich Christensen decided court action was needed. He declared her to be in contempt of court and ordered a second warrant with a bond set at $15,000. While Idaho law enforcement is limited in jurisdiction, she may be extradited to Idaho if arrested in a state with which Idaho has such an agreement.