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 Post subject: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 7:44 am 
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The witch is back. x.x; Yea, the bleach lady moved to the same complex as me but she's ramped up her harassment. Not only is she spreading rumors with the other residents and circulating a petition about me to get me evicted for being a "godless homosexual" (I wish I was kidding and gl to her on that) but she's sneaked into my apartment to bother me and has begun to harass my current roommate. (who's whole response to being told I'm a godless lesbian was "She's bi. And a Buddhist. So?") The whole sneaking into my apartment is just a whole 'nother level in my opinion; it's private property and nobody gave her permission.

I'm not trying to be a baby but this is just getting absurd. Should I get a lawyer or something to make her stop?

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 7:57 am 
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Is the back story about this around somewhere? I don't think I saw it.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 8:12 am 
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I'm not sure why you didn't call the police if someone entered your residence without permission.


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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 8:13 am 
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If someone has come into your home without your permission? I'd have the cops there so fast she wouldn't know what to do. Are you kidding?? I can't bear the thought of someone coming into my home! That is not ok! How do you know though? That's going to be important. But I wouldn't wait on informing the police and maybe getting a temporary restraining order

Eta it looks like you said she came in when you were there. What did you do/say? I would still alert the police and not wait for it to happen again, there is definite reason for you to fear another incident

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Last edited by RandiJM on Sat May 07, 2011 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 8:13 am 
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If she comes into your apartment without being invited than you call the cops. Not now, but if she does it again. Tell her that, too, before she tries it again. If you are afraid to say it to her face (and she is wacky by the sounds of it), type it up in an official letter, sign it and put it in her mailbox.

Not much you can do about stupid things people say about you.


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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 8:26 am 
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The more or less back story is we used to be roommates and she was er..terrible. Same kind of stuff and little other things.

But yes, I was home, however she didn't ask to enter, she walked in past my current roommate and tried to enter my room in the apartment itself, I asked her calmly to leave and shut my bedroom door, locking it, and she continued to try to open it, saying I couldn't keep her out. Then when my roommate made her leave the apartment she sat outside of it for hours, starting stuff with random other residents. I guess the whole gossiping thing bothers me only because her intent is literally to get me kicked out >.< Which I'm fairly sure she can't do, the complex can't evict me based on sexuality or religion, no matter how much this woman wishes.

And yea, I think the letter sounds like a good idea, and I think if she hangs outside of my apartment again I'll let the security guard know she's not welcome. (we aren't allowed to loiter unless it's our own apartment)

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 8:38 am 
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Sounds like she is full on cray cray and will get herself kicked out way before you. I doubt the other residents won't see this straight away.

But yes I would inform security, keep any notes/take photos/keep a log etc. If you write down all conversations and events they will be taken more seriously later on because memory isn't so great as evidence.

But otherwise I would bake some cookies for your awesome housemate (for defending you, not because you owe her) and move on. Don't answer the door if it's her. Call police if she causes any further problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 9:07 am 
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I would write this up as officially as possible asap, and have both you and your current housemate sign it for the sake of record keeping. Then, write a letter and leave it in her mailbox and with security. Ask your current housemate to sign it, too. If anything like that happens again, do as others have said and call the police / get a restraining order.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 9:30 am 
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PhoenixKitty wrote:
The witch is back. x.x; Yea, the bleach lady moved to the same complex as me but she's ramped up her harassment. Not only is she spreading rumors with the other residents and circulating a petition about me to get me evicted for being a "godless homosexual" (I wish I was kidding and gl to her on that) but she's sneaked into my apartment to bother me and has begun to harass my current roommate. (who's whole response to being told I'm a godless lesbian was "She's bi. And a Buddhist. So?") The whole sneaking into my apartment is just a whole 'nother level in my opinion; it's private property and nobody gave her permission.

I'm not trying to be a baby but this is just getting absurd. Should I get a lawyer or something to make her stop?


Her behavior is actually covered under stalking and harassment laws. First write her a cease and desist letter, then have one hand delivered and sent via certified mail as well (an attorney could be very helpful with this!), if she continues to attempt to contact and slander, file a police report, and then just keep filing them to show a pattern of behavior. This all leads up to filing an order of restraint, and possibly charges against her.

Document, document, document! Every time you hear about her slandering you, walking past your apartment, every attempt at contacting. EVERYTHING. Dates, what was said to who. Be thorough.

You're not being a baby, it's extremely violating when someone invites themselves into your lives with the intent to harm you in some way. And yes, this woman is attempting to cause you harm.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 9:42 am 
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agree with Una and I'd also notify your place of work or school what is going on.


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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 9:50 am 
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I don't understand why you wouldn't call the police. It doesn't matter that she was a former roommate, the woman has no legal right to just walk into your apartment! Una and others have some great advice here.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 9:52 am 
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If you live in a complex, it sounds like you have a common landlord (you also mention that the woman harassing you is trying to get you evicted).

She may also be guilty of a hate crime under your state law, so first look up the harassment statute and also find out if your state has hate crime legislation that would cover harassment on basis of sexual orientation. There is a federal hate crimes statute that covers sexual orientation and about half the US states include sexual orientation in their protected classes.

I wouldn't send any correspondence to the woman, but as Una says, send a certified letter detailing the harassment to the landlord (who are likely already aware of this because she is trying to evict you). Before you write the letter, ask yourself what you want that your landlord can do - do you want her evicted? Do you want the freedom to break your lease and get your security deposit back? In the letter be clear about what you want.

Realize that eviction is a long and complicated process - every state is different, but most will have the landlord send a "cease and desist" notice giving this person a warning and giving them a period of time (often 30 days) to remedy their behavior. If she doesn't, then another notice will be sent threatening eviction after which it goes to court. And most landlords don't really have an incentive to hurry the process up (unless she is failing to pay her own rent) because it means losing an income stream and having to find a replacement. So if you just want out, you may want to ask them for permission to break your lease and move.

As Una says, document, document, document. And in addition, I would also ask the other people whom she is talking to to document the harassment. If your landlord is getting complaints from 10 people rather than just 2, they are more likely to take this seriously.

And call the police today. Tell them what is going on and ask what you can do. Tell her that this woman is making you feel unsafe. Find out what you would need for a restraining order/order of protection.

Find out if there is a local legal aid/LGBT group, that can help you figure out what you are entitled to, and can give you some support.

I wouldn't get a lawyer at this point, because the lawyer is only going to be able to do what you can - send a letter to the landlord and demand she be evicted or ask to allow you to leave. The management company/landlord may take it slightly more seriously coming from a lawyer, but it will also be expensive to you and the time span for eviction will be the same.

Good luck! I hope you're able to find a solution and find peace in your own home.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:11 am 
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Document everything. Also, go to Radio Shack and buy a small tape recorder that can fit inside your pocket. It's smaller than a cell phone and records clearly and loudly. If she threatens you, tape it and you can call the police and let them listen to it. They'll arrest her instantly. You can also let the building manager and security guard listen to the taped conversations and maybe that will get her thrown out of the building. Also, I would take pictures of her if she's in your house uninvited or sits for hours at your door. Having her recorded and pictures of her harassment is much better than a 'she said/she said' battle. She could claim innocence to the police, but having a voice recording of her rantings will let everyone know how crazy and possibly dangerous she is. Heck, let the neighbors listen to it too. Maybe everyone can get together and demand that she be kicked out of the building.

It was the taped recordings of my brother's crazy druggie ex-wife that got him custody of his kids. It's a powerful tool to get the evidence you need. I think this gal is capable of anything. Protect yourself. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:11 am 
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Tofulish said it better. If you need someone to talk to, you can PM me. I really do understand how difficult it is to deal with someone harassing you.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:15 am 
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Chip Strong
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i would call the cops and file a report and get a report # and copy of the report for each and every incident. keep a log and document what goes on. keep property management office updated on all that goes on, with copies of police reports. she is also in violation of her lease and can be evicted.


Last edited by erynne936 on Sat May 07, 2011 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:16 am 
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Una wrote:
Tofulish said it better.

Tofulish always says it better.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:21 am 
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oh and i dont think you need to spend $ on a lawyer at this point. you can also check with your police dept to see what you need to do to file a restraining order against this person. you shouldnt need a lawyer for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 11:07 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 11:36 am 
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Call the police. If you need to fight/initiate eviction proceedings, or if you would consider a civil suit, that is when you get a lawyer. Now, you protect yourself by calling the cops. As Una and Tofulish said, keep records of everything you do, and write down specifically the things she's doing to you.

Do what you need to do to get this woman out of your life. She's a crasshole who seems to feel like she's entitled to a say in your life. Don't let her!

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 12:43 pm 
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I don't have anything to add, everyone covered everything I could have said in their advice. I really hope you're safe and that this lady is taught that she can't treat people like that. It's hard to tell if she's escalating, but entering your apartment sounds like it and she had no right.

Good luck in getting evidence and keeping safe.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 1:23 pm 
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I had a neighbor threatening me and I did a lot of research about my rights as a tenant in California. Here, if they threaten you, and you get your landlord on your side...they can be kicked out with only a three day notice. It's that serious. If I were you I would read up on the laws in your state, record everything, and try to get your landlord on your side.


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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 1:25 pm 
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In some places, you do need to send a cease and desist letter or at least flat out say to this person that you desire and intend to cease all communication and your desire is that they do the same. This can be necessary as an end point prior to you beginning a log that documents each time they initiate contact or violate boundaries or are intentionally in your vicinity. You might check procedure on this by calling the police.


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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 1:52 pm 
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celyn wrote:
In some places, you do need to send a cease and desist letter or at least flat out say to this person that you desire and intend to cease all communication and your desire is that they do the same. This can be necessary as an end point prior to you beginning a log that documents each time they initiate contact or violate boundaries or are intentionally in your vicinity. You might check procedure on this by calling the police.



I think it's necessary to document all contact, thoroughly, even before a cease and desist letter is sent. It establishes pattern, and people who suspect they're being stalked/harassed do it that way for just that reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 1:58 pm 
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Quote:
she's sneaked into my apartment

That I would file a complaint with the police. It is trespassing/breaking and entering, especially if you have asked her not to enter your apartment without your permission.

Is your current housemate allowing her into your place? If so, that is something you should discuss with the housemate.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you get a lawyer or am I just being stupid?
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 1:46 am 
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Thank you all my PPKers <3

And I actually don't plan on leaving myself, at least not currently or because of her. She's followed me from one city already, I figure mehhh.

We do have a common property manager and I'm speaking with them on Monday, just chilling out for now, and documenting any stuff.

My housemate did not give her permission, she didn't ask anybody's permission. I asked my housemate about that (nicely) and she said no, that the lady had saw the screen door open and came looking for me. (we have a screen door and a deadbolt door, on hot days during the day it may be open) I also explained to my housemate about the documenting and that I was going to call the police if she set foot in the apartment again. My housemate said she'll kick her arse, no police needed. <3 (she's not being literal, just protective since she's a mom and we get along very well)

I got the police's number so now I should be prepared if she does enter my apartment again.

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