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Can mother evict uncooperative alcoholic son by providing alternative lodging?

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by Monty, Oct 21, 2012.

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  1. Monty

    Monty Law Topic Starter New Member

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    A mother in Ohio has taken in her severly alcoholic son, a large 35 year old man, to help him stop drinking and get medical help. After four years of various detox and rehab efforts he continues to drink himself into oblivion for days and sometimes weeks at a stretch. The mother has her own serious health and financial issues with disabling diabetes and can not continue to care for him or tolerate his drunken behavior which is at times threatening, destructive and or dangerous. She needs to get a live in companion to help her manage her diabetes (she sometimes passes out and needs to be revived with glucose) but no one would live with her under current circumstances.

    The mother owns her home and has no rental agreement with her son. She has told her son he needs to move out. She even rented him a motel room for a few weeks and had some friends escort him there. He begged to return and promised to stop drinking. She let him come home, but he has relapsed and things are back to where they were. He now refuses to leave again.

    The mother understands she can go through a formal eviction process, but that would take at least a month. She also fears what might happen if the son gets belligerant or even more destructive in his drunken stumbles.
    A restraining order would then be an option, I suppose, but still takes time which may be too long for a frail woman living with a wild drunk. And what mother wants to have her son tossed into the street by the sherriff?

    The Question: If the mother rents an alternative apartment or motel room for her son, pays for a month or more in advance, can she legally compel her son to leave immediately if he doesn't want to go? Alternatively if he signs an agreement to stop drinking upon threat of immediate eviction if he breaks the agreement, is such an agreement legally enforceable without further court hearings etc? If he is obviously drunk, could she call the sherriff to have him removed, using the broken agreement as justification for police action?

    If no authoritative answer is available here, what type of legal assistance would be most helpful?
     
  2. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Mom's legal recourse is to file an eviction.

    She can file for a restraining order if she's genuinely feeling threatened.
     
  3. Monty

    Monty Law Topic Starter New Member

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    A guy under restraining order in Wisconsin just shot up a shopping center killing his estranged girlfriend and several bystanders. It seems our society could come up with more effective and creative ways to defuse, divert or redirect angry people besides simply putting a sheet paper, though sealed by the court, between us and their well armed rage. But thanks for taking the time to respond.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    There is a better way, don't let anyone stay in your home, even overnight. That way, if they refuse to leave, the police can remove them as trespassers.

    Besides, society isn't your babysitter or protector. You're an adult, protect yourself, handle your business.




    Sent from my iPad3 using Tapatalk HD
     
  5. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    You do understand that with or without a restraining order, if someone is intent on hurting someone else, they're going to do it regardless - yes?

    The police will not remove him unless he's actually a threat. Being a drunken jerk is not a crime.
     
  6. Monty

    Monty Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I thought my understanding of the limits of the law was implicit in my comments. I also understand the difference between being an obnoxious drunk and someone so intoxicated he burns down the house while his invalid mother is trapped in her bedroom. I was simply looking for a legal and peaceful way to encourage someone to leave a shared domicile promptly and without anger or recriminations. Paying for an alternative place to live would seem to be a reasonable option. But can we legally compel someone to take it without a court order? It seems a fairly straightforward question of law. The legal process of eviction seems intended to prevent people from being unexpectedly cast out on the street with no place to live. If they are provided a comparable place to live at no additional cost for moving or inconvenience, why is that not legal and fair? Has it been ajudicated anywhere? I thought this was a place for such a discussion. Maybe we could learn something about current law or see opportunities to improve the law. But thanks anyhow
     
  7. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    No, Mom cannot compel him to live elsewhere in the manner you describe.

    Clear now?

    Once again, her recourse is to evict him. Legally.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Mom could offer him several cases of whiskey, pre-pay an apartment for him for six months, help him (or hire someone) pack, drive him to the new digs, hand him $5,000 (or whatever mom deems appropriate), kiss him goodbye, and return to her home.

    If he returns, and he will, don't let him in, don't even open the door.

    Mom has, if she can work this magic, gotten rid of the problem in 24 hours. This is what the mother pig did that classic tale, "The Three Little Pigs". Fortunately, you only have one old boar to send off to make his life, mama pig had three little boars.


    Sent from my iPad3 using Tapatalk HD
     
  9. Monty

    Monty Law Topic Starter New Member

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    No it is not clear. The legal ramifications of offering lodging are more complex.

    For example, homeless shelters offer people a place to stay the night. People sometimes stay for weeks or months, but if they appear at the door drunk or carrying a bottle they are barred from entry. I have never heard of a case where a shelter was compelled by the police to admit a drunk and disorderly resident and proceed with eviction to get rid of them. Residential rehab centers operate on the same principal -- show up drunk and you are out immediately.
    Or consider a motel room. If you pay for a couple of days and then refuse to leave the room, I doubt the motel has to go through eviction to get you out or get a restraining order if you leave the room, get locked out, and bang on the desk to get back in. I'm sure the police would be happy to take you away and put you in a cell if you don't leave peacefully.

    So I find it hard to believe a person has to go through eviction to bar a drunk from returning to sleep on his or her couch if the offer of a couch was temporary and conditioned on sobriety. But I feel like I'm having a conversation with the automated voice on a smart phone, so, if you can't respond with anything more than robotic phrases and pat answers, don't waste any more time on this question. I'm beginning to think this site confirms the old lawyers adage "Free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it".
     
  10. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    Your apples and oranges example is not going to hold any weight in court We gave you the legal options we cannot create law to suit your needs. Here is a less than legal option. Tell Mom to change locks and throw is crap on the street. if hes that much of a drunk its very unlikely he will take the time, trouble and money to file and civil claim. In mean time you an dMom should start attending alanon so you can learn more about his addiction and how to cope with it. You will likely find several people who have had simialr experinces there and may offer some other options

    Another option is this "intervention" he either enters rehab or leaves mom's place. Mom also needs to stop letting him return. Long as Mom opens door this problem is not going to go away
     
  11. Monty

    Monty Law Topic Starter New Member

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    You haven't really explained the law or given any basis by which the courts would treat a guest in your home differently than a guest in a homeless shelter. I'm sure such distinctions exist. I will just have to do my research elsewhere.

    As for your advice about what to do with one's alcoholic son, it shows an equally limited understanding of the disease, (or syndrome, habit or condition if you prefer) and how familes struggle to cope with it. AA and Alanon provide convenient answers for people who aren't living with the situation, (also an important revenue source for a particular industry) but scientific research and statistical analysis fail to demonstrate that these resoursces are better than any other approach including doing nothing and letting the alcoholic decide to either give up alcohol or die under a bridge. I could look up the references, but since nobody else here seems to reference anything they say, I won't bother. Besides, with any luck you will never have to think about this issue for more than the time it takes to write a paragraph on a blog. But thanks for taking the time to repeat the conventional wisdom anyhow.
     
  12. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    I have a very special amount of knowledge on addiction as I am a 26 year sober recovering alky and a former addiction specialist. I know of what I speak. Far as your laws go they vary by state and sometimes county. A homeless shelter is a business your Mom's place is a residence there is one differnce.
     
  13. Monty

    Monty Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm glad your approach to addiction worked for you.

    A homeless shelter is not normally a business. Most are run by charitable organizations. But, granted there are distinctions from the charitable act of letting a drunken relative sleep on your couch for a night or a week.

    However the law interprets renting a room in your home differently from renting a separate apartment. For example, one can descriminate about the gender of a room mate whereas not about the gender of a tenant in a separate unit. The law may also treat someone "couch surfing" differently from someone paying rent. And courts may ajudicate disputes differently based on state or juristiction -- Berkeley CA is not going to follow the same non-federal laws as Waco Texas. (and some federal laws may be ignored if the US Attorney general declines to enforce them) Furthermore, higher courts may rule differently than lower courts. That laws are complex is to anyone who reads a newspaper. Nevertheless people find ways to navigate this complexity so that some bankrupt banksters who divert millions of taxpayers money to their offshore accounts can manage to stay out of jail while most ordinary bank robbers don't.

    My reason for coming here was to see if I could learn something useful about the nuances of the law without having to fly to Ohio and hire an attorney, or try to plow through endless statutes and case law, assuming I could even find the right references. So far I am not very impressed by the capacity of a legal blog to deal with such complexity. But thanks for making a stab at it anyhow.
     
  14. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    The likihood of finding an actual Attorney on any legal forum is low. If you do its possible that Attorney does not practic ein your area or that area of law. These legal forums have disclaimers NOT to use posts here as "legal advice" and that posters are volunteers who may or may not have law degrees. Why would an Attorney give away what he usually charges for? legal advice comes from a licensed Attorney who share an Attorney/client relationship with no other!

    FYI at bottom of each page you will find this

    "The content contained on this legal website is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal advice from a licensed professional. It is available AS IS and subject to our legal disclaimer and terms of use. Using this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Always consult with a lawyer before making any legal decision. "
     
  15. Monty

    Monty Law Topic Starter New Member

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    It is common for active or retired mechanics to offer free car repair tips on blogs related to their knowlege or area of expertise. They do this for various reasons that promise no material gain. Also they face little risk if people take their advice and ruins their cars. It is not unreasonable to believe an active or retired attorney would participate in a "Law blog" for various reasons including attracting potential clients to their practice. They would presumably understand what is and is not "practicing law". Here is my layman's understanding:

    There is difference between discussing the vagaries of the law and giving legal advice. For example one might ask: does a gay couple have a legal right to visit their hospitalized partner in my state? A lawyer might answer: only if they are legally married, but since your state may not recognize gay marriage, the answer is not certain; Another avenue to pursue might be to obtain a "power of attorney for medical care"; check with your state AG to see if that is an option. Some gay advocate organizations ma also know. here is where you might look for more information.... I doubt this answer is considered "practicing law" as it would be to say: Go to the hospital if you like and if they try to throw you out, resist arrest and then file a lawsuit for illegal detention and civil rights violations; call my office at *** **** if you need more help.

    By the way, this forum is sponsored by a law firm, so the expectation of getting reliable legal information is not entirely misplaced. A better questing might be: why would a lay person with no formal legal training or specialized knowledge presume to blog or otherwise freely dispense information, quite possibly unreliable, about the law?
     
  16. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    Yes it sponsored by a law firm that hopes you click on their ad and retain their service Actual lawyers (good ones anyways) do not have the time or need to troll legal forum in the hopes they might get a client. I have been part of legal forums for years and like yourself most have wrong idea of what is actually done here
     
  17. Monty

    Monty Law Topic Starter New Member

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    And what would actually be done here at something called, at least in their email messages to me, "legal advice forums"?

    As for lawyers blogging, I recently had a brief and free conversation with a lawyer about the liability of causing an injury with my stray golf ball on a golf course. This was just conversation incidental to purchasing a set of used golf clubs. Why wouldn't such a lawyer spend free time conversing about the law here? Now that I think of it I should have asked him about evictions of drunks instead of stray golf balls....:)
     
  18. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    Listen your taking this issue way out there. let me put this simple in hopes you dont complicate it

    . This site and its members do not ofer legal advice that comes froman attorney
    . anyone can claim to be an Attorney here since no proof is required
    . Any Attorney her emay or may not practice the tuype of law your issue requires
    . Any Attorney replying may not practice law in your jurisdiction
    . Nor Attorney would dispense actual legal advice without having knowledge of all aspects of your case
    . Most Attorney do not have the time to troll websites (unless they own them) to answer questions
    . Most attorney do not care to give advice they charge for
    . as disclaimer state you are not getting legal advice here and nearly every forum like this has same disclaimer

    bottom line if you want legal advice consult a local Attorney. What you get here is opinions, guesses, expereinces or, answers based on Google searches and the like
     
  19. Monty

    Monty Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Virtually everything about the law is complicated. I didn't come here for a simple answer or legal advice. I don't know what evidence you have to support your assertion that there are no real lawyers blogging here, but by the answers I have seen so far I would have to say I haven't seen any evidence of a brilliant legal mind keen to explore a difficult legal and social issue.

    So, if there is a lawyer reading this who wants to actually have a sophisticated, nuanced, and informative, conversation about the legal question I posed, I would be pleased to have a discussion. Send me a private message. If you are just some blogger with hunches, platitudes and conventional wisdom, or a troll looking for an argument, I'm done.
     
  20. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    have a nice day but if Mom wants her drunk son gone she needs to evict him through court process there is no other legal means
     

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