Message In A Bottle

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D-Liver, D-Letter, D-Sooner, D-Better

(Not Edited For Spelling Or Punctuation Or Anything Else) (Warning: Not Legal Advice!)


How do I evict my mother-in-law who lives in my home and it’s causing problems between my wife and I?

My mother-in-law is 86 years old and only brings in under $2,000 a month Social Security she has become very belligerent and mean argumentative and causing trouble between my wife and I she needs to move.

Short Answer: How does your blushing bride feel about this? Not as a domestic relations matter, but strictly from the Perry Mason perspective. Do you lovebirds own the nest together (“tenants by the entirety”)? If so, your helpmeet can give Mommy Dearest permission to remain. Forever. You wish to stab yourself with the nearest sharp implement (like Juliet)? We do not advise it, but we understand. You are stuck.

What if your Till-Death-Do-Us-Part’ner agrees: her sainted forbear must seek a happier haven? Face facts: Legally, mother-in-law is a tenant. You are a landlord. Meaning you will have to go through the usual eviction process. Begin by serving her with a 30-day Notice to Quit, Termination of Tenancy. If she does not vacate, move on to a Summary Proceeding in District Court. Now it is strictly by-the-numbers.

Longer Answer: On the other hand, what if the sweetest, kindest, gentlest, nicest person in the world became “very belligerent and mean argumentative and causing trouble” due to a disease process? Radical personality shifts are common in persons suffering from various forms of dementia. Dementia is often accompanied by depression. Depression frequently manifests as anger, paranoia, vindictiveness. Vascular dementia victims can be especially cruel. Even without dementia, for many older people, aging itself triggers disagreeable moods and behaviors. Is it foolish to consider all possibilities before reaching a conclusion? Would you think it a bad idea to explore various options before suing a family member? Or maybe your in-law simply is the most weak, cranky, crabby, argumentative, testy, provocative, petulant, grasping, grumpy, grouchy, irritable, ungrateful, bad-tempered wretch to ever urge its squat, thick, ungainly bulk across the surface of a complaining earth.


How do I remove a non-rent/non-bill paying adult child?

My friend (good friend of the homeowner) has durable power of attorney. We’re trying to empty the house and make extensive repairs to, then sell the home very soon. There is an alcoholic borderline psychotic adult son (42 years old and employed) that has been living there 5 years or more that has contributed zero dollars to the household. The mother has asked him several times to vacate and he has excuses why he’s just not going to do that right now. We’re looking for an immediate legal remedy.

Short Answer: “We’re looking for an immediate legal remedy.” There is no immediate legal remedy. The Law frowns on “self-help.” Putting Psycho Son’s stuff in the driveway feels great!

Then come the triple damages for anything you broke, lost, or threw away. More damages for his hotel room. And then he is back in the house! Once somebody has taken root in your home, it is darn tough to get them out. Except through the traditional legal process that applies to any other tenant.

If Psycho Son agrees to leave voluntarily, well and good, maybe mom can convince him to go. But it seems “he’s just not going to do that right now.” Don’t wait, get him served with a 30-Day Notice, Termination of Tenancy and get on with it.

Even Shorter Answer: The typical financial power of attorney will give you the necessary authority to evict this ungrateful child. However, you will save much in the way of blood, sweat, and tears to retain experienced counsel. A power of attorney is only as good as the words it contains. It is not inconceivable that the power of attorney may be insufficient. Get it checked out.

Possible Answer: Has the “alcoholic borderline psychotic adult son” threatened or carried out any physical or psychological abuse of mother? Threats? Actual abuse? If so, a Personal Protection Order may be sought from the Family Court Division of Circuit Court. A PPO, among other things, may prohibit the son from: “entering onto the property where [mother] live[s]” “entering onto [other] property” “assaulting, attacking, beating, molesting, or wounding [mother]” and “stalking as defined under MCL 750.411h and MCL 750.411i” among other things. SCAO Form CC375, Rev. 1/21.

The PPO can be obtained without notice to the “respondent” son. And it can be obtained quickly. Again, consult with counsel. Some folks have exaggerated the grounds for the PPO. Some folks have bitterly regretted the exaggeration.

It is not chance. It is choice. Your choice.

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(800) 317-2812

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