Question: Can I file a Civil Harassment Restraining Order against a roommate?
I have two roommates, one of whom has been difficult to live with since near the beginning she moved in. She gets paranoid about a past issue she had and constantly imagines hearing noises at night. She becomes very difficult when she doesn’t get her way in the apartment and constantly plays the victim. She has repeatedly accused our shared roommate of being a prostitute. She plays her music extremely loud, sometimes until later at night. She even tried to get the front door locks changed because of her paranoia.
This is on top of a bunch of annoying habits (for example, insisting on keeping the blinds in the common areas wide open at all times). We can’t prove it but we’re convinced she has stolen some missing items from our kitchen. To top it all off, she insists on only communicating via text messages and refuses to deal with issues in person. Do I have enough cause to file a Civil Harassment Restraining Order against her?
Answer: Hi. Anyone can file a restraining order can be filed by anyone. This includes roommates. There may be more information that may be applicable to a potential CHRO that you did not write in your post, but perhaps a civil conversation with this roommate that things are not working out and either she or you moving out may be the better way to go. I know how frustrating difficult roommates can be. But generally speaking, I would be surprised if a Judge granted a CHRO based on keeping common living area blinds open or playing the victim when one roommate does not get her way.
Alternatively, if the parties both are set on remaining living together in the same apartment/house, perhaps seeking a mutual outside consultation (ie. therapist, mediator) can fix the problem, or help one or the other person move on to end the roommate relationship.
If there is more information that you would like to share with me so I can give a more specific opinion as to my thoughts on your situation, feel free to call me at 818-336-1384 to discuss further.
Philip Hache, Attorney