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Dear Attorney, On December 21st 2010 I moved in with an

Customer Question

Dear Attorney,

On December 21st 2010 I moved in with an acquaintance I’ve known for a long time in Camden Voorhees Camden County NJ. We had an oral agreement that I would rent two of the four bedrooms in his home (bedroom and office). The guy whom I move in with is also a white male about 50 years old. The agreement was $600 per month including all utilities and use of common areas. The guy is a control freak and constantly threatened to “throw me out” for things like “Using different color towels in the bathroom” and other obsurd things. The Voorhees Police got involved and called him about three weeks ago advising him if he changed the locks to keep me out he would be arrested. It has been a disaster. Among a long list of issues, he constantly forced me to leave the home when the house was being shown to prospective buyers, he didn’t abide by our agreement to make repairs as promised to my bathroom which was unusable for the 1st two weeks, tried to throw me out by moving all my stuff to the garage TWICE… Apparently these actions appear to be in violation of NJ Landlord tenant laws. I cannot afford to move at this time otherwise I would have been long gone. I wrote him a letter and gave it to him on morning of day the rent was due on 1/20. Letter said I was withholding rent for many reasons several reasons and was demanding 4 times the rent to be returned for his actions.

I guess he didn’t like the letter because that same afternoon he went to the police and lied to get a temporary restraining order (TRO). That evening I was arrested on phony charges for assault and forced to leave my residence and live elsewhere until the hearing. The plaintiff, my roommate/homeowner, said I pushed and injured him the night before.

He lied and I was arrested, searched and handcuffed. Brought out to a police car by 5 police officers in front of a half dozen neighbors in a town where my family lives. Everyone now knows and this is very embarrassing and has hurt my reputation. Then forced to live elsewhere on a friends a couch for 5 days with the same clothes and none of your medications or necessary items. MAJOR ISSUE: This shut down my company. Two "key" employees resigned the next day after the Plaintiff told my employee his fiction story. I have the emails proving this incident caused them to resign. I lost my ability to make money because of this incident. Have you ever been arrested and had to spend hours in a police station going through a humiliating booking and fingerprinting process? I feel that a criminal conviction for false statements purjury or similar warranted.

At the TRO hearing: The judge was able to deduce that he was lying and the incident never happened. During the hearing the judge asked him 3 times to change his testimony or she was going to "call the prosecutor myself and have you charged with perjury." I was pro se, the plaintiff was represented by an attorney so the judge told him to discuss this with his attorney and he did. He responded to the judge, "I wish to retract my testimony."

The judge then dismissed the TRO.

It seems very clear that the plaintiff admitted he lied at the TRO hearing. As a result it can be concluded he committed perjury when he obtained the TRO and again for the Assault charge. Perhaps filing false police reports, too?

I was advised by the Camden county prosecutor’s office to go to the police station and ask the police to file charges. I intend to go today. Please keep in mind that I intend to pursue this in civil court as well. My roommate has a lot of equity in his home and is trying to sell it now. Therefore these actions will, I hope, ultimately help any civil action.

My questions:

1. How would you (how should I) approach the police. Should I say, “The other person maliciously and intentionally went after my reputation my rights, and ultimately I need the help of the courts to set right.”
2. If what I said is accurate, did he commit perjury in obtaining the original TRO and the assault charge?
3. What charges do you feel that I should be seeking? If Perjury, which degree and why?
4. The assault charge is still pending and the court date is Monday. Do you think this has any impact on me going to the police today?
5. I cannot afford to get a transcript of the hearing. Do you think the police will get the transcripts of the trial or just ask the judge to provide a statement?

I understand I have not hired an attorney and your responses are advice only. I do not understand a lot of the legal processes, therefore, your thoughtful advice is greatly needed. Thank you very much!!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 3 years ago.

NOTE: My apologies for a technical issue that seems to be removing my original spacing. If the text of my message appears difficult to read, I am sorry for any inconvenience. I have submitted a report to our system for handling. Thanks for your patience!

 

Thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.

 

  1. I am a licensed attorney with criminal law and civil litigation experience. I will be glad to try and answer your question. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification on anything after reviewing the following information.
  2. "Have you ever been arrested and had to spend hours in a police station going through a humiliating booking and fingerprinting process?" No. I have not personally been through such an ordeal. However, I can only imagine how demeaning and stressful this must have been for you.
  3. "Perhaps filing false police reports, too?" Yes. If that is proven to be the case, it would be a crime pursuant to New Jersey Statutes § 2C:28-4(a).
  4. "How would you (how should I) approach the police." Keeping things direct, short and sweet will be the most effective approach. The language you have provided (i.e. malicious conduct, your rights) while very well phrased would be more appropriately in a civil law context. I would simply state something along the lines of, "I need to report the filing of a false police report." The police will take it from there.
  5. "If what I said is accurate, did he commit perjury in obtaining the original TRO and the assault charge?" Yes. If the elements of the offense are proven, it would also amount to criminal conduct pursuant to New Jersey Statutes § 2C:28-1.
  6. "What charges do you feel that I should be seeking?" All you can do is to share your concerns by filing a police report, requesting an investigation, and cooperating as asked. It lies within the sole discretion and purview of law enforcement and the prosecutor as to what charges to file.
  7. "If Perjury, which degree and why?" Again, this will be a matter exclusively for the prosecutor to determine. However, without benefit of personal knowledge, my best guess based on the circumstances you have described would be third degree perjury (citation already provided) and/or fourth degree false swearing pursuant to New Jersey Statutes § 2C:28-2.
  8. "Do you think this has any impact on me going to the police today?" No. I would urge you to still go to the police department today.
  9. "Do you think the police will get the transcripts of the trial or just ask the judge to provide a statement?" Yes. If the police and the prosecutor's office open an investigation and file charges, I would expect them to obtain an official transcript and conduct other means of Discovery such as through Subpoenas.
  10. I hope that makes sense, but please do not hesitate to write back if needed. I shall be signing off soon to attend to some other professional obligations. Please rest assured, however, that I will be sure to check for any updated posts from you when I return to this online forum. I hope all works out and is resolved properly.

 

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.

 

If my answer has been helpful to you, please click "ACCEPT" so that I may be paid. This is the only way that I will receive compensation for the work performed. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done. Clicking "FEEDBACK" to leave your positive comments is always greatly appreciated.

 

The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Mr. Burt,

 

Thank you for your clear answers. With all due respect, after reviewing your profile it does not appear you are licensed in NJ where this offense occurred, rather in TX.

You even provided a statement within your answer, "You should always consult with a lawyer in your state." Therefore, I believe it in my best interest to make a request to have my questioned answered by a NJ attorney.

 

I truely do not understand if this matters to the accuracy of your answers or understanding of these matters in this jurisdiction. Again, please do not take offense to my question. It appears obvious you know your "stuff", however, I do not have much margin for error. Can you refer this to a NJ licensed crimninal attorney? I will 'accept' your answer. Thank you for your time.

 

Best Regards,

Steve

Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 3 years ago.

Hello again,

 

Thanks for writing back -- good to hear from you.

 

In accordance with your directive I have opted out (without charge). My attorney colleagues are able to view your question, and a fellow legal expert can provide an answer if they choose to do so.

 

I would like to wish you all the best and truly hope you see this matter resolved.

 

Take care and thanks again for choosing JustAnswer®!

[Please do not reply to this post as doing so will delay handling of your inquiry.]



Edited by Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. on 2/1/2011 at 9:59 PM EST

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