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Legal-Kal
Legal-Kal, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 584
Experience:  Attorney at Law Offices of Khaled Issa
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I had a verbal dispute with a landlord (slumlord) upon my

Customer Question

I had a verbal dispute with a landlord (slumlord) upon my move out inspection this passed. We yelled at each other and I called him some names, but never threatened him in anyway and we were both yelling at each other. We sent him a detailed email with our issues after the fact. He responded today with a letter sent by email saying that he was documenting the "awful incident" and that he and his wife felt "physically unsafe". She actually apologized to me for his behavior and sent him to cool off during the argument. He says he is just documenting the incident. I am concerned that he may try to get a TRO just to be spite full because we have a good case against him. Is it possible to get a TRO against someone after one argument that was mutual and did not include any threats. There has been no additional contact between the two since that day. Should we be worried.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

Good evening:

My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to answer your legal question. I am sorry to hear about the situation that you are now in because of your landlord. To better answer your question, may how many witnesses (other than you, the landlord and the landlord's wife) were present for this argument? Also, what exactly did you say to him as this would play a role in the analysis.

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

Hello:

It has been a few days since your question and I am reminding you that I am here to help. If you provide me the information I requested, I would will be ready to give you the best information and service I can. Thanks!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His wife and my mother were the only other two people there. I did raise my voice and yell at him. I told him that he was an unethical slumlord. I was walking away from him. He was yelling right back at me. Then we continued on doing the walk through for another 2 and a half hours, which didn't involve any more yelling from my end. He continued to antagonize and be sarcastic and rude to both me and my mother. On several occasions his wife told him to leave and take a walk.
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

Ok, thank you for that information.

I do not believe that your landlord will qualify for any type of restraining or no contact order for the reasons that follow.

First, as I am sure you are aware, California has multiple types of restraining orders. One applies for individuals who are/were in a romantic or familial relationship. Another applies for individuals who are over the age of 65 and against those who take care or supervise them. Another one is a Workplace Restraining Order, which only applies to individuals who work together. The last one, which is the one that would apply to you, is a Civil Harassment Restraining Order (CHO). Because, under the law and the facts you have provided, the only type of restraining order that would apply in your case is a CHO, this is the type of restraining order I will discuss.

CHO

A CHO can be asked for, and granted, if the person requesting it is being harassed, stalked, abused, or threatened by someone. Since you have not provided any facts from your situation that shows that you threatened, physically abused or stalked the landlord, I can only assume that he would be alleging you "harassed" him when you made these statements. So to get the CHO, he would have to show the judge that he was subject to harassment from you. CHO is addressed in California Code of Civil Procedure Section 526. Here is a link to the law: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=ccp&group=00001-01000&file=525-534

"Harassment" is defined by California Code of Civil Procedure Section 527.6(3). According to 527.6(b)(1), there must be a course of conduct of harassment. "Course of Conduct " is defined as a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose, including following or stalking an individual,making harassing telephone calls to an individual, or sending harassing correspondence to an individual by any means, including,but not limited to, the use of public or private mails, interoffice mail, facsimile, or computer email.

Essentially, what the law requires when someone is requesting a CHO is that the landlord must show that there have been at least more than one circumstance wherein you "harassed" him. This is an ABSOLUTE requirement and cannot be waived.

From what you have provided me, it appears that there is NO COURSE OF CONDUCT of harassment on your part. It looks like you engaged in one argument, on one day, with the landlord and that is it. Because there is no course of conduct, a CHO would not be granted to the landlord.

Further, as you can see, "harassment" requires that the actions you engaged in "served no legitimate purpose." If a legitimate purpose was present, this would be another reason your landlord would not be able to obtain a CHO. As a landlord, he is under a duty to address any issues that may arise regarding the property he oversees and the tenants who reside on or in the property. What it appears you were doing was informing him of issues with the property (albeit, yelling at him about the issues). Because of this, your complaints and actions DID serve a legitimate purpose.

Thus, because 1) there is/was no course of conduct and 2) your actions served a legitimate purpose, I do not think the landlord will be able to obtain a restraining order against you.

I hope this has helped. If you have any follow up questions, please feel free to ask and I would be more than happy to answer them. If not, please remember to click ACCEPT and leave feedback so I may receive credit for my assistance. Thanks and good luck!

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

Good evening:

Just checking in on whether or not you have any follow up questions based on what I have provided. I am always here to help! If you do not have any follow up questions, please remember to click ACCEPT and leave a review so I can be credited for help you today. Thanks again!

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

Hello, just a reminder that if you are pleased with my assistance to click accept and leave feedback as this is the only way I can be credited for helping you. Thank you again.

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

Please accept my answer if you are satisfied with my assistance and time and effort spent helping you.