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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34074
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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I am serving in the military in Hawaii and my roommate, who

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I am serving in the military in Hawaii and my roommate, who is a civilian decided that she wanted to move out suddenly before the lease was over (01 Jan). She told me on 28 November that she was moving out on Friday (!!) and sent me a text that says verbatim: "I tried to catch you this morning but you were already gone . I just wanted to let you know that I will be moving out by noon on Friday. It was last minute but the most recent occurrences have opened my eyes. Ultimately I came to the determination that I can't live with someone with a substance abuse problem. Your actions endanger my life, well being and my mental state. I am fully aware that I'm not giving you a full 30 days notice but the living condition is unsafe. If you disagree, I'll be more than happy to have that discussion with you and your command. If I don't see you by Friday I truly hope that you seek professional help. Good luck". So the deal is that I have a drinking problem and severe depression. I drink in excess quite often but I literally drink until I pass out on my couch watching sad movies. She never comes out of her room. I never talk to her. She never has said a word about my drinking before except for one day I apologized when I sobered up for a mess I had made in the kitchen. I approached her because I felt bad, not the other way around. I have never gone into her room. I have never said a cross word to that girl, there is no way in hell that me, getting drunk completely alone and going to sleep is any of her business, let alone "endangering her". I let her go because I didn't want my command to find out, it would ruin my career. I am very successful in the Navy. I never hurt anyone and I never did a thing wrong to anyone, just myself by drinking too much. I want to sue her pants off, what she did was wrong. Blackmailing someone because they are in the service, leaving me in a financial bind, the extreme anxiety I have that she will go to my command. Do I have a case?
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

You certainly have a case over the unpaid portion of the lease/rental agreement.

You can sue her to recover the money you are out by her not giving you notice prior to leaving.

You can sue her in small claims court to recover this.

But blackmail?

That is more complex...

Here is what the law in HI says about blackmail

A person commits extortion if the person does any of the following:
(1) Obtains, or exerts control over, the property, labor, or services of another with intent to deprive another of property, labor, or services by threatening by word or conduct to:

. . .

(f) Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or to impair the threatened person's credit or business repute;

(g) Reveal any information sought to be concealed by the person threatened or any other person;

So what you describe?

The law makes it clearly a crime to demand money in return for a threat to

"Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact...threatened person's credit or business repute"

Arguably, her statement does this...

That is, what you describe, it sounds like she is telling you "do not pursue me or I will tell your command"

That is blackmail.

So I do think you have a case.

You can report this to local police and ask them to prosecute (if you have the text that would be helpful) may be the police will prosecute this crime

Let me know if you have more questions, happy to help if I can

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well I have plenty of money to get a good lawyer. I want to take her for all she is worth, I have been sick to my stomach about this whole thing just waiting to see if she will act. If so, how does that work? If I sue her, how much should I sue her for?

You can sue her for the damages you have lost rent. Above that? You have to prove how this has harmed you would want to work with your lawyer to determine if you have suffered any harm other than lost rent

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok. Sorry to be bothersome but exactly how difficult is it to prove this? I think jeopardizing my whole career is pretty traumatic. I have been in 10 years and if she went to my command I may lose all of it.

You have to prove how this has harmed you.

Loss of rent? Easy

Over that? More difficult.

YOu have to prove how this has impacted you life. But if you can prove it? Then you can recover

For example, if you have a doctor who will state this has impacted you psychologically? That can be the basis for a damage claim.

You can not just claim you are need to offer evidence to support it. That is why I recommend you work with a local attorney...they can help you through the process.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Got it. I am seeing a therapist weekly, I'll make sure and mention these shenenigans :) Thank you for your help, Sir.

That is what you need...that is the bridge to a tort claim (a therapist or doctor who can testify how this has impacted you)

Go get em!


P. Simmons and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.