How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 102350
Experience:  Attorney
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My roommate has issued a restraining order against me. His

Customer Question

My roommate has issued a restraining order against me. His allegations are false and I was served yesterday. My court date is June 16th. However, in reading the fine print it says that I have to vacate the premises immediately. I have no place to go. My name is ***** ***** lease but he took the only copy of it. I was told that because he is being represented by Legal Aid I cant use them. I have no money for a lawyer or a new place right now. What should I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:
(A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. This is repeated in numerous disclaimers throughout the site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
I am sorry to hear about this situation.
"What should I do?"
Well, this is a very open-ended question. What should you do about - what? For example:
"How do I defend myself?"
"Do I really have to leave the property now?"
"How do I get a lawyer at free/reduced cost?"
"Do I have to file an answer?"
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
All of the above really. First I need to know if I have to leave immediately even though I am on the lease. How do I defend myself against these charges and am I restricted from using Legal Aid?
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
First I need to know if I have to leave immediately even though I am on the lease.
I am afraid so. The restraining order overrides the lease, or at least temporarily. The Court will at that court date determine whether or not to uphold/void/modify that ex parte emergency order.
You may have to pay for a motel/hotel, for example. The good news is if the Court finds that the claims were indeed false, the other roommate can be made to pay reasonable expenses incurred.
How do I defend myself against these charges
This is a classic he said/she said. It simply falls back on whoever sounds like they are telling the truth more. If you have any evidence such as emails, witnesses, texts, etc - this would be very useful.
and am I restricted from using Legal Aid?
Possibly. Due to ETHICAL considerations, if they are indeed representing him, they cannot represent you. If so, you can try other pro bono or low cost leads. I can recommend three resources. First, here is a list of all pro bono work in the state...
…and another list:
Finally, you may call your local law school and see if they have a legal clinic place available. The legal clinic is a free service the school(s) provide to the community. While they are often overbooked, they have openings sometimes. Here is the list law schools in your state:
Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I want to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please rate when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
I see you relisted the answer as coming too late.
Did you not see my reply at 5/29/2015 at 12:55 PM, which was 6 minutes and 31 seconds after your last reply?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank you
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
No worries. I figured that we simply sent a reply at close to the same time.
Let me know if you need anything else - I am here to answer anything.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.