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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27454
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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I need assistance wirh a domestic violence situation

Customer Question

Hello! I need assistance wirh a domestic violence situation with my exhusband.As of Tuesday 6/30/15, he sent the City police to the house we have been sharing for 2 years to have them inform me my my permission to drive his vehicle was takwn away. The police officers asked for the keys to the vehicle and implied if I did not give them to him I would be arrested and go to jail that night. My exhusband also asked the officer to take the house keys away from me as well. I'm in the process of moving my things out of the house preparing to move into an apt. Aug.1st. I've just started a new job and since that time my exhusband has been very difficult, verbally and emotionally abusive. The police dept tells me I am not a resident of this house even though my drivers license, bank statements, phone bill, voter's registration, Social Security Card, all have this address. I receive mail here. My pets are here. My personal belongings are at this address. This is where i return after working. What rights do i have in this situation? Can i just be put out on the street on a moments notice by a police officer who is talking by phone...and speaker phone to my exhusband? Asking him...ex...what he wants to do? Do i not have the right to be properly served with an official eviction notice if that is what he wishes to do? I have also paid utility bills here at this residence and have been a contributing member of this household. Thank you for your assistance! I greatly appreciate your help! Linda
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you with your question.
Is there any kind of a court order in effect against you? Have you been served, for example, with an ex-parte protective order? Or has the home been given to your husband as part of a divorce settlement?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Zoey,
Thank you for your assistance during this fearful time for me. No, there is no court order of any kind or any ex parte protective order. This home is his home. I was never listed on the deed of the home. I am going to take out an ex parte protective order against him this morning, but am afraid to leave the house & animals with fear of being locked out by my exhusband at any time. I also suffer from Panic & Anxiety Disorder and PTSD disorder. I am being treated by my doctor and behavioral health care providers for these illnesses. My exhusband is very aware that his threatening, harassing & verbally & emotionally abusive behavior causes panic & anxiety attacks that take several days sometimes a week to revober from. When he called the police to the house on Tuesday night I suffered panic & anxiety attacks that night & the rrst of the week. I am so fearful right now that he is going to show up here and harm me that I'm almost frozen in place. These panic & anxiety attacks are serious.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I've been doing some looking into the ability of my exhusband and the local Police Department here in Winston-Salem, N.C. to lock me out of the home by claiming I'm not a resident at this address. The police officer said i was a guest only. A neighboring county sheriffs deputy who came to my girlfriends house to talk to me about this on Tuesday said that I'm a resident since I've been a contributing member to the household along with my drivers license having this address, my mail comes here, I come here on a regular basis. That can mean more than in financial ways, such as purchasing groceries, doing laundry, taking care of pets & house, I've also paid utilities here over the years. I also fall under the N.C. Squatters Rights laws. My exhusband is required to do a formal eviction process. He cannot just walk me out the door on a moments notice with pets and no transportation iio
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
If this has been your official residence and there is no court order in place requiring you to vacate the premises, the yes, your ex would have to have you formally evicted.
That said, what are you alleged to have done that made him call the police the other night? Were you charged with any offense?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Zoey, He called the City police to tell them he did not want me to drive his truck I've been driving for the past 2 years that he gave me the keys to. The police then came to the house and asked for the keys to the truck....implying if I did not give them and the keys to the house to the officer I would be arrested and go to jail that night. All on the merit of the out of town phone call by my ex husband who the officer was talking to right in front of times on speaker phone....i believe just to scare me! No charges of any kind were made. I have not done anything criminal here!! Just living at home! Are you certain on the fact that my exhusband will need to do an official eviction? Am I indeed a resident of this address, this house is my residence? What do I do if he locks me out of the house today and puts our pets.....ties our dogs out in the yard and sets my indoor cat loose outside? I have medication & things I need for work and one of the dogs has daily medication as well for a torn acl in her knee. Also am I within my rights to tell the police officer if one comes that this is a civil matter? And I do not have to go outside of the house to talk to them? I have the right to stand inside the house & talk to them? What about N.C. Squatters rights? Does this help me in any way? Did I weaken my rights by turning the house keys over to the police officer who then gave them to my next door neighbor since my exhusband told him to over the phone in front of me? I'm just frightened to leave the house. Under what law or laws does he have to do an official eviction? Tgank you for your assistance!
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
Landlord/tenant law is not my specialty, and you might want to post another question in our landlord/tenant category in order to find out whether the fact that the police put you on notice to quit the premises the other night would be good enough in your state to qualify as the first step towards an official eviction.
It is, however, clear that you have established residency in the home and have been listed with state agencies as having official residence there.
You can tell the police that this is a civil matter. Unfortunately, they can tell you that you are trespassing, which is criminal. In that event, even though you may be able to win your matter in criminal court and even sue them aftewards, they can still arrest you.
Your idea of getting a protective order is a good one. You can also contact the police to work out the details of removing your property from the home.