Bad Roommates Happen
Netflix's scary new Worst Roommate Ever documentary series teaches viewers the power of a Pennsylvania protection from abuse order but also their limits and perils. The series documents three individuals who terrorized their apartment roommates. The series tells the story of the first and worst of those three individuals, Jamison Bachman, in its episodes one and two. The tenant in those episodes had permitted Bachman to trick his way into a roommate agreement using an alias. The tenant soon discovered that Bachman had terrorized other roommates up and down the East Coast just as he was terrorizing her. Yet using his copious legal knowledge, Bachman repeatedly managed to avoid straight-up eviction. How, then, to get Bachman out of the apartment? The tenant could not initially get a Pennsylvania protection from abuse order because Bachman had not yet committed or threatened violence qualifying for protection under the Act. If you face a PFA request when you haven't committed any qualifying act, retain premier Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento to help you defend and defeat the PFA request.
What a Protection From Abuse Order Requires
Strange as it may seem, Bachman's tenant saved her sanity, and probably her life, by pressing Bachman into violence that enabled her to get a protection from abuse order evicting Bachman and keeping him away. Under Pennsylvania's Protection from Abuse Act, 23 Pa. Code §6101 et seq., PFA orders generally require the applicant to show abuse by one with whom they have had an intimate relationship or family relationship. The Act's Section 6102 gives a broad definition of abuse and also broadens the protections further for minor children. But typically, abuse requires violence or threats of violence. A PFA order will generally prohibit the abuser from returning to the house or having any other contact with the victim. But without the required relationship and abusive act, a PFA order won't be available. If you face a PFA request when you haven't done anything wrong to deserve it, retain attorney Lento to help you defend and defeat the request.
A PFA Order to the Rescue
Initially, in the above Worst Roommate Ever matter, the tenant whom Bachman tricked into a roommate arrangement had no abuse to show a court. As crazy as Bachman was, plugging toilets with cat litter and stealing light bulbs while refusing to pay rent, he hadn't yet been violent. But the tenant had learned Bachman's pet peeves: smoking, drinking, and rap music. So she held a long and loud party with, you guessed it, alcohol and rap. And sure enough, Bachman cracked, choking and stabbing the tenant, who promptly got the highly warranted PFA order. Bachman was out of the apartment for good. Shortly later, Bachman killed his brother over a similar housing dispute and then, arrested and in jail awaiting the charges, killed himself. But the whole sordid affair proves again that unless and until the PFA defendant commits a qualifying abusive act, the court should not grant a PFA order. If you face a frivolous PFA request, retain premier Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento to help you defend and defeat the request.
The Moral of the Story
While the Worst Roommate Ever story may be entertaining in its own sordid way, its lesson is that PFA orders are available only after a qualifying abusive act. If the tenant in the Bachman case hadn't manipulated Bachman into abusive acts, the tenant would not have had a basis for her PFA order. Defendants can defend and defeat PFA requests that lack supporting facts. Only with credible evidence of abuse or threats of abuse, can PFA orders evict a tenant from the tenant's own apartment or a resident from the resident's own house. If you need help defending a frivolous PFA request, to preserve your right to remain in your home free from unnecessary restraints, retain premier Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.