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Author Topic: Neighborly Etiquette
pH
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Please advise me, Hatrack.

My condo building is small. Every day for over a month, I have heard a man screaming loudly at various hours of the day at night. At first I thought he was in pain. Then I realized that he was yelling at someone. He curses a lot. It scared me, and I was thinking about calling the neighborhood patrol to investigate, but my boyfriend happened to be over at one point and walked around the building to see what was going on. At the time, I didn't know if the screaming was coming from this building or one of the houses nearby.

Anyways, as I said, it turned out to be coming from downstairs on the other side of the building. Apparently it was a man who seemed drunk, and he was screaming at an elderly woman. My boyfriend said that the woman asked him if he needed money and that he was cursing and yelling things at her. We thought maybe the man was abusing his mother or something. I asked one of my neighbors because I thought someone else might know what was going on better than I did. The neighbor told me that the two people were a man and his mother, but that it was nothing to worry about because the man is mentally handicapped and "that's just how [he and his mother] are."

The yelling still really worries me, but I don't know if I should just accept my neighbor's analysis of the situation, since he knows the other residents better than I do, or if I should make a report to the neighborhood police or something. I'm worried that I might be overreacting to what could just be an elderly woman trying to take care of her son, but at the same time...it's really weird to hear profanities and other things coming from outside when I'm in my bedroom.

-pH

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rivka
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*sigh*

Good luck. My parents had similar neighbors (only it was a father and daughter, and they lived in the house across the street). Calling the cops only helped for a few hours -- and seemed to make things worse overall.

They finally moved away after about 10 years of this.

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String
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These situations never end well. You can either live with it or, usually worse, get in the middle. I called the police on my neighbors once when I saw that the husband was really laying into someone I couldn't make out. The cops came, no one answered the door, so they came to my house to ask me what happened. Dumb thing for cops to do. The guy saw, and his wife (the person who was getting beaten) ended up coming over to thank me the next day. I told her that she and her daughter could come here if they needed to escape in an emergency someday. Dumb thing for me to do. The wife ended coming over all the time, telling me stories of how her husband was a great guy with post traumatic stress. The guy got jealous eventually and after the next time he beat her, he came to my house literally spitting and slobbering at my door throwing a huge tantrum. I take no shame in the fact that I pretended not to be home and called the police. He got arrested, got out shortly after, and continued to scream and yell loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear about twice a week. When I moved nothing had changed.

I regret not thinking to call C.P.S., Something I would do first thing now that I have had my daughter.

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Juxtapose
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I've heard people yelling in neighboring apartments semi-regularly. The only time I called the cops was when I distinctly heard things being broken and cries of pain.

It's a crappy situation. If the man really isn't all there, there's likely nothing you can do besides move away. You do have a right to quiet at certain hours of the day though.

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El JT de Spang
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The only thing you can do is buy a house in the country.

Problem solved.

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Damien.m
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I don't think theres anything you can specifically do short of moving away.

While you do have the right to quiet at night I'm pretty sure that the police couldn't do anything if the guy is mentally handicapped.

Anyway, good luck!

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The Rabbit
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pH, Check the covenants and restrictions for your Condo. Many condo associations have specific prohibitions against certain kinds of noise. If yours does, you may be able to work through the condo association to resolve the problem rather than the police.

Of course if this is a elderly woman with a disabled adult son, you will have to decide what outcome you would like to see. You shouldn't have to move out of your condo because someone is violating association rules.

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porcelain girl
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Why do the cops always DO THAT?! Really awful neighbors moved in next to my mother while she was living in NorCal. They beat their dog regularly, and had parties all through the night, on weeknights. My mom went to take out the trash one night and heard two men discussing if they should "just kill her, or rape her first."

She called the police about this, and also about the dog, and both times the cop said "your neighbor next door called, etc. etc."

So this violent sadistic individual knew it was my single mother who called and came in the middle of the night banging on her door and stood there screaming and threatening her. Ugh. LosArs.

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String
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quote:
Originally posted by porcelain girl:
Why do the cops always DO THAT?! Really awful neighbors moved in next to my mother while she was living in NorCal. They beat their dog regularly, and had parties all through the night, on weeknights. My mom went to take out the trash one night and heard two men discussing if they should "just kill her, or rape her first."

She called the police about this, and also about the dog, and both times the cop said "your neighbor next door called, etc. etc."


So this violent sadistic individual knew it was my single mother who called and came in the middle of the night banging on her door and stood there screaming and threatening her. Ugh. LosArs.

No offense to all men and women in blue out there, but it really doesn't seem like the brightest bulbs end up on the police force. At least not here in Lansing. I know it's a generalization, but it really is an honest observation.
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Goody Scrivener
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I know that the police in my village will not reveal who called.... because I have had to call on a few neighbors for fights, and I called to ask about the ordinances concerning owning livestock because another had chickens and roosters in her small backyard.

I had a discussion with the chicken lady several months later about something completely unrelated, and she thought someone else (and had a specific person in mind) was to blame for reporting that she had chickens in her yard. The village made her get rid of them because she hadn't requested a variance before getting them, despite her claims that they were part of a West Nile early warning system with the state Department of Health.

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The Genuine
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What does your HOA agreement say about disputes between neighbors?
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