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My roommate physically assaulted me. What can I do about it?

Valdosta, GA |

My roommate has physically assaulted me. I would like to have her evicted from our apartment, in which we have individual leases as I do not feel safe living with her, however I don´t feel that I should have to move since I am a victim in the situation. I filled out an incident report two days ago with an officer, but he has called me back today to let me know that the only option I have is to press charges and go to court, he will not simply have the incident documented for the viewing of my apartment manager so that I may take action to have her moved out. What should I do? How long would it take for the case to go to court? Would I have to continue to live with this individual who has hit me for the duration of the trial? Also will I be expected to pay court fees and get a lawyer?

Attorney Answers 1

  1. This is an interesting and difficult issue as emotions, finances and safety are all in play.

    First off, do not expose yourself to a dangerous situation at any time and always call 911 if you are in immediate threat. Nothing is worth the possibility of subjecting yourself to harm.

    It is good that you filled out an incident report and it is important that you followed up with the officer. As long as the officer filed his report and gave you a report number the report should be available to you as a victim and through the Freedom of information Act. If they refuse to print you a copy at the station you can formally request it by following the FoIA protocols that are available via the internet. The report is what you would want to show to your landlord but that would most likely have little effect as the landlord will defer to the terms of the lease.

    That may not "solve": you issues, however, as it sounds like you do not want to continue living in proximity to the alleged perpetrator. At that point the issue is his rights to be in the apartment vs. your rights. If you press charges the state will most likely arrest the person and you could request a "no contact bond," which would act as a defacto eviction. The case would wind its way through the courts and could take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of years to be fully disposed of. Your presence would be required as a witness and you would be subject to subpoena.

    Other, non-criminal, actions could also be taken and range from a consensual lease re-negotiation through a standard eviction/disposessory court action. Those occur in the civil arena.

    This is only a brief summary of a few of your options and should not be relied upon as binding legal advice. You should contact a LOCAL attorney, down in Valdosta, to assist you in exploring your various options.