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Sueing to recover legal fees, pain and suffering, work lost.

Boston, MA |

My husband and I own our unit in a 4 unit condo building in East Boston MA. Our neighbors (who rent from his parent that live in CA) started harassing us when they found out i was pregnant (previously they voiced that "they didn't want to have screaming brats running around")
In 2007 they brought us in front of the magistrate with criminal harassment charges which cost us 1000 inlegal fees. The case was dismissed and the magistrate said it was neighbor issues and in no way harassment. Now on the day after thanksgiving they summoned me to SUperior Court for a restraining order which again cost me 1000 in legal fees. The judge did not issue anything stating we are neighbors and need to get along. Now Jan 5, 08 she is again bringing me in front of the magistrate for assault and battery with a deadly weapon. I spoke to the officer who took her "verbal dispute" claim and said she said nothing about assault. I have a 14 month old and am pregnant again and cannot sleep, eat or live comfortably in my own home. Can I sue 4 work lost, my mental health, and my legal fees

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Attorney answers 3


You may have a claim against your neighbor for malicious prosecution and/or abuse of process for her misuse of the legal system, but whether the case is truly viable depends on whether she has any assets with which to compensate you. Since they rent their apartment rather than owning it, it sounds like they may not have significant assets, which would make it unlikely that a lawsuit against her would be worthwhile. On the other hand, you may also be able to talk to the police about bringing charges against her for criminal harassment if she has engaged in a series of acts (two or more) that have been designed to harass you and have caused you harm. This may be worth pursuing for you--it won't necessarily get you financial compensation, but it could help get her to at least leave you alone, and it's free. On the other hand, any legal action can be time-consuming and emotionally draining for you, and can sometimes escalate matters. If you intend to keep living in this building with them there, these are all important things to consider in whatever action you decide to take. I hope this helps.


You bet you can. It sounds as you have have a case under the legal theory of "abuse of process" and "malicious prosecution" both areas that I practice on a regular basis. Please feel free to call my office and I will be happy to speak to you about this situation.



As a practical matter, no you cannot sue for your legal fees or lost wages.

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