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  1. #1

    Default Can You Be Sued for Showing Your Landlord a Police Report

    My question involves defamation in the state of: PA

    Hello, I have a neighbor where I live who hollers in a foreign language to himself all night long. I do not know what he is saying, but he sounds angry and unstable. It usually starts around midnight and lasts until 4-5am. Intermittent bursts of hollering, singing and other things. While I cannot understand it, I can hear every word from anywhere in my apartment.

    Iíve emailed property management and Iíve called the front desk. In the presence of the front desk staff, I told this young man that I could hear everything he was saying and that it interrupted my sleep. This was at around 1 am on a Sunday night by the way. He apologized, but the next night it continued again.

    I spoke with the local police describing the situation. They told me that his behavior likely is a violation of the noise ordinance due to the volume and the time of day and the frequency. He told me that I could feel free to call the police any time it happened and they could come deal with it. Well, I called them not too long ago. They came to the door, told the neighbor he had to be quiet. He apologized to the police and they left. As soon as they left the noise and hollering continued again.

    I called the police again recently. He told me that if it continues to happen they can come again and provide me with a police report for my records. I wish I asked for that the first time.

    If I obtain the police report, and show it to the leasing office to prove that I am not just making the noise complaint up, can my neighbor sue me for releasing his information to them?

    My goal in all of this is to make the leasing company enforce the portion of their lease that Says that after 10pm and prior to 8:30am quiet hours must be observed. They are unwilling to do anything if you call them the next day and say a loud party happened in apartment so and so last night. Their knee-jerk reaction is always to say: call us next time it happens and weíll take care of it. Well, the leasing office closes at 6pm; so there is no way I can call them at 3am when my neighbor is freaking out. The only people I can call at that time is building security, they do nothing, or the police who can at least witness the noise and disturbance and give me a record of their being here at my request.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Risk of Being Sued for Showing Landlord a Police Report

    Although, in theory, he COULD sue you, his suit would go nowhere. He has no basis for a suit.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Risk of Being Sued for Showing Landlord a Police Report

    Quote Quoting gardening123
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    If I obtain the police report, and show it to the leasing office to prove that I am not just making the noise complaint up, can my neighbor sue me for releasing his information to them?
    It would be best to get police reports that other tenants have made. You showing them 5 police reports with you as the complainant, only proves that you're the one complaining.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Risk of Being Sued for Showing Landlord a Police Report

    Quote Quoting Who'sThatGuy
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    It would be best to get police reports that other tenants have made. You showing them 5 police reports with you as the complainant, only proves that you're the one complaining.
    Unfortunately, I am probably the only one he is bothering as he is at the end of the hallway and I am his only neighbor. The neighbors below would have to hear him through a 1 foot thick concrete floor and that seems unlikely.

    His living room where he makes most of the noise is right next to my bedroom and unfortunately I live in an efficiency and there is no where else to put my bed.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can You Be Sued for Showing Your Landlord a Police Report

    A police report is a public record, and you cannot be successfully sued for sharing it with others. However, if you know that the police report recites false statements made to the police, your distributing them through the police report won't necessarily insulate you from a defamation action that relates to your sharing those false statements. (I'm not suggesting that to be an issue -- it's just an oddball scenario that I'm mentioning as an exception to the general rule.)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can You Be Sued for Showing Your Landlord a Police Report

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    A police report is a public record, and you cannot be successfully sued for sharing it with others. However, if you know that the police report recites false statements made to the police, your distributing them through the police report won't necessarily insulate you from a defamation action that relates to your sharing those false statements. (I'm not suggesting that to be an issue -- it's just an oddball scenario that I'm mentioning as an exception to the general rule.)
    No false statements on my end, the main reason I want the police to come is that no other method is working and I want documentation that I am not the only one hearing him talking / yelling so loudly that you can hear him halfway down the hallway at 12:00am and later. My plan would be to submit a copy of the landlord so they know a 3rd party is aware of it and that law enforcement has reminded him of our local ordinances related to noise late at night.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can You Be Sued for Showing Your Landlord a Police Report

    You cannot for force the landlord to enforce rules. Their failure to enforce the rules might allow you to terminate your lease though.

    Why not ask the policenif they can cite the guy for the ordinance violation?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Can You Be Sued for Showing Your Landlord a Police Report

    Quote Quoting jk
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    You cannot for force the landlord to enforce rules. Their failure to enforce the rules might allow you to terminate your lease though.

    Why not ask the policenif they can cite the guy for the ordinance violation?
    No, I understand that the police cannot force the landlord to enforce their rules. The landlord has a duty, I believe, to respect the rights of their tenants and also to maintain order and respect at their property. The lease specifically mentions that anyone disrupting other tenants with loud or obnoxious behavior or any behavior that interferes with the comfort or convienence of other residents is in violation of the lease. And the police report would substantiate my claims that disruption is occurring.

    As far as the fine, from what I can tell, my neighbor is a wealthy college student, possibly on his own for the first time as an adult. He drives a car that costs more than the average Americanís annual salary x 3...Iím pretty sure a $20 or even a $200 fine will not deter him. But the report and the right to continue to file reports for subsequent occurrences is what Iím after. I want to build a case for the landlord letting me move if they donít have the ability to defend a tenant who is quiet and minding his own business against a rude and immature tenant who obviously doesnít care about his behavior or his neighbors.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can You Be Sued for Showing Your Landlord a Police Report

    Quote Quoting gardening123
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    No, I understand that the police cannot force the landlord to enforce their rules. The landlord has a duty, I believe, to respect the rights of their tenants and also to maintain order and respect at their property. The lease specifically mentions that anyone disrupting other tenants with loud or obnoxious behavior or any behavior that interferes with the comfort or convienence of other residents is in violation of the lease. And the police report would substantiate my claims that disruption is occurring.

    As far as the fine, from what I can tell, my neighbor is a wealthy college student, possibly on his own for the first time as an adult. He drives a car that costs more than the average American’s annual salary x 3...I’m pretty sure a $20 or even a $200 fine will not deter him. But the report and the right to continue to file reports for subsequent occurrences is what I’m after. I want to build a case for the landlord letting me move if they don’t have the ability to defend a tenant who is quiet and minding his own business against a rude and immature tenant who obviously doesn’t care about his behavior or his neighbors.
    It may be that he is skyping with friends and family at night because of the time difference.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can You Be Sued for Showing Your Landlord a Police Report

    Quote Quoting gardening123
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    No, I understand that the police cannot force the landlord to enforce their rules. The landlord has a duty, I believe, to respect the rights of their tenants and also to maintain order and respect at their property. The lease specifically mentions that anyone disrupting other tenants with loud or obnoxious behavior or any behavior that interferes with the comfort or convienence of other residents is in violation of the lease. And the police report would substantiate my claims that disruption is occurring.

    As far as the fine, from what I can tell, my neighbor is a wealthy college student, possibly on his own for the first time as an adult. He drives a car that costs more than the average American’s annual salary x 3...I’m pretty sure a $20 or even a $200 fine will not deter him. But the report and the right to continue to file reports for subsequent occurrences is what I’m after. I want to build a case for the landlord letting me move if they don’t have the ability to defend a tenant who is quiet and minding his own business against a rude and immature tenant who obviously doesn’t care about his behavior or his neighbors.
    thats not what I said. I said YOU cannot force the landlord to enforce whatever rules there are. If the landlord chooses to not enforce the rules, your options are to either move when your lease expires unless the issue is egregious enough that it may allow you to terminate the lease.

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