Q: I press charges against my neighbor for intentionally disturbing the peace because he’s bitter about being evicted. I live in an apartment that I can’t sleep in because he is so loud. But when I am here I call the cops whereupon he gets louder. The landlord has given him 30 days notice to evict but by law he can’t do much else. This guy is intentionally setting his alarm clock to go off after he leaves (all hours of day and night) and when he is here he invites people over to drink and party and generally be loud. He doesn’t work so he does this all the time. I’m under lease so I cannot move without breaking that contract. This has been going on for 2 months. I can’t wait 30 more days. Can I simply press charges and/or have him fined for this behavior? Civil court or claims court is too costly and time-consuming. By then he’ll be evicted. I need a quick solution to an unfair situation.
A: Yes, you can see if the police will take a complaint. You can record the noise electronically or call the police to come over when he leaves the alarm on, so they can witness the disturbance. The better evidence you have, the more likely a criminal case for harassment or disorderly conduct can be proven. If the police won’t take a complaint for Disorderly Conduct or Harassment, you can see if the DA at the local District Justice office will take a Private Complaint. Remember, you will have to face him in court and this may all be over in 60 days when he is evicted.