Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)/Harassment by a neighbor


I currently live in the downstairs unit of an apartment complex in California. Since moving in 5 months ago,I have received 4 noise complaints issued by the property management- most of which for dates and times that I wasn't even home. I have also had  the police called to my home when I was watching a film with surround sound, on a Friday evening at 9 p.m. I have kept my cool and have not confronted any of my neigbors, including the woman upstairs who I suspect is to blame. I am just wondering what my next course of action should be since I've already spoken with both the police department and the property management regarding this ongoing harassment. Any and all advice is much appreciated.

Hello Nicole,

Before I respond further to your question, I must make clear that I do not represent you, and cannot give you individual particularized legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created by this email. For legal advice, you should hire your own attorney, and follow their advice. My role with AllExperts is limited to providing general information and suggestions for educational or general knowledge purposes. Before you take any action, consult with your own attorney.

Harrassment is a legal term that is defined narrowly in my state to focus on particular conduct that permits a harmed party to obtain certain legal relief, and although annoying, your neighbor's conduct does not seem like "harassment" to me.  

I suggest that you examine your lease and any rules or documents pertaining to your tenancy, and speak with either or both an attorney licensed in your state and/or a tenant advocacy group in your area.  In my state, tenants have the right to "quiet enjoyment" of their tenancy, wherein the "quiet" word does not mean sound volume but rather the exclusive right to your apartment or space.  If your neighbor(s) make false claims against you that interfers with your ability to sleep, eat, watch movies, etc., you may have claims against them and/or your landlord that would give rise to your right to vacate and/or obtain other relief.

Potentially, an aggressive campaign to enforce your rights may cost dearly more than simply turning down your volume.  However, as a person who also enjoys film ad appreciable sound (and I have a subwoofer) I get that part of your right as a tenant is to take reasonable use of your home and your space.  It does not seem to me to be dreadful or unreasonable to watch a movie at 9:00 p.m. on a Friday.  The fact that the police have not ticketed or cited you so far demonstrates that you are not violating any laws.

Perhaps you can speak with the management and or neighbor and work things out in a friendly way.  If that fails to be effective or capture your satisfaction, I suggest the foregoing regarding an attorney or tenanct activist group, and see about your remedies to vacate etc. in a formal setting.

I hope this helps, good luck to you.

Morgan Smith
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Conciliation Court * Civil Litigation * Forfeitures * Construction * Family Law  

Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)

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Morgan Smith


Civil litigation (contract claims, landlord-tenant actions, forfeiture suits, residential construction defect matters), Family law (divorce, custody modifications, child support modifications, and pre-nuptial agreement), new business start-ups, civil forfeiture, asset forfeiture. Please do not submit your question as Private. It is my policy not to answer Private questions from members of the public here on AllExperts; I reserve that function to my private clients. Although AllExperts permits me to change your questions from Private to Public, it is my policy not to do that. I encourage you to resubmit your question as a public question. Your public question has the potential to help others with similar concerns. I suggest that you use a pretend name and otherwise alter sensitive facts that make you inclined to treat your question as Private, and submit your question to me Publicly.


I've been practicing law in the State of Minnesota since 1995. I've worked in skyscraper firms, and now my own small firm in Minneapolis. Past answers from my earlier participation on AllExperts is posted at:

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