Private Investigations and Personal Security/Complaining neghbors
I live in a townhouse with my mom, sister, her husband and 15month old baby. My mom has lived here since 2003. The living room has hard wood floor. The basement is a two basement apartment with its own address. The lady who lives there is about 67 and retired recently. Her husband left last year and she lives with her 20 year old grandson. She recently has started to complain about noise coming from our living room. The baby runs around and occasionally drops thing. He is down there for about 2.5 hours for the day. And my mom is always in the kitchen when she is home. The lady called the cops on us the first time but there were 3 children here at the time, and the cops said it was kind of loud so we kept it down. But now when the baby drops something like a toy when he is down there, the lady will run out her apartment and start yelling and screaming at us threatening to take us to court. And embarrassing thing like, why don't we work or go to church or go to school. And we recently had a blizzard so our gutters broke off, and she yells "we don't live in the ghetto, fix your house" and at times my mom feels scared the lady might come and hurt her.
The noise we make is normal, like walking from our living room to the kitchen and back. We don't crank the music or are up at late hours. This happens during the middle of the day, almost every day. We are embarrassed and intimidated by her yelling and making a scene. What can we do. Get a restraining order? Record ourselves and record her public scenes? Please help.
First off go to
That will give you a rough idea of what you're dealing with.
Second, get a few videos of her going off on someone. It's better if she doesn't see the first few recordings being made. Someone goes out and gets yelled at while someone else quietly and secretly records her over-reaction. Then make copies.
Third. Get a tape recorder and record a few days worth of household sounds. Squirrel copies away too. The more days the better.
This gives you proof that
a) she's over the top
b) you're not being out of line
Fourth, have a quite talk with the grandson (record this on the sly too). See if you can enlist his aid in calming her down. It might not work, but it's worth a shot.
You can supply copies of these recordings to the cops and the apartment management/homeowners association. This combined with explaining that she's obsessing (which she is) will get her listed as a nuisance caller with the police (they don't bother to respond) and as a barking moonbat with the AM/HOA.
The simple truth is living downstairs from a baby can be noisy, but it sounds like she's over the top, irrational (which may have a lot to do with why her husband left her). And while I'd say a restraining order is probably too much right now, those elements will assist you if one does become necessary. However, see if 'she can be embarrassed/talked down' works first.
Basically people like this will continue to go off as long as it's private OR they can control how other people perceive what is going on. For example, she calls the cops and complains to them first. The same with complaining to AM/HOA about you. IF she does and you can produce tapes of her going bonkos, well guess who's going to look bad?
Also when she's going off, look around and you'll probably notice that there isn't anyone else around (neighbors). A lot of this kind of behavior ONLY goes on until they get seen doing it. This is why the first few recordings of her need to be in stealth. When you do finally let her see you recording her, you can tell her you're recording how over the top and verbally abusive she's being so you can show it to the cops. That right there can -- and often will -- shut this kind of behavior down. If it doesn't, then you have recorded proof that she's the one with the problem.
Finally, I was a bouncer for many years. Something I learned early on was 'consider the source.' Being cussed out and called names by a drunk really didn't hurt my feelings or stress me out that much. You have a barking moonbat who lives downstairs who is outraged that a 15 month baby is making too much noise. She's a feuder (see the link) who uses that to vent her spleen and hatred. Her husband got fed up with her and left. ... do you really care what such a person thinks of you?