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Old 05-16-2012, 01:13 AM
 
19 posts, read 26,277 times
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This is puzzling. In a routine search on the web, I came up with a number of states that have statutes punishing people who misuse the 911 emergency response number - especially, if a "pattern" of misuse is established. But I can't seem to find anything similar for Oregon state. If anyone can point me to a state law that DOES provide a punishment, please enlighten me.

I live in a Portland house that is divided into 3 units. The upstairs unit is occupied by my landlady (a woman in her late 80s). Downstairs, I occupy one unit and another single guy occupies the other one.

Up until this year, my next-door tenant neighbor and I had no problems with the landlady. In fact, quite the opposite. We all liked each other very much. But starting this year, the landlady's behavior changed. She started hearing voices of imaginary people. And she insisted that these imaginary people were living downstairs with either me, my next-door tenant neighbor, or both. She further insisted that they were arguing all the time and "plotting" against her. And then, she really cut loose in a bad way.

So far this year, she's called 911 three times at odd hours of the day AND night, complaining of a "disturbance" downstairs. Naturally, the police have to investigate. But on each occasion, they found no disturbance - and didn't find these imaginary people either.

Her niece is a retired nurse and, in her opinion, the landlady suffers from dementia. The landlady's son, who lives in the house next door, concurs. The problem? She refuses to see a geriatric psychiatrist (as her niece recommended) or a gerontologist (as her son recommended) - vehemently insisting that she's "OK" and that everyone who claims she's hearing imaginary voices is a "liar" and is plotting against her.

So, there's a twofold problem. The first problem is that this landlady is mentally ill and is in need of professional help. The second problem is that her calls to 911 to get the police to "roust" me and my tenant-neighbor are not only infuriating to us. They SHOULD be infuriating to the police. And yet, the police appear nonchalant about the whole thing ... even after her son explained the situation on all three occasions.

Now ... I found my own "personal" solution to this state of affairs. I'm moving out. But I'm a retiree and can pick-and-choose where I live. My tenant-neighbor, on the other hand, has a job (works nights) and moving would be a supreme hassle to him. On one of those 3 visits, the cops woke him up while he was sleeping for work. And on 2 of those visits, the cops woke me up. And, we both have a "right to sleep" without this kind of nonsense taking place.

In any case, for my neighbor-tenant's sake (since he's not net-connected), I'm trying to find a legal tool he can use (an Oregon statute of ordinance) to stop these frivolous 911 calls that, in essence, have sent the police out on a wild-goose chase 3 times ... so far. Surely, there has to be some kind of law that protects people like us (and the police) against having to endure the results of these 911 calls. And, I'm hoping someone out there knows what that remedy is.

P.S. This situation is not all that different from a high school kid who pulls the handle on a fire alarm, just for kicks. He forces a response by the Fire Department which ends up being just a prank. Problem is, in doing this, the kid is putting other people's lives at risk - the people they COULD have been helping had they not been sent on a wild-goose chase. It may not do any good. But if I've not completed moving by the 4th time she calls 911 for the same reason, I'm going to put it to the cops - that the landlady has a pattern of calling 911 to send cops on wild-goose chases and needs to be given a choice. If she continues to claim she's "OK," then she has to be assumed competent and taken to jail. But, if she admits to a problem, the police will take her to a mental health provider. Either way, the problem ends.

Last edited by Kronicle; 05-16-2012 at 01:38 AM..
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
9,808 posts, read 15,904,018 times
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My father was never a landlord but in the last years of his life he would miss-use 911 as the result of dementia. After a couple visits 911 got his number, really. When I was in the process of moving him emergency services called me and asked that I tell them where he would be living and associated phone numbers. In that way they could determine if it was he who was calling and adapt their handling of the call.

Each of you should meet with emergency services to discuss your problem because it is their problem too. Legally the landlord is harassing you but unlike teenagers she doesn't know that.

Her family needs to contact a lawyer specializing in elder law and they need to move her to an appropriate living facility. With two relatives attesting to her mental condition and even the two of you supporting them her cooperation should not be necessary from a legal standpoint. However, the better option is for them to convince her that her current apartment is dangerous and help her find another nice place to live. She is at risk of falling and seriously injuring herself, for example. When talking to her they shouldn't bring up the thinking deficit, focus on her physical environment. The court is required to give her a chance to challenge a guardianship, she will receive a formal notice which may cause acting out. IMHO that is the last card to play.

Once her apartment is cleaned up that unit could be rented and the income from the three apartments help pay for her care.

Her 911 calls are complicated by the fact that people with dementia inadvertently start fires, a real danger to tenants. Make sure your smoke alarms are working.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
8,006 posts, read 13,817,680 times
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This is a question for the city officials, I would think. I often wonder why legal questions are asked in a forum. Keep in mind I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
11,042 posts, read 11,455,634 times
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If you meet with emergency services, meet as a group. Particularly, get the landlady's son and niece involved. Family input is valuable in these cases. They may be able to get a judge to mandate an evaluation for her.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
8,006 posts, read 13,817,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
If you meet with emergency services, meet as a group. Particularly, get the landlady's son and niece involved. Family input is valuable in these cases. They may be able to get a judge to mandate an evaluation for her.
I don't like to hear only one side to the story Larry. Maybe it is the other way around. I have to consider where the question was posted. I am sure there is much more to this tale then we know, and this is not a place to get or give legal advice.
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
11,042 posts, read 11,455,634 times
Reputation: 17204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Pickering View Post
I don't like to hear only one side to the story Larry. Maybe it is the other way around. I have to consider where the question was posted. I am sure there is much more to this tale then we know, and this is not a place to get or give legal advice.
You obviously believe in full employment for lawyers. All getting a lawyer involved will do is guarantee a really slow and stupid process that won't fix the problem. The woman's son is right there. If she's not willing to be evaluated he needs to get involved. No lawyer is necessary.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
9,808 posts, read 15,904,018 times
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Usually I agre with you Larry, but not in this case. An lawyer specializing in elder law can SAVE the family money, particularly when the senior has mental issues. It will be much easier to move the woman if they can obtain her cooperation and not involve the courts. None of us knows if the landlord has a health care directive, revocable living trust or a will. The family needs to know what they can do to protect and care for her.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
8,006 posts, read 13,817,680 times
Reputation: 2752
Larry, your Myrtle Creek residency is showing.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
9,808 posts, read 15,904,018 times
Reputation: 6211
I just believe Larry hasn't had to deal with a relative with senile dementia. Before looking after my and my husband's parents it seemed so simple to me too.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:43 PM
 
9,454 posts, read 15,010,253 times
Reputation: 15406
Just chiming in here.......my mother got like that her last few years. she insisted her phone was bugged, neighbors were stealing her mail, etc.

Somehow, look into her meds. See if she's getting over refills, etc. Many elderly people are dehydrated, causing meds to concentrate in their system. Sadly, they become dehydrated because they are incontient (sp) and limit their fluid intake.I don't know how one would check for that, but keep it in mind and you might find some way to investigate.

Also, if you can, check her diet. Is she eating right? Perhaps offer to take her shopping. many elderly people subsist on fast food, Twinkies, etc, because that's all they can manage to bring in.

Something as simple as fluids, a decent diet and perhaps some vitamins might turn this lady around. Or, perhaps its time for her to move into assisted living where at least some meals are provided.
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