A judge in New York has ordered a 30-year-old man to leave his parents’ house, after they took legal proceedings to evict their unemployed son.
Christina and Mark Rotondo sent their son Michael five notices between February 2 and March 30, to try and get him out of their home, before eventually suing to force him to leave.
On Tuesday Judge Donald Greenwood, presiding over the Onondaga County Supreme Court in Syracuse, upstate New York, ordered that Michael Rotondo leave the family home.
“This is outrageous!” the 30-year-old yelled in court, after the verdict was handed down.
The case was brought after a series of letters from his parents failed to convince Mr Rotondo to leave.
The first note read: “Michael, after a discussion with your mother, we have decided that you must leave this house immediately.
“You have 14 days to vacate. You will not be allowed to return. We will take whatever actions are necessary to enforce this decision.”
Mr Rotondo, who is unemployed, insisted that that was not enough notice.
Eleven days later, a second letter threatened legal action if he did not leave the home in the upstate New York town of Camillus, 250 miles north of New York City.
“Michael Joseph Rotondo, You are hereby evicted from 408 Weatheridge Drive, Camillus, New York effective immediately,” the note read.
“You have heretofore been our guest and there is no lease or agreement that gives you any right to stay here without our consent.
“A legal enforcement procedure will be instituted immediately if you do not leave by 15 March 2018.”
Further notes followed, with one even offering Mr Rotondo $1,100 (£820) “so you can find a place to stay”, and another suggesting a series of options to either fix or get rid of his broken Volkswagen Passat.
Stay at home children
“There are jobs available even for those with a poor work history like you,” one of the notes reads. “Get one — you have to work!”
But the 30-year-old, who has lived at his parents’ for the past eight years, still refused to leave — prompting his mother to enquire at their local town court in April whether they could evict their son.
They were told that because Michael is family, they would need a Supreme Court justice to officially send him packing, and so they filed an official eviction proceeding on May 7.
Mr Rotondo, who is acting as his own lawyer, fought unsuccessfully to have his mother’s suit thrown out of court, claiming his parents are legally required to give him six months’ notice to leave.
During the 30 minute hearing, the judge tried to convince Mr Rotondo to speak directly to his parents, while he waited. Mr Rotondo refused, saying he had made his legal arguments.
The judge praised Mr Rotondo's legal research in finding a prior case that appeared to show that family members get six months before an eviction, but provided a copy of the appellate court decision that overrode the case that Mr Rotondo cited.
The 30-year-old even tried to force an adjournment of the hearing, noting that the room for the hearing was incorrectly listed.
He also claimed he had “never been expected to contribute to household expenses, or assisted with chores and the maintenance of the premises.”
“This is simply a component of his living agreement with the petitioners,” he wrote in response to his mother’s suit.
He said in the court documents that he runs his own “successful” business, calling it “the overwhelmingly superior choice for the [his] economic well-being, over the working of a full-time job.”
When asked what the business was, outside court he replied: “My business is my business.”
After the court hearing he returned to his parents’ house.
It was unclear whether he was investigating further legal action.