Asked in Civil Litigation for Pennsylvania

Q: What type of lawyer would take a case of landlord harassment, vandalism, potential voyeurism, which is all recorded.

Multiple audio recordings, video recordings, and messages which substantiate harassment, vandalism, terroristic threats, voyeurism, and so on. Need an attorney who will take on the case I don't care about the money just want accountability. He owns multiple homes which should be a big enough incentive for any attorney who wants to get rich quick with all the evidence I have, just want to see the lowlife pay, one way or another.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Schenectady, NY
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: This is a classic question that has the typical components of a losing case: the asker inquires about the "type" of lawyer, there is a claim of landlord harassment, there are multiple recordings to serve as "proof," and the asker wants "accountability" and not money. The lawyer will work for free because the attorney who falls for this will "get rich quick."

As an initial matter, there is no such civil claim as landlord harassment, or any harassment. Pennsylvania is a remarkably backward state. It fears computer misconduct like cyberstalking, revenge pornography, doxxing, and the like. However, interpersonal misconduct, like harassment between strangers (but not people intimately connected who can get a civil PFA), does not have a civil cause of action cognizable under Pennsylvania law. So, a plaintiff must squeeze his claim into some other cognizable tort like defamation for example.

Otherwise, harassment is given criminal treatment pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 2709 which states:

(a) Offense defined.--A person commits the crime of harassment when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another, the person:


(3) engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which serve no legitimate purpose;

The danger is found in (d) False reports.--A person who knowingly gives false, information to any law enforcement officer with the intent to, implicate another under this section commits an offense under, section 4906 (relating to false reports to law enforcement, authorities).

False reporting is a huge risk because the ordinary defense to a criminal charge is that the charge was false. If the trial judge says the claim is unfounded, then the defendant can turn around and file a criminal charge under this provision against the plaintiff.

As for multiple recordings and a proverbial mountain of evidence, the truth decider is the judge. The judge can exclude all of this mountain using the rules of evidence, or can include all of this mountain. A meritorious case can be completely flattened by a judge who wants the plaintiff to win (or to lose). The average defense counsel will always scream that all evidence is inadmissible, and a typical Pennsylvania judge may not know any better whether it is or not.

The type of lawyer who would jump at this case is a fool. All of the expense and time filing a complaint that leads to a dismissal for failure to state a claim will fall on the lawyer. The defendant landlord will get a good laugh out of the dismissal, and could move the court for his counsel fees against the plaintiff. Pennsylvania takes frivolous litigation extremely seriously, and sanctions flow like the waters of Jerusalem from the pen of the Pennsylvania judge.

Perhaps this asker should cut his losses and go away from the landlord. We are in a confrontational society today with Americans deeply divided about everything. There are other, more important battles to fight rather than seeking assistance from a government aiming to confront us and do us in.

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