Parents forced to evict adult children

11:10 PM, May 8, 2012   |    comments
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It happened to Kristine Fazzi, 55, after she let her adult son move into her Westminster home.

"He was allowing people to store their belongings here. He was allowing people to come in and shower and do their laundry," Fazzi said.

She eventually told her son that if he didn't follow her rules, he had to move out. The two continued fighting. Westminster Police reports show Fazzi had to call police several times when the fights escalated to intense verbal altercations.

When Fazzi told her son to leave in February, he refused.

"I said, 'I beg your pardon. This is my house. I pay the bills. I support you. Oh yes, I can kick you out.' And he said, 'No, you can't,'" she told 9Wants to Know.

9NEWS Legal Analyst Scott Robinson says her son, 33-year-old Nick Fazzi, was right.

"No matter how harsh it sounds, you can't just call the police. You have to file an eviction. It is mom (plaintiff) verses son (defendant)," Robinson said.

Even though Kristine Fazzi is the sole owner of the house and she had no lease with her son, the law requires her to get a formal eviction order from a judge.

After he moved back in, Nick Fazzi lived with his mom for three years.

FAMILY EVICTIONS ON THE RISE

Kristine and Nick Fazzi are part of a growing trend, 9Wants to Know has learned.

"Last week, we had several phone calls related just to this issue alone on our landlord-tenant hotline," Action Center Program Services Director Brooke DeGroat, said.

Landlord-tenant lawyers who volunteer to take statewide phone calls from the Action Center in Jefferson County are seeing the number of evictions involving parents and adult children on the rise, DeGroat says.

9Wants to Know went through three years worth of eviction filings from every county in Colorado.

One plaintiff wrote that her son "has displayed dangerous and violent behavior towards his family members."

Another plantiff, a father, described his son as "creating a hostile, fearful and dangerous environment."

The most common complaint in documents 9Wants to Know reviewed is from parents who said their adult son or daughter refused to follow house rules.

In those cases, and many more, parents successfully obtained evictions against their adult children.

No specific numbers are available. The court system does not specifically track family evictions, and in cases where the plaintiff and defendant had the same last name, many people contacted by 9Wants to Know refused to discuss the specifics of the eviction.

Parents can, but are not required to, list specific details of an eviction.

EVICTION PROCESS IS COMPLEX

Kristine Fazzi says she found the eviction process tough to complete on her own. She says she did not have enough money to hire a lawyer to evict her son.

"All of the rights are in his favor," she said.

Kristine Fazzi thought she followed the law when she posted an eviction notice on her door and gave her son three days before planning to move any of her son's stuff out of his room.

She ran into a snag when she went to court and learned it is not legal to post your own eviction notice.

The law requires a non-interested, third-party post the eviction. Kristine Fazzi decided to have a process server repost the eviction. She had to wait another three days.

Her son was nowhere to be found. After their last fight, he disappeared, she says. It is against the law for her to throw out any of Nick Fazzi's stuff until a judge signs off on the eviction order, Robinson says.

"Like it or not, it was her duty to preserve [Nick's] property until he was properly served with the eviction notice, which is problematic when he has left the house and is nowhere to be found," Robinson said.

9Wants to Know discovered Nick Fazzi was locked up in jail in Alamogordo, N.M., a small town 90 minutes north of El Paso, Texas.

9Wants to Know Investigative Reporter Jace Larson interviewed him in jail. Nick Fazzi admitted to being addicted to drugs, but denied they affected his mom.

"I left when I did them; I didn't stay there," he told Larson.

He says his relationship with his mom was great when he first moved in with her after he got out of jail in 2008. When he lost his part-time job, he says his mother became frustrated.

"If I had a friend over, it pissed her off. I don't see why, because the door wasn't even open," he said.

He told us that he would have left, if his mom has asked. He says she often allowed him to return to the home hours after requesting him to leave.

His mother does not dispute this, but says when she finally told him to leave for good, he would not go.

"The laws says she had to give me 30-days notice," Nick Fazzi said.

In this situation, the judge who handled the Fazzis' case required only a three-day notice.

After she had a process server post her eviction, she returned to court, and the judge signed her eviction order.

"This seems ludicrous," Kristine Fazzi said. "Why does a homeowner have to go through all of this?"

Adding up the costs of lost work time, court-filing fees, gasoline for the 40-minute, one-way drive to the Adams County Courthouse, and Kristine Fazzi says she spent $600 getting her son out of her house.

Kristine Fazzi says she hopes to eventually have a relationship with her son.

"I love my son. I don't want him to be this way," Kristine Fazzi said. "He's made some very bad choices. I had to do something."

Her son has no plans to have a relationship with his mother.

"I think she's crossed a line that shouldn't have been crossed," Nick Fazzi said.

Have a comment or tip for investigative reporter Jace Larson? Call him at 303-871-1432 or e-mail him
jace.larson@9news.com

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