I completed an eviction on Wednesday, July 28, 2020 that was one of the strangest I’ve done in a long time. It took about two hours to complete, on a really hot 115-degree day during the COVID-19 era.
I have a very loud booming voice, but after announcing my presence repeatedly, I was still surprised to find a female asleep in a back bedroom. It was early afternoon.
One of the strange things that I encountered in that dark room was the fact that the water was running in the shower, at about a third of the normal flow rate. I didn’t turn it off at the time because I wanted to give the female some privacy. It was only later, after she got up and got dressed, that I realized she was actually a minor, 17 years of age.
The other thing that was strange was this young woman’s affect. She acted so strangely that I asked her if she was medicated or in any distress. I thought perhaps she had overdosed, but she assured me that she had not. I even asked her if she was suicidal; it’s my job.
The interaction was very strange and made me feel ill at ease.
As soon as I discovered there was a female alone in the apartment I had the maintenance man come into the apartment and stand by with me. We waited outside for a few minutes for the girl to get dressed. It was only then I realized she was the daughter of the defendant being evicted.
She asked for my number so that her mom could call me, and call me she did. In an obscenity-laced diatribe, the mother laid into me about the fact that I was evicting her disabled daughter, who is afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome.
Understanding the situation
Ahhhhh, it all made sense now, or at least I was able to make sense of it in my own mind.
The running water was to soothe her daughter.
The daughter’s strange interaction with me was because, and I’m just guessing here, she has a hard time interacting with people to begin with. And here I am, a complete stranger, entering her apartment and waking her up.
Oftentimes, in these situations, it’s just better to back off, take my time, and that’s what I did. We even waited outside for the mother to leave work early.
The mother was mad because she was planning on moving out over the weekend, and thought the property manager was okay with that. But, the eviction order was available sooner than that. My guess, based on the mother’s interaction with me, is that she probably had “overstayed her welcome”.
My other guess is that the property manager probably knew of the daughter’s disability, and simply didn’t tell me about it. It’s a really common thing for owners and property managers’ to withhold key bits of information because they’re afraid I might not do my job. In this case, the daughter’s affliction was a very material piece to this particular eviction.
I should have known that going into the eviction, but luckily, my disposition isn’t to go charging into situations.
— Ed Malles
I’m Constable Ed, and I’m running for Justice Of the Peace in North Mesa, Arizona. I hope you never need to use the services of your local justice court, but if you do, it’s important to have good people there. I strive to be firm, fair, and compassionate. I would be honored to have your vote on August 4, 2020.