Monday, December 20, 2010

News Flash! I just got an email from Evelyn. She got an email from Rob Mackenzie, the guy Joe moved in w/ when he was tossed out of Evelyn's house. Joe has a new victim! He actually has a girlfriend to abuse now! He sent me an email a few months ago, but asked me not to publish it, because Joe was living in his house & he was as afraid of Joe as Evelyn had reason to be. Now, I can publish his email, since Joe is gone.

"Dear Linda,

I presume you are Linda DerBoggosian of the ?

Thank you very much for your site. It reassured that I'm not his only victim. Please don't add this email to your site without my approval because Joe Bartone is in my house now & I'm afraid he'll read it and I'm in danger. My story is in the P.S. should you wish to read it, though it's confidential to you.

What Joe Bartone apparently did with Evelyn has been his exact modus operandi here with me. I thought he'd be good because he was so charming, my other roommate recommended him & he plays guitar too [I was guitarist in an old R&R group called Sha Na Na for 12 - 13 years with a lifetime of pro playing, so thought there'd be some respect]. He's extremely charming until....

I'm afraid he won't leave, may destroy more property, or hurt me & am certain Joe will sue me in small claims, so am seeking advice from anyone asap & hopefully a character reference about Joe that could be used.

I called Evelyn 3 months ago & she wished me luck, but said she was afraid of Joe for her life & wouldn't help me. I don't think he's after her at all though, that's past. His abuse of her is over, I'm his current victim & there's time to do something about it right now.

BTW. Re. the JJ show: A week or 2 before the shows taping, Joe told me he'd spoken with someone in JJ's production & was left feeling very confident he'd win the case. He also said "After all it is a TV show they're making & their bottom line is making a good show."
However, he said the JJ show paid him the $5,400, Evelyn didn't have to pay anything, right?

Anyway, I'd love to speak or email with yourself or anyone with past Joe Bartone experience.

Thanks very much if you read this,

Rob Mackenzie

818 ph# deleted [okay to call that # 24/7 without fear of disturbing anyone] I''m up late.

Caused more damage from abuse in this home than the $500 deposit plus $800 last rent I'm holding. [He tries every way to weasel out of acknowledging it, currently refuses to see it in person; demands photographs & estimates from licensed & insured contractors only! It's all right in front of him at home & he won't look at it, just a million reasons it's not him.]
In 30 years I've only deducted from the deposit of 1 or 2 roommates for damage.

He lied in my rental application process by concealing he was a recovering crack cocaine addict.
He did not give the proper notice pursuant to our lease (minimum full calendar month) plus he's breaking the 12 month clause also.
He's been very threatening & is very scary.

Joe insisted on a 12 month lease (verbal) when he arrived & invoked that lease on 3 occasions from early when I would have given him notice because of his damage & the risk he put us under.
The last time he invoked our lease was when he said he'd be moving into his girlfriends future new home soon, and said "but don't worry, I'll honour our 12 month lease & stay till January". I believe he said that because she hadn't bought the house yet & he didn't want to have to move an extra time before it was ready, which would happen if I found a new roommie before the girlfriends house was ready. I wouldn't have done that though because, unlike him, I honour my agreements even if defaulting would save me money, which it may have because Jan 1st isn't the easiest date to get someone to move in on.

Later after deciding he'd break that same lease he'd been reminding me of so he could move 2 months early into a home his girlfriend has bought, he first denied the existence of the lease at all, then later admitted we had a verbal lease with those clauses, but insisted that because it wasn't written up & signed & dated, it was not legal! He's changed his story on this to whatever he thinks will work for him, with no regard for the truth.

When I allowed him to move in 10 days earlier than agreed, he concealed that it was because his former roommate/landlord, Evelyn, had taken a restraining order on him.
He sued her, was incredibly organised, had printed about 200 emails as evidence (accidently left them on the couch w. restraining order on top (when I discovered that). Has an Uncle who's a judge, befriends attorneys, seems really into suing people & has sent me many manipulative dishonest emails to create a paper trail of admissible evidence against me. Prior to my October 14th 2010 email to him which fairly, honestly, and mildly asserted some of my rights, which caused his rampant 36 hour(?) tirade, threats, war declaration etc., I'd only once made any form of even mild written criticism when, giving him a heads up that I was considering visiting Australia for a month or 3 and asking how he felt about being left in charge of the house, I said I felt vulnerable that he sometimes left the house unattended with the doors not only unlocked, but wide open to the street & mentioned the food he trod into the kitchen floor that was being spread around the house. He went NUTS for 15 minutes! Deliberately intimidating me, standing with his face 1" from mine incredulously screaming full volume, "Vulnerable, vulnerable? What's WRONG with you!?!! You need to see a psychiatrist if you feel vulnerable!!! " etc.. Next day he humbly apologised for his anger though not for the subject matter of his tirade (as though he was sorry he lost it, but still thought what he had to say was justified) but, despite countless appropriate opportunities, I was too intimidated to send another email with any criticism or assertion for 6? months till this October 14th when, fearing violence, I called police for advice before sending it, & he went nuts again.

He used a slanderous lie as a threat to blackmail me (I think it's blackmail) . Told me that if I don't sign & date a paper that I'll give him the money that I don't owe him, he'll make my other roommate leave by, amongst other things emailing & calling the roommie & his father & telling them the 100% lie that I'm "trafficking in child pornography!!!" tell that to other people! Claims he "documented that with his attorney only a month after moving in" which means he was preparing false evidence to sue me right from when he moved in when he was being Mr. saccharine nice guy.

He's threatened he'll never move out until I give him all the money I'm holding & put me through the horrible 3 month eviction process during which he said he'd be so horrible to anyone that no other renter would stay here, so I'd be losing rent from both rooms for 3 months.
He openly declared war. Then the next day he apologised for the way he spoke & said it was very good of me to listen to him which he didn't deserve etc. but he didn't reneg on any threats in his 3 hour tirade. I've been ignoring him since. He is a Jekyl & Hyde.
Surprisingly both toilets have broken in the past 10 days. Not sure if he isn't trying to break things in a way he can claim was just normal wear & tear so he'd not be responsible even if it could be proved he did it.
3 - 4 months ago Joe paid me $800 rent in cash on the first of 4 days that I didn't leave home at all. The 2nd night the money was missing from the desktop in my main bedroom. I turned the place upside down in vain for 2 days but didn't accuse because one other roommate was here (though he didn't know I had the cash). It never showed up & now it seems most likely Joe stole it.

What should a reasonable person do?
Thanks. RM "

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The People's Court

I was told that Judge Wapner once said that Judge Judy was an embarassment. I can totally believe that he'd have felt & said that! The People's Court had a case today. The Plaintiff was suing for $500. That was her Security Deposit, unreturned by her previous landlord. The meat of the case was sooooo similar!
There was long term roof leakage. And a racoon fell thru from the attic into the kitchen! Now, I don't know how much any of you know about wild life. But, racoons are much nastier than tree rats. MUCH nastier!!! Tree rats are very shy. Racoons are very bold & just as dirty.
The tenant also painted the apartment in lavendar & a creamy orange! She had pictures, the paint was much nicer than what Joe painted his bedroom! She didn't do Traffic Signal Orange & Black, nor did she do Dark Olive Green & Dark Burnt Orange. She repainted a good portion of the apartment & only left a few walls.

What did Judge Milian rule? She gave the landlord $300 to repaint the rooms & gave the tenant the rest. She listened to them both, unlike JJ. She wasn't rude like JJ.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

You said WHAT???

There are so many people who just think the court TV shows are wonderful. My friend was one who thought that they may well be able to serve a valuable public service. She's been in the legal field for years & is always amazed how little the majority of people know about the law. The court shows could be a good way for people to learn. That's why, when she was approached by the Judge Judy show, telling her that they'd been contacted by her former roommate, she was willing to go on their show. The guy had done over $2,000 of damage to her house & attacked her. She never thought that he could prevail in court. The show said that he'd filed a Small Claims Court action against her, for his Security Deposit & for False Arrest. They told her she'd be paid to go on the show & if he did win, they'd pay the judgement. She talked it over w/ some people who watched the show (she doesn't) & knew the whole storey. They all said that Judge Judy would eat this guy's lunch.

Here's the story:
Joe Bartone rented a room in her house 3 yrs ago. He was a nice enough guy... at first. Then, as he became more comfortable, he started to show his true colors. The bullying started small at first, short bursts of loud music at 1am. Monopolizing the best parking space in the driveway (there are 3 spaces). Complaining if others were in the shower when he wanted to use it. The problems grew, until other roommates started moving out because of him. Some moved because they just didn't need to be stressed in their home, others because they were just downright afraid of him. My friend wasn't afraid of Joe (even tho he's 6' & 300 lbs & she's no where near that big.) She stood her ground & Joe always slinked away, as bullies do. But, then my friend got the bad news that she had terminal cancer. It was bizar how fast she went downhill, once she got the news. By the time she could get in for surgery, she was nearly wasted totally away.
After her surgery, she spent 5 days in the hospital (which is a LOT these days!) Then, she went home to finish her recovery. At first, she tried sleeping in her bed, but she couldn't lie down, because of swollen lymph-nodes in her back. So, she started sleeping, propped up on the couch in the living room.
On December 20, 2010, Joe came in from a night out & left his shoes in the doorway between the dining room & living room. (He often left his shoes in walk ways, where various roommates tripped over them.) My friend got up from the couch, to get a drink of water. On her way to the kitchen (by way of the dining room), she tripped over his shoes. The hard soled leather shoes of a guy that big might not seem like much to you or me; but they were more than she could pick up to move. So, she nudged (I'd say kicked, but that seems like it should be forward, she couldn't move them forward, she was too weak. So, she had to turn around & kick it backward.) into the dining room, where no one else would trip over it. The one that moved when she tripped ended up in the dining room, the other one she moved under the entry table in the living room (where he should have put them.)
The next morning, Bartone came down & saw that his shoes had been moved & went balistic! He started screaming at her to give him his shoe back. If he'd bothered to look in the slightest, he'd have seen his shoe 5 ft from where he left it, but he'd rather throw one of his temper tantrums. My friend did what one does when faced w/ a child throwing a temper tantrum, she ignored him. He kept screaming at her. He was getting pretty worked up & looked like he might get violent, so she used her cell phone to call her son.
Joe kept screaming, while she spoke w/ her son on the phone. Bartone grabbed the phone from her (scratching her face when he did) & told her he'd give the phone back when she gave him his shoe. She continued to ignore him & started to play a game on her computer. He then grabbed her glasses (breaking them & the little cord thing that held them on, like a Librarian wears.) But, having raised 4 children, she knew how to ignore tempertantrums, so she continued to play her game. Then, he tried to take her computer. Now.... you can take a woman's phone, you can take her glasses... but don't touch her computer!!!!! She grabbed the base of the laptop (he had the screen) & kicked at him as she shouted at him. At that point, he realized what he was doing & left the house.
At some point during this, one of the roommates walked thru the living room & tried to intercede on my friend's behalf. Julia told me that Joe was leaning over my friend, screaming in her face. When she told him to leave her alone, he stood up & started toward her. Now, Julia is very nice, but she's a tiny little thing herself. She's been afraid of this jerk for a while now, I can certainly understand her making a quick exit when he started toward her! But, to her credit, as soon as she got to her car... she called 911 & reported that she believed my friend might be in danger. My friend's son had also called the police.

So, there were 2 reports to the police of people who had good cause to fear for my friend's safety. The police did show up & they ended up arresting Joe Bartone. Then, he goes & sues his victim for False Arrest when she didn't call the police & it wasn't even her idea to arrest him!

He also sued her to return his Security Deposit. He claimed he had a $900 Deposit. I've seen the rental agreement & it was $780. He painted 2 rooms horrible, dark colors. Think Starbucks & Pittsburg Steelers. Now, you might love their coffee & root for the team... but how'd you like your bedroom or bathroom painted in those colors? Especially since her home is a beautifuly restored early '20s Mediterrainan Mansion!!!!! He asked if he could paint the bathroom & she told him he could paint any pastel color he wished. Black & traffic signal yellow are NOT pastels!!! He also got paint on the floor, ceiling, tub, tile & fixtures. She's going to have to repaint & replace a lot of stuff in there.
Another deduction from the deposit was for his last utility bill. He thinks he shouldn't have to pay utilities??? And, how about the $15,000 rug he ruined??? Should he not have to pay or anything on that? She charged him less than $200 for the damage to that rug, but IF it can be repaired it'll cost way more than that!!!
He also said that the house had rats. Now, I've been in that house a lot & I know there are no rats in the house. There are rats all over SoCal.... you folks just don't understand how bad the rat problem is around here, there weather is perfect for them & they love the palm trees! But, she's worked really hard at keeping the rats out of the house. Bartone on the other hand would leave food out in his room, inviting them in. He actually called one his pet!!! His room is the only room that had seen a rat & it was because he lured it in!!! Even so, she put out rat bait & traps to make sure his rat didn't go other places in the house.

So, my friend gets talked into going on the show. At the last minute, they make her wear a wig. They don't want anyone to know that she has cancer. she wears a scarf now because she doesn't have any hair left. She spent a long time in makeup, giving her a normal complexion, rather than the chemo palour that she's aquirred. "Judge" Judy (you do know that she is NOT a judge... she's an arbitrator. She's not part of the judicial system at all; she's an actress & a very highly paid one!) comes out & starts grilling my friend's son (the one who called the police.) She can't get the son to admit to things he didn't witness, so she gets pretty pissed of. She tried to get him to admit that he'd heard Joe take the glasses. But, in both statements, it's stated that he took the phone before he took the glasses. There's no way that the son could have witnessed the glasses being ripped off her face. JJ got pretty pissed off that she couldn't get him to bear witness to things he didn't see/hear.
Then JJ talks to the plaintiff & he lies thru his teeth. My friend barely says 10 words thru the whole show. "Judge Judy" looks at the statements that JJ's staff wrote up for my friend & compares that to the police report. Now, I don't know how much you know about police reports, but they are not usually very accurate. They get the big picture right (usually) but, you'd be best off not to count on them for details. JJ tells my friend that it's obvious that she's lying because the two statements don't match! On one, it says that the shoe was in the dining room. In the other it says that they were in the next room. Of course, no one could make the leap of intellegence that if the shoes were in the doorway from the living room to the dining room.... that the dining room may be the "next room". JJ tried to get my friends son to lie & she couldn't. But, she's got a show to run & she needs the ratings from frying people who want to fry the landlord. So, she has to find another way to do it. She twists the two statements, (that my friend didn't write) & says that they show my friend is lying... just like her son. I'm waiting to see the show. My friend just can't see how her duplicity can't be obvious. But, we live in the entertainment capital of the world. We both know that editign will do a lot! They'll cut & move footage, to show just what they want to show. In her exit interview, she siad that Joe wasn't a problem until she got cancer. They'll cut everything after Joe wasn't a problem, so it'll seem like he was OK. I've met this guy & he's a real pig!

I guess JJ just isn't very smart, not to be able to hear a witness & understand them. But, Joe Bartone must be plenty smart. He got $5,000 for beating up on an old woman dying of cancer!!!

So, I just couldn't sit by & let this happen without saying something. What about you? Do you know someone who's been shafted by Judge Judy??? The people who go on the show sign a contract saying that they will not post anything on the internet. That's why my friend can't say anything. But, their friends can!!! Tell your story, or your friends! Warn others!!! My friend looked around & didn't find any stories letting her know that this could happen.

Tell the stories of people who have been on "Judge" Judy's show!!!! If you are afraid to post the story yourself... send it to me @ I'll post it for you, without giving your name.