Kids expect their parents to provide everything for them. Their parents brought them into the world and, since the kids don’t have any way to provide food or shelter for themselves, it’s only natural that their parents should support them entirely.
But that support is only supposed to last for so long. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, a person is supposed to learn to be self-sufficient and eventually strike out on their own. When one family’s bird failed to make the jump out of the nest, so to speak, his parents had to take drastic measures…
Mark and Christina were a couple living in the middle class town of Camillus, just a short distance away from Syracuse, New York. They’d had a son named Michael back in 1987 and when he grew up, he naturally left home to live on his own at the usual age.
But like so many people of his age group, Michael wasn’t up to the task of living on his own and asked to move back in with his parents in 2010. Mark and Christina loved their son and of course wanted him to succeed in life, so they agreed…
There are a lot of reasons why Michael’s story of leaving home only to return is so common these days. While unemployment is low right now, real wages — the amount of money people earn compared to inflation — haven’t really grown since the ‘70s. At the same time costs for just about everything, especially rent and housing, have skyrocketed.
Hard But Not Impossible
Still, most ‘millennials’ are motivated enough to have their independence to find a way to scrape by on their own. Not so for Michael. As the years went by, Michael would spend the rest of his 20s living under his parents roof, bringing them to breaking point…
As Michael was approaching his 31st birthday, unemployed and not contributing to household expenses, chores, or maintenance, and 8 years into his second stay in the family home, his parents decided that enough was enough. After a number of discussions imploring him to get a job and move out, they decided to make their wishes as clear and official as possible.
In the beginning of 2018, Michael got a letter that 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.” At the bottom of the note, it was signed “Mark and Christina Rotonodo.”…
But as the days passed by, Michael appeared to be making no efforts to get himself a job and move out. To emphasize how serious they were, Mark and Christina gave their son another letter 3 days before the deadline they’d given him warning of potential legal action.
“Michael Joseph Rotondo, You are hereby evicted from 408 Weatheridge Drive, Camillus, New York effective immediately,” the second letter 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”…
But March 15th came and went and the obstinate 30 year old made no moves toward vacating. Over the course of 6 weeks, Mark and Christina gave him 3 more letters, with one even offering a ‘buyout’ of sorts, $1,100 dollars “so you can find a place to stay” and another suggesting they could help to help fix or get rid of Michael’s dead VW Passat.
You Have To Work
“There are jobs available even for those with a poor work history like you,” read one of the letters. “Get one — you have to work!” But Michael remained immovable so his parents went forward with the only option they believed they had and filed a lawsuit against him…
Michael, of course, didn’t have the money for an attorney so, acting as his own counsel, he filed a motion trying to get his parents’ case thrown out, claiming that they were legally required to give him 6 months to get out.
In court papers, Michael claimed that he runs a “successful” business — without saying exactly what that business was — saying his business was “the overwhelmingly superior choice for [his] economic well being over the working of a full-time job.”…
Michael also had a pending lawsuit against Best Buy, where he’d previously worked but was fired for refusing to work on Saturdays. He was seeking over $300,000 in damages, though it seemed far fetched that anything would come of it.
‘I Have Money’
“I have money. I have income. I have plans to not stay with them anymore, just not today, just not in 30 days. I can’t imagine I’ll be there in 3 months,” he said. His parents apparently thought those 3 months were either unrealistic or just too long…
He also claimed that his parents were forcing him out of the home as “retaliation” for not allowing them to see his child before he lost custody himself last September. Regardless of Michael’s dubious claims about his business or parental retaliation, the judge in the lawsuit felt his arguments had at least one merit.
Good Job, But No
Judge Donald Greenwood applauded Michael for his legal research in the case, which would have been passable for someone who’d had the benefit of legal training. But beyond that, Judge Greenwood described his demands for 6 more months under his parents’ roof as “outrageous.”…
Awkward Trip Home
The judge ordered that the parents’ lawyer draft up an order outlining the terms of the eviction but allowed Michael to remain in their home until the official date was set. You can imagine, after the session in court, just how awkward it was driving home with all 3 of them sharing a car.
“They were quiet. It’s awkward” Michael said. The remaining time he spent in the home would be no less awkward, with Michael’s bedroom just a couple of doors down from the master bedroom. “It is awkward,” he said again about the living arrangements…
Fine, I’ll Go
Still, with the full force of the law now telling him he would have to leave the home, Michael finally faced reality, putting an end to the real life “Failure to Launch” situation. However he wasn’t without conditions for his exit.
Still Wanting More
“I want 3 months,” Michael said. “I think that’s reasonable.” If given those 3 months, it would mean he wouldn’t move out until after his 31st birthday in July. However, he said he would comply with the eviction order so long as it didn’t force him out of the home within the next 30 days…