Our client, age 52, owned and operated a laundromat in Bellflower with her husband. She came from a large family with many brothers and sisters, each of whom had spouses and kids. She had relatives that remained in the Philippines, who she would visit on occasion.
During one recent trip, as is Filipino custom, she would return home with presents from the Philippines for her younger nieces and nephews. The presents were usually small gifts, but which reminded the recipient of the family’s origins. It was also a good way to keep the family in touch and strengthen the bonds of blood.
After a visit to the Philippines, our client returned home with small gifts for her nephew and nieces. She called her cousin, age 31, to advise her that she had presents from the Philippines for her children.
Instead of thanking our client for bringing such presents back, our client’s cousin scolded our client for not believing her recent medical condition was serious. This odd response took our client aback, as it was certainly unexpected. Our client quickly changed the subject, but her much-younger cousin persisted, even saying “we are not as rich as you, so I think you should know these things.”
It was an oddly cold conversation for one that should have been filled with thank you’s and a short logistical discussion of how and when the gifts could be transferred from our client to her cousin for her children.
Later in the day, the younger cousin showed up at our client’s laundromat, with a basket of clothes, bleach and laundry detergent. The younger cousin had a home with its own washing machine and dryer, so there was no need to come to our client’s laundromat. Moreover, it was a five-or six-mile drive from the younger cousin’s home and there were about five other laundromat’s along the way that the younger cousin could have used instead that were closer.
Our client was working in the laundromat and noticed her younger cousin enter. She proceeded to put her clothes in the washer and then take a bottle of bleach and pour it all over the floor of the laundromat.
Our client observed this, as did three security cameras recording everything the younger cousin did. Our client calmly walked over to the area where the younger cousin was attempting to vandalize the laundromat and moved other customer’s items away. The younger cousin then, apparently frustrated that our client did not do anything, proceeded to pour her laundry detergent on the floor, too, near the full bottle of bleach that she had already emptied onto the floor.
Our client then became concerned for the safety of other patrons at the laundromat and attempted to grab the laundry detergent bottle from her younger cousin. The younger cousin yanked the bottle away and then punched our client in the face seven or eight times. This was all recorded on video from two angles.
A bystander called the police, who arrived almost immediately. A laundromat patron could be seen on the video holding back the younger cousin, who was yelling she was going to sue our client as the police intervened.
The police did not arrest the younger cousin, but asked her to leave.
Our client and her husband came to Greg Hill & Associates asking to file a civil restraining order against their younger cousin with the explosive temper and anger management issues.
Greg Hill listened to their story and immediately pulled together the paperwork, along with still color photos eight inches by ten inches showing the younger cousin landing several punches (hooks and jabs) at our client’s face.
Within one day, Greg was in the Whittier Courthouse filing the paperwork and getting the emergency restraining order. Greg the delivered this to the Lakewood Sheriff’s station and had a registered process server ensure the paperwork was served to the younger client in person. Such personal service took almost a week, as the younger client evaded service for several days.
Finally, at the hearing on the permanent restraining order, the younger cousin denied having poured bleach on the floor. Our client had a still photograph of her doing so to show the judge. The photo was crystal-clear, showing the pink colored bottle which was even clear enough to show the words bleach on it. Our client also showed the judge color photographs of her bruised face from the punches and cuts to her lip when her lip bled from the punches.
The younger cousin’s defense was undermined by this whopper of a lie. Greg then proposed that the younger client avoid a permanent restraining order, which our clients were in a position to secure without question, if she promised in writing not to sue our clients for whatever she though she could allege, if she apologized to them for the incident, if she agreed to attend anger management classes and agreed to stay away from the laundromat for five years.
The younger cousin agreed to such terms in writing and our clients dismissed their request for a permanent restraining order, which may have adversely affected the younger cousin’s employment. It was a nice “win” and the younger cousin hopefully would learn how to control herself better through the anger management classes she promised to attend.