How to help grandparents

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How to help grandparents

I have a 50 something year-old uncle living with my grandparents. He is
violent and abusive. They are afraid of him. He is unemployed and cannot
get a job because of DUI record. What can my grandparents legally do to
have him leave their home and be safe?

Asked on October 12, 2016 under Criminal Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

*You* can't do anything other than, if you become aware that he committed a crime (e.g. stole from them; attacked them), you can report that crime to the police.
Your grandparents have the right to make him leave: based on what your write, he is a guest (not a rent-paying tenant) in their home, and a guest can be asked to leave at any time. If he won't, they can bring an action for ejectment ("ejectment" is eviction for nontenants) to have the court remove him: they can get a court order than will cause a court officer, constable, and/or sheriff to remove him physically if he won't go, but they need to bring the lawsuit and get that court order to do this.
(Note: an action for ejectment is more procedurally complex than a regular eviction; they should retain an attorney to help them.)
If matters are urgent (e.g. threat of violence), they could even potentially file for the action on an "emergent" (think: "urgent" or "emergency") basis to get into court faster than usual to get the order removing him. (Emergent actions increase the complexity; again, they should get an attorney.)
They could also possibly seek a restraining or protective order against him if he has demonstrated that he is a threat.
But they--your grandparents--have to do this, unless and only if they were to give you a power of attorney giving you authority over their home; then you'd have the legal power to ask him to leave for them. Otherwise, they are mentally competent adults; they have to act on their own behalf. 
If they are willing to give you a POA, have an attorney draw it up and make sure it is signed and witnessed property, so it is effective. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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