Extremely Tough Love

Shortly after I graduated from law school, my wife and I got engaged. Since she lived just two doors down from my parents, I stayed living at home until we got married. I would walk over to her house to pick her up for a date and then walk her home at night.

Then I would walk back to my folks’ house. Because we were night owls, we’d stay up and watch great TV shows like ‘Win Ben Stein’s Money’ or ‘Golden Girls.’ I loved living at home. My mom is a great cook and my dad and I could carpool to work. Don’t get me wrong, I am the luckiest man alive to be married to my awesome wife and live with her, but I really enjoyed my time at my parents’.

I think my folks enjoyed having me around, too. I helped out around the house and could reach things for my 5’1” mom. I’m sure it was tolerable for them because I was engaged and there was an end in sight.

But for Mark and Christina Rotondo, there is no light at the end of their tunnel.

The Rotondos live near Syracuse, New York, with their 30-year-old son, Michael. Though he still lives at home, Michael doesn’t pay any rent, do any chores or really help out in any way. Like all parents, the Rotondos want their son to be independent and self-sufficient. So they’ve begged and pleaded with him to move out.

After their college-educated son ignored their pleas, the Rotondos wrote him a letter in February, which read, “We have decided that you must leave this house immediately.” After he ignored the letter, the Rotondos enlisted the help of attorney Anthony Adorante. He helped them write a proper eviction notice signed by Christina that said, “You are hereby evicted” and “a legal enforcement procedure will be instituted immediately if you do not leave by March 15, 2018.”

The couple even offered to give Michael $1,100 to help get him settled. They told him he needed to find a job and get health insurance.

But after March came and went, it was clear that Michael wasn’t going anywhere. The Rotondos then went to their local town court to see if they could evict their son. They were told that because Michael was a family member, they would need a Supreme Court justice to remove him. So last month, the Rotondos brought suit against Michael in Onondaga County Supreme Court.

Shockingly, Michael argued that legally, he was not given enough notice to leave. He also called his parents’ lawsuit “retaliatory” and has asked the court to dismiss the case. Judge Donald Greenwood denied his request and granted the eviction and ordered Michael to be out by June 1.

But things may be looking up for Michael. After hearing about Michael’s impending homelessness, Andrew Steinberg, chief operating officer of the pizza chain Villa Italian Kitchen, offered him a job.

“Michael, hey dude,” Steinberg said, “We are offering you a store-level gig, complete with extensive training to get you up to speed, at any one of our 250 locations worldwide.” He sweetened the pot by giving Michael cash, saying, “We heard your parents offered you $1,100 to get out. We’ll do you one better. Literally, one. Offer from us is on the table for $1,101 to come join our team. Consider it a signing bonus. We gotchu, bud.”

Steinberg better be ready to pay lots of overtime, because apparently Michael never leaves.

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Reg P. Wydeven

Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney at McCarty Law LLP
Hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps from a young age, Reg’s practice primarily consists of advising individuals on estate planning, estate settlement and elder law matters. As Reg represents clients in matters like guardianship proceedings and long-term care admissions, he feels grateful to be able to offer families thorough legal help in their time of need.

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