Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 16: Legal Advice

As soon as this whole mess started going down, I asked for advice from friends and colleagues living in Japan. What followed was a slew of suggestions. Most leaned to the side of, 'You should take a giant poop on the floor, that'll show em!'

File:Mr hankey the xmas poo.jpg

Of course, there was the expected 'Break everything!' tidbit. The most evil award goes to 'Milk-chicken-bomb.' Tempting.

But the one universal piece of advice was to seek legal council. Surely, when someone breaks into your apartment and illegally evicts you, a law may have been broken, and civil retribution is possible.

The Tokyo Bar Association provides 30 minute legal consultations 4 times a week. They will provide an interpreter to translate the difficult Japanese legal jargon into English. Gotta make a reservation in Japanese though.

My 30 minute, $50 consultation went as follows:

0:00 to 0:15 - Explain the situation. I wrote out a timeline with major dates and parties involved. The lawyer was pleased that I came prepared.

0:15 to 0:20 - The dreaded doshio... what do we do? Yeah, the lawyers were shocked that something like this could have happened in Japan.

0:20 to 0:30 - Advice time!

Basically it comes down to who was the legal landlord of my apartment at the time of the break in. My landlord is involved in a court battle with another landlord, the one, I'm assuming, who perpetrated this whole deal. I've been looking at it as theft this whole time, but it could also be seen as some sort of shady eviction. Shady... yet not so illegal. Anyways, if it is someday decided that my guy was the owner on June 23rd, 2011, then I can take legal action against the bastards who did this to me.

If it is decided that my guy was not the legal landlord at the time of the... eviction... then tough shit. I could potentially take legal action against him for giving me a false contract. But... it can be shown that I was aware of the situation, and not tricked by my landlord into signing false documents.

Let me try and explain. My rent was so low that only an idiot would be unaware that something was up. I know that the c'mon... is this guy serious defense is full of holes, but it was pretty obvious that something was up. How low was my rent? Facts and figures at a later date, but somewhere below 50% of the normal rent in my building. When explaining myself to police, or lawyers, or random dudes on the train, I always lose credibility when I mention the rent I was paying. Truth be told, I had a good run. I estimate that over the 2 years I was there, I saved enough to buy a new KTM 990 SM touring edition with the optional anodized luggage.


Funny though, I'm still driving the 20 year old Honda CB1000 with the bag-and-bungee-cord luggage option.

So now it's just a waiting game. How long? Probably forever. Court cases like this have been known to drag on for decades in Japan. And since I have left the apartment, I don't have much of a connection to the going-ons. I doubt I will ever have contact with that landlord again. And I need to wait until his thing is over before my thing can begin.

Is that the end of this story? No violence? No retribution? Just a pfffftttt (sound of a balloon deflating)? Could very well be. I'll be away from computers in general for over a month, doing my seasonal summer camp in the countryside. The police told me that they will start their investigation now, but my lack of confidence in their abilities towards this matter are probably with merit, and I may have heard the last of them.

Thanks for listening. Of course, advice is always welcome (non-poop advice I should clarify).

And here's a video of my new home:

Read more of this saga at Day 1, Day 2, Day 5, Day 6, Day 12, and Day 16.


Kurt said...

Can the U.S. embassy in Tokyo help you in anyway when it comes to situations like these?

Enjoy your summer camp mate .. hope to hear from you soon. More collaboramen vidoes and ramen reviews for the win!

Sean said...

I'd say you've earned a vacation after putting up with that bullshit.

Ramen Adventures said...

The embassy doesn't touch any sort of legal matters in foreign countries.

Melissa said...

Seems to be a "nice" country. Guess if you would be the "proper son of a proper Japanese" something like that would not happen so easily. So looking at things, probably one needs some sort of "protection" from above, some rich uncle or auntie at the top to get things straight? Sigh

Good to hear that you are out of that and have a place, and some vacation. I'm looking forwards to more crazy biker action. That last sport biking in the mountains video was super fun. Just joking, I get you probably only want to chill :)

As for tips, in such a case, hum, but who declared that your contract is "illegal" if the rent is low? You are a "stupid gaijin", you do not know such things. Anyways, one could at least try to make the life for those cowards a little harder. That "milk chicken bomb" is not bad, but you should stay out of the view. Taking a dump would leave unmistakable clues as to who did it. What is good, are things you can do to make those guys lose money, and their good reputation among the Japanese. They have property, they sell living places and homes. There are ways to vastly diminish the worth of property, by spreading "whisper here and whisper there" info everywhere, about how shitty they are (and they really are, looking at what those guys did), preferably in Japanese, since they are so anti-gaijin. And on the other side, looking if one cannot get some crazy guys to really diminish the worth of the area by some loud, annoying and often repeated action. I do not mean anything really illegal or endangering people lives, just annoying and pissing them off. Just getting some especially dirty and rugged looking bikers to loudly cruise the streets is already too much for some people. Wealthy "good" areas are full of cowards, who are afraid of dirt, noise, stinky stuff and "strange" happenings. Important is to make things fun, and stay off limits for prosecution as good as one can :) One thing is really evil, get the addresses and e-mails and all data of the involved people, and also the guys living in this house and area, and subscribe them online for endless - and I really mean endless - shady and embarrassing magazines. Best thing is signing up for porn online shop catalogs, or apply them as willing participants in porn movies and stuff. Or set up profiles in shady forums online, so they get plenty of interested visitors and phone calls. Or set up profiles of the houses around, and try to "sell" them to shady folks. Or you give away their telephone number everywhere - but swear it is the secret number of some hot celebrity. Sign up their e-mail for endless trash mails, if they have a fax even better, paper costs and ink is even more expensive. Get bugs or rats into the area, or just let someone publish videos of large bugs in their alleged apartments. And so on. Important is to stay within legal limits, or at least the shady area - after all they did it exactly the same. And if you should meet someone who knows an uncle or auntie at the top, maybe your legal case could get some push for the better.

Generally I am not into revenge, not worth wasting ones life, but if you should feel like it feel free to try some of that out :)