From Husband to Landlord
Readers will no doubt recall the bizarre tale of Paul Kelly, whose ex-girlfriend moved into his house for a brief period while he prepared to depart for a Middle East war zone in July 2007 and refused to leave, claiming in court that they were married under common law. At last, Superior Court Judge Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson issued a ruling, yesterday, with the following results, as Kelly’s lawyer, Pat McKinney, describes them:
The Judge found emphatically that there was no common-law marriage; awarded Paul possession of the premises; and awarded Paul $12,705.25 in back rent, with prospective rent for any continued occupancy, first installment due Thursday..
It came as absolutely no surprise to anyone present that Ms. Cooley immediately announced her intention to appeal to the RI Supreme Court and asked that the judgment be stayed pending the outcome of her appeal. The court responded to this by indicating that any Superior Court stay would be conditioned upon a supersedeas bond in the amount of $35k; ordered an immediate inspection of the interior of the house by Paul; and set the matter down for review on October 22.
So two-plus years into a stunningly obvious case, Paul has at least made the transition from false husband to landlord, and now the process begins to restore him to status as “resident.” We must safeguard the due process rights of estranged spouses, of course, but this is just unreal.