City and Borough of Juneau
155 S. Seward Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
tel. 907-586-5240
fax 907-586-5385
http://www.juneau.org

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Q. Can a spouse lock you out when you pay rent and no domestic report has been filed?


Dear Juneau Resident,

If two people have been living together in what is a primary residence for both, marriage and rent not being factors, one partner cannot just kick the other out. The returning spouse is not criminally trespassing by entering the premises. Responding police officers will not enforce the remaining partner's impromptu eviction. But, if you have been gone for any length of time that might show you ceased living at the disputed residence, consult a lawyer before acting since the issue gets more complicated the longer the kicked out person stays gone.

If you are considering charging back to the residence and forcing entry think about whether or not the drama is really worth it even if you are legally in the right. Many well-adjusted adults have left homes they co-own and gotten temporary housing somewhere else just to leave an ugly domestic situation. The property issues can always be worked out later. It can be healthy to agree to be kicked out and just move on. You could ask a mutual friend to negotiate getting your personal property removed if you go that route and can't communicate with the remaining partner.

You might want to ask yourself that if you both have legal standing to be in the property, which you might, is it really going to work out to have you both there? Do you run the risk of an assault happening or something getting broken and someone then being criminally charged? Do you think your presence will force the other person to leave or get back together with you? Don't be surprised if neither happens. JPD has had a ring side seat to lots of these situations and separations where both parties stay in the same residence do NOT work out.



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