Grandmother vs. Mother: landlord

List of Complaints

"Nicole was the type of tenant that a landlord hopes to never have. She was irresponsible," says Leslie, Nicole's former landlord.

"For Leslie to call me irresponsible is pretty outrageous, because she doesn't know me," Nicole says.

"She would abandon her cat for days to weeks on end," Leslie claims.


"The cat was an outdoor cat, and it had food and water outside," Nicole refutes.

[AD]"She just took off and left without any notice, without any warning," Leslie says. "The whole place was stinking to high heaven. All the food in the freezer and the refrigerator had rotted. There was a whole sink-load full of dirty dishes. There were bags of garbage and used diapers, and there were also some urine-stained sheets. The place was a disastrous mess."


Leslie says she worried for Ethan's well-being. "My first thought after Nicole had left was [that] I would be really concerned about Ethan, if she's going to treat Ethan the way she treated her cat. Because it takes a lot to be a parent," she says.




As the video ends, Dr. Phil asks Nicole for her thoughts about Leslie's accusations.

Nicole admits she left the apartment a mess, but she claims she paid all her rent.

"But she went to court and got a ruling against you for unpaid [rent]," Dr. Phil says. "Why would the court award that if it had already been paid?"

[AD]"I paid my rent every month," Nicole says.

Dr. Phil lists the additional complaints Leslie has against Nicole, which include: making excessive noise, allowing her cat to ruin a neighbor's rug and kill the neighbor's pet bird and not paying late fees for her rent. He asks Barbara, "Is this what you're afraid of if Ethan is back in her custody?"

"This is exactly what I'm afraid of," she replies.





"What is your motive here? Are you trying to control her, or are you trying to help her, or are you just trying to protect Ethan?" Dr. Phil asks Barbara. "You seem to have no emotion for your daughter, at all."

"That emotion died over the years," she says. "You just get to the point where you realize, ‘Am I going to worry about my daughter's needs, or am I going to worry about Ethan's needs?'"

"Is getting custody of Ethan just a big ‘gotcha' on your daughter, or do you really believe that he is not safe with her?" Dr. Phil probes.

"I didn't even insist on getting custody until Nicole failed to provide the medical attention he needed," Barbara says.

[AD]"This kind of reflects on your parenting, because you raised her," Dr. Phil points out. "Did you raise her to be such an irresponsible person, and if so, are you going to do the same thing with Ethan?"

"I raised her, I thought, with compassion, but apparently that hasn't transpired," Barbara says.

Dr. Phil points out that Nicole doesn't take drugs or drink, and she seemingly takes care of herself. "She doesn't appear to be how you describe her or how the court has found her to be in their rulings," he says.

"I understand that," Barbara says.

"Is she irresponsible in the other parts of her life or just as a parent?" Dr. Phil asks Barbara.

"Nicole has had difficulty finding a career path," she says.

Nicole says for the last year she has been working in the admissions department at a college.

"But a year doesn't prove job stability," Barbara says. "Prior to that, it was very, very unstable." She adds that her daughter tried multiple professions.

"I'm 25," Nicole says.


[AD]"Is it your goal to keep and raise Ethan into adulthood?" Dr. Phil asks Barbara.

"I want to keep Ethan as long as it is in his best interest," she says. "I would love to see Ethan go back to his mother, into a stable environment."

"If you thought it was such a dangerous and unstable situation, when the court said it was a fraudulent modification of the custody order and awarded custody back to you, why did you wait 17 days to go get him?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I waited until my attorney said, ‘You have a legal right now to go,'" she says.