Talking about a living nightmare. Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte just wanted to hire someone to help out with their kid, ages 11, 4, and 1. They found 64-year-old Diane Stretton on Craigslist, and offered her room and board in exchange for help around the house and with the children.
It went swimmingly well the first few weeks, until one day Nanny Diane decided to hold the family hostage by squatting in their home and refusing to leave. They contacted the cops, but were told it was a civil matter, and that they'd have to legally evict her, a notorious and tedious process that can take months.
It looks like this Nanny from Hell has finally agreed to leave this weekend -- but only if her outrageous demands are met.
Stretton listed six conditions in a handwritten note, signed the bottom, and left places for the Bracamontes to sign as well. They are as follows:
"Agreement: I will voluntarily agree to leave by 6pm on 7/6/14 if each and all of the following conditions are met:
1. My WiFi and TV and house air conditioning and water must be continuously on until I vacate. Electricity in my room must be operational.
2. Bathrooms must be stocked up with TP (toilet paper) and hand soap at all times.
3. Marcella and kids must vacate the premises between the hours of 8am and 5pm until 7/6/14 whether I elect to leave during the day or not.
4. Between the hours of 5pm and 8am, I have full access to my room, the garage bathroom and the areas of the house between the front door and my bedroom. I will not linger in these areas.
5. I'm either given access to healthy food or given $200 to eat out. Said access to food shall be limited to hours between 8am and 5pm."
6. Neither the front door nor my bedroom shall be locked in a manner than prevents me from entering. This means the chain must be off and the locks cannot be changed.
In exchanged [sic] for the above, I will agree not to seek any of my legal remedies for your past violations of our agreement."
Their past violations? According to Gawker, "Stretton has a history of lawsuits so long that the state of California considers her a 'vexatious litigant.'" In order words, she's done this kind of thing before. More than once.
And what's the deal with her wanting them out of the house during the day? What's she planning on doing during that time?
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Anyway, the family says they haven't physically thrown her out yet because they're afraid of incurring a $1,000 fine for "interfering with a tenant." Even though she doesn't pay rent. Because sometimes the letter of the law is more important than the spirit of the law. Or something.
The way I see it, the Bracamontes have two options. They can agree to this deal, and hope she honors it and leaves for good on Sunday, or they can change the locks while she's out, put her stuff on the curb, and risk the thousand dollar fee.
Given the history of her actions along with the publicity of the case, I'd take my chances and change the locks. Hopefully the justice system will employ some common sense when deciding whom to punish and for what.
What would you do if you were in the Bracamontes position?
Image via Jason Toney/Flickr