Houston attorney seeks damages from neighbor for disturbing sleep

By David Yates | Feb 4, 2015

Alleging she hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in the past 42 days, a Houston attorney has filed suit against her downstairs neighbor, seeking exemplary damages from the man for keeping her up at night.

Court records show Kiri Martin, an attorney at law, filed suit against Preston Heath Davidson on Jan. 30 in Harris County District Court.

In her suit, Martin says she’s lived in her Houston apartment since 2013 and is on a month-to-month lease. Davidson has lived below her since July and is still under his initial contract.

Starting in December, Davidson has allegedly employed “intentional, and malicious, and cruel, and unreasonable” acts to interfere with Martin’s “use and enjoyment” of her apartment and causing an invasion of her property rights.

"In fact, Defendant works hard to keep Plaintiff (who is a single working mother with no child support and who owns her own business consisting solely of herself and is the sole source of income for her family) constantly awake, from directly below her in his apartment, each time she dares to drift off to sleep throughout any given night," Martin says in her suit. “This has occurred 124 times from Dec. 1 … to the time of filing.”

Martin says she was “forced” to go to a doctor for tranquilizers to sleep.

"In response, and as a result, Defendant has now started making short, sharp, loud, nonsensical outburst exclamations such as "AWWW!" and "UUHHHH!" and loud laughter directly below plaintiff's sleeping head on work and school nights, during normal sleeping hours, as his only means now of awakening plaintiff at night," Martin says in her suit.

On Dec. 3 Martin knocked on Davidson’s door and asked him “to stop waking her up five times a night” or she would file a restraining order against him, “to which Defendant replied ‘You don’t have any evidence.’”

“Defendant was more concerned with whether he had covered his tracks completely than he was with apologizing or rectifying any awakenings,” Martin says in her suit.

“However, Defendant did stop the awakenings for the next two nights, and Plaintiff slept continuously through these nights. Subsequently, however, Defendant then started up again, and even ratcheted up the number of his malicious awakenings at night, and has not stopped since.”

Martin alleges Davidson “has always” intended to cause harm and “destroy” her as his “sole object and mission.”

The intentional sleep deprivation has caused her to suffer mental anguish, emotional strain and lost wages.

On top of exemplary damages, Martin is suing for several thousand dollars for lost hours or work.

Court records show a temporary restraining order was granted the same day Martin filed her suit, restraining Davidson from “engaging in any act … that seeks to and does cause disturbance of Plaintiff’s sleep at night.”

A temporary injunction hearing is set for Feb. 13.

Case No. 2015 05275

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