Tonight we begin with a real life nanny nightmare that's got parents everywhere worried. The couple you're about to meet thought they found the perfect person to take care of their children until they... See More
Tonight we begin with a real life nanny nightmare that's got parents everywhere worried. The couple you're about to meet thought they found the perfect person to take care of their children until they say she stopped working and started squatting. Now the family that hired her can't get rid of her. Why won't she leave? ABC's Ryan Owens went inside in search of answers. How do you like that? For this California family, even the most routine of family activities like the afternoon snack, anything but. Just look what happens when mom goes for the fridge. I do it tight so she can't even stick her hand in there and try to pull things out. Yes, that's a bike lock on the refrigerator. Put there to keep the nanny away. I hired a nanny, and she refuses to leave. I am completely at my wit's end. I've been crying. For nearly a month, the Bracamonte family has been trying to lockout their live-in nanny from a lot more than that fridge. This is America, land of the free. And I don't have -- I'm not free in my home. I'm a prisoner in my home. They want her evicted from their suburban home in upland, about an hour east of los Angeles. After they say she quit working. This is your house. We're sitting in your living room. Did you have any idea it was so hard to kick somebody out of your house? No. Because I've seen it happen so many times. People say get out. So this corner of your house is basically offlimits to you guys right now? But they have a problem now. Meet 64-year-old Diane stretton. The family says they fired the live-in nanny after they claim she quit work around the house, complained of health problems, and spent nearly all day locked behind this door. And if I want to see this room, you won't let me inside? We can't let you inside. This is now by court, by law, this is her domain. Even though it's in your house? Even though it's in our house. We can't go in there. We can't open the door. We're off limits to a section of our own house. Stretton wasn't in the bedroom when we visited, and wouldn't return our calls. But watch what happened when television station KCBS was rolling as her father served her with court papers. Why won't you leave? We have that clip of her not talking to the reporter. When you guys ask her to leave, what does she say to you? She smiles and shuts the door on me. Really? Really. The nanny moved in back in March after responding to this craigslist ad seeking a nanny in exchange for free room and board. I've hired nannies this way before. And people always say did you do a background check? Yes, I did a background check. I called references. And she says everything checked out. And at first the arrangement worked. The three kids loved their nanny. 4-year-old ralphie was especially close to her. He loved her like grandma, like a grandma. I would tell my mom you have competition. But soon the family says their nanny became less Mary poppins. As I expected, practically perfect in every day. Less Mrs. Doubtfire. Look at that fire. You remind me of Stewart little. One of the most honorable creatures in all of literature. And more nanny nightmare. But it turns out she does have rights, and this family has a mountain of legal paperwork to prove it. There is no timeline. It could be three months. It could be six months. She could end up filing bankruptcy, and they could start all over. In court, Diane stretton has asserted she is more than live-in help. She is a tenant in the family home, and should be afforded all the legal protection that comes with it. She got a judge to agree. The facts of this scenario are completely surprising, but having to abide by the law and going through the formal eviction process is not surprising. Because, you know, there is a general idea here that we don't want people taking matters into their own hands. The family says she is little more than a squatter, one who apparently really likes to sue. 16, 17, 18. 18 lawsuits, whether she is a plaintiff or not. Diane stretton's name is listed on dozens of civil lawsuits across southern California. Why don't you just change the lox? Because you'll -- it's an illegal lockout. And we can get sued for $60,000 or maybe even taking our house away from us. It becomes a huge legal battle. You need to make sure that she has her day in court, however ridiculous it may be. And that then she is evicted properly. Are you scared of her? I wouldn't say I'm afraid of her. But I'm fearful of when I'm not here. I'm fearful of when I have to go to work. I have to leave my family in the morning. I have to leave my children in the morning. She towers over my wife. You feel so helpless. You feel victimized. Do you think she is just looking for a free place to live? Oh, yeah. I think she actually spends her day trying to ruin people's life. Misery loves company. Perhaps. But this evening we found the Bracamonte family's three kids playing at home, seemingly unaware of the media circus swirling around their awkward living situation. They may have to deal with it for a while. The eviction process could take weeks, maybe months. Where is our safety, our justice in our own home? Until then, the bike lock Steines fridge. I'm not going to let her eat my food. I'm Ryan Owens for "Nightline" in upland, California.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.