Can I file a claim for unlawful eviction and destruction of property?

I want to know if I have a case. I was living with my boyfriend and his friend for the past 6 months so I established residency. One day his friend threatened me with physical assault and kicked me out along with my 4 year old daughter. I was not allowed back into the house to pack my things. All of my things were rummaged through, broken and stolen.

Asked on August 20, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You definitely have a claim here. Even if you didn't have a formal lease, since you were invited onto the premises and were a long-term guest, you should have been afforded the same rights as a tenant. Namely, you should have been given  a minimum of 30 days notice to move. Since you weren't given such anotice, you can sue for unlawful eviction. Additionally, you can file a separate suit and sue for the value of the property that was destroyed/damaged/stolen. You could possibly even file a criminal compliant regarding your personal property.

However, you will need to document as much as you can regarding a list of your property and their value. Photographs and/or witnesses would also be quite helpful.

At this point, you should consult with at attorney in your area or at least contact a tenant's rights organization.


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