Can I sue a thief in Conciliation Court for the value of unrecovered property?

A 15 year old broke into my car and stole some electronics, and only one of them was recovered by the police. The kid admitted to breaking into my car to the police but the charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal in a separate case against him (he’s a real winner). Would I have a case to get damages related to the unrecovered property?

Asked on February 19, 2015 under Personal Injury, Iowa


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can sue for conversion which is theft in a civil case.  Your civil case is separate from the criminal case in which the charges were dropped.

Your damages for conversion would be a forced sale which means the value of the stolen items.

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