Can I file a police report for personal property damage?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I file a police report for personal property damage?

I was washing my clothing at the laundromat. I went to go check on my white clothes after the machine was already running. I opened the lid and put my hand inside the washer and felt something which wasn’t my clothes. I took it out and it was a mop. I ask the cleaning lady if it was hers and little did I know it was and, that the lady used it to clean the floor. I checked my white clothes and they’re all dirty gray now. I complained to her and she said something along the lines of.

Asked on January 2, 2019 under Criminal Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

This is not a crime: there was, it seems, no criminal intent to damage or destroy your clothing. At most, it was a negligent or careless act, and such are not crimes. Since it's not a crime, there is no police report.
If your clothing was ruined, you could sue her and the laundromat (as her employer) for the value of the clothing (not the replacement cost; what it was worth, given its age and condition), such as in small claims court. That would be your only recourse.

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