Can I get a lawsuit for entering a house where my material was stored at without asking the owner?

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Can I get a lawsuit for entering a house where my material was stored at without asking the owner?

Door wasn’t locked. I took my material only and left the house as soon as possible. $3000 worth of material. Owner wasn’t there.

Asked on November 23, 2011 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't matter whether your belongings were at the house, or whether the door was unlocked or not--you have no right to enter another's home without permission. You therefore at a minimum committed trespassing; depending on the circumstances, you may have committed other offenses, too.

You could therefore face criminal liability. You could also potentially be sued by the home's owner, but since he/she could only sue for an amount equal to the actual damages or losses suffered, if you did not break or take anything of theirs, a lawsuit would not seem to be worthwhile for them, or a significant risk for you.


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