If I’m suing my ex for illegally locking me out and destroying my items, can I include intentional infliction of distress in my complaint?

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If I’m suing my ex for illegally locking me out and destroying my items, can I include intentional infliction of distress in my complaint?

I’m suing my ex for illegally locking me out and destroying my items. I also want to sue him for emotional distress because of all of the things he has done over the past year. He harassed me, threatened me (I got restraining orders) and lied to the police and had me arrested. The charge was dropped because he couldn’t provide discovery, but I had to hire an attorney. I want my money back for the lawyer and the days that I missed work throughout the year because of his inability to move on with his life.

Asked on October 8, 2010 under Personal Injury, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can include intentional infliction of emotional distress as a separate cause of action (claim) in your complaint.  Intentional infliction of emotional distress is an extreme and outrageous act  by the defendant (your ex) intended to cause and which did cause you emotional distress.  The various incidents you mentioned (harassment, threats, lying to the police to have you arrested, destruction of your property, locking you out, etc.) would provide evidence to support your case for intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would include compensatory damages and punitive damages.  Compensatory damages are to compensate you for the losses you incurred.  Punitive damages are to punish the defendant for intentional and malicious acts. 


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