Can I sue my roommate for property damage if she moves out of state?

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Can I sue my roommate for property damage if she moves out of state?

She has broken 3 windows in my apartment and I know she’s not looking forward to replacing them since they’re very old and will be expensive to fix. I overheard her talking on the phone making plans to move back to where she came from because she’s been having problems with her boyfriend up here and she wants to go back to her family. She hasn’t told anyone here she plans on leaving and I think she’s going to try to leave without replacing the windows. I don’t want to get stuck paying for them. If she moves will it be to late for legal action?

Asked on March 12, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may legally sue someone who resides in a different state. However, it becomes more difficult and more expensive, both to sue and to enforce the judgment if you win but the defendant still doesn't pay. (Note: among other difficulties, you generally cannot sue out of state in small claims court, which automatically drives up cost and complexity.) As a practical matter, for several hundred dollars, it would almost certainly not be worth an out-of-state lawsuit.


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