Evictions to Collections

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Evictions to Collections

Hello, I recently was evicted out of my apartment at the end of August. The landlord tried to get a judgement on me for bedbug treatment for 2 units and make me responsible for the charges for my unit and my neighbors unit, the judge declined the landlord the Judgement for the bedbug treatment. I just received my move out notice and it states I have a ledger balance of 3,087.00 which was the cost of the bedbug treatment in the summons they took to court. This was dropped in court can they threaten to send me to collections for this amount when a judge denied them to collect that balance from me?

Asked on October 2, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In which court, in what kind of case was it dropped? If it was dropped in the landlord-tenant eviction case, not in a lawsuit for the money, they can still go after it: judgments in landlord-tenant cases are generally not binding or "res judicata" on monetary claims, because all landlord-tenant is concerned with is who gets the apartment or home. In this case, they can pursue you for the money, but to force you to pay, they or their collection agency would have to sue and prove in court you were at fault or responsible for the infestation in some way (or at least contributed to its severity, such as by not obeying exterminator instructions). 
If the court that already threw out this claims was other than a landlord-tenant court in an eviction matter, however, then they should be barred from pursuing it by res judicata, the doctrine that does not let you re-litigate something you already had the chance to litigate.

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