My ex boyfriend stole everything I brought on our vacation out of the hotel room returning half in the resort fountain, ruining it, and the other half

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My ex boyfriend stole everything I brought on our vacation out of the hotel room returning half in the resort fountain, ruining it, and the other half

is still missing. He also owes me for half the trip and other expenses. I want to know what my rights are as to having him replace the damaged items and the items still missing as well as the money owed, pain and suffering. Threats were made via text and messages and a police report was filed. I will be filing a restraining order against him but really need to know what to do to recover for all the rest of my belongings, what I can and can’t do. Also is my hotel to blame because I called them before he actually entered the room and told them to lock it but they didn’t until after the fact.

Asked on May 2, 2012 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) If someone steals from you, and/or deliberately causes property damage to your property or for which you are responsible, you can sue him for your costs and losses. That is the only way to force him to pay--by bringing, and winning, a lawsuit.

Before you do that, bear in mind that if someone is absolutely determined not to pay, even if you prevail in court, it can be difficult to recover money--if your boyfriend ignores the judgment in your favor, you'd have to try to garnish his wages, levy (or take money out of) his bank account, put a lien on his real property, and/or execute on (have a court officer seize and sell) personal property of his, like a vehicle. Doing these things can be difficult if he has few assets which you could reach; so depending on his financial situation and whether he would honor a court judgment or not, it could take a great deal of effort to actually collect what you are owed.

2) The hotel would not be responsible--they do not have an obligation to protect your belongings from your ex-boyfriend.


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