What to do if my former landlord is not returning my security deposit?

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What to do if my former landlord is not returning my security deposit?

I vacated my apartment in NJ and gave proper 1 month notice. I then moved to CA. Owner is not returning deposit. How and where can I file a case on him?

Asked on December 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A lawsuit can be filed where the plaintiff resides or where the defendant resides or where the claim arose.  You are the plaintiff.  The landlord is the defendant.  You can file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court in either CA or NJ.  For convenience purposes such as filing documents and the court appearance, it would be advisable to file in CA.  You can have the landlord served with your summons and complaint (complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons) by a process server in NJ.  You can find process servers in the Yellow Pages or online under attorney services.  Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would be the security deposit plus court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.


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