What are my rights if I was illegally evicted?

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What are my rights if I was illegally evicted?

I was never evicted out of my home. The landlord illegally moved my belongings out and in the process stuff got broken, plus things are missing and a whole refrigerator full of food got ruined because it sat in 100 degree weather. I want to know what are my rights on suing him and getting my stuff replaced? Ialso am 6 months pregnant and pulled muscles in the process to get my stuff off the street.

Asked on August 2, 2011 Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Landlords may *only* evict in accordance with the law. To evict, they must bring (and win) a legal action, and may only evict for proper reasons (e.g. nonpayment of rent). For a landlord to evict otherwise is illegal, so a landlord may never simply move a tenant's belongings out to the street. You therefore, from what you write, may have a cause of action. You could sue for some combination of:

1) An order letting you back in to the home;

2) Monetary compensation for anything of yours broken or damaged, or the cost of moving or storing it elsewhere once it was put on the street.

3) Any costs you incurred living elsewhere after the illegal eviction (e.g. motel or hotel costs).

4) Possibly for your medical costs caused by the illegal eviction.

Since you may have rights to vindicate, you should consult with an attorney. If you can't afford one, try contacting Legal Services. Good luck.


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