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Restitution as a victim of a crime.

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Long story short, I was a victim of an illegal eviction. Landlord was charged with burglary and theft and police recovered most of my belongings, but several items were severely damaged. I received the depreciated value from my insurance company.Now that the landlord is being charged, I have the opportunity to ask for restitution. I had several expenses as a result of my landlord changing the locks and using a “self-help” eviction. Some of my expenses were$1000 movers and storage
$1000 security deposit on new place
$ 1500 in lost rent
$500 deductible on renters insuranceI don’t know what else I can apply for or ask for, but I assume I can talk to an attorney about this. However, I prefer to use the restitution request instead of hiring an attorney to go after him for a personal lawsuit. Small Claims can only do $2500.

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Although I've read this thread, I may have missed it - Did any of this (eviction, late payments for anything) hit your c... (more)

honkinggoose (Apr. 16, 2017 @ 4:54a) |

Restitution are out of pocket damages. You may have rights, such as in California, in a civil action for additional sta... (more)

Crazytree (Apr. 16, 2017 @ 6:18a) |

No it didn't thankfully. After speak with two lawyers, one says that I should ask for anything and everything for restit... (more)

OmarLittle666 (Apr. 17, 2017 @ 10:30a) |

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Is the restitution process handled through the prosecutor's office? If so, they should be able to tell you what is recoverable and what isn't.

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ZenNUTS said:   https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1476671

I wanted to post on it but unable to do so. 1.5 years later, I may finally see justice.

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BrianGa said:   Is the restitution process handled through the prosecutor's office? If so, they should be able to tell you what is recoverable and what isn't.

Victim Services said I can ask for anything but it's up to the judge to decide whether it's justified or not.

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OmarLittle666 said:   
BrianGa said:   Is the restitution process handled through the prosecutor's office? If so, they should be able to tell you what is recoverable and what isn't.

Victim Services said I can ask for anything but it's up to the judge to decide whether it's justified or not.

  So list all of your out-of-pocket expenses. Any transport expenses you encountered. If you missed work, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for those to be compensated. 

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Ask them to throw in some United Airlines vouchers.

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OP got 'reaccommdated'

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OmarLittle666 said:   
$1000 security deposit on new place

 

  I'd be curious on the legal precedent for security deposits, since the deposit is still YOUR money and you get back ALL of it except for DAMAGES you cause.

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I'm not sure how a security deposit is a loss.

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rufflesinc said:   
OmarLittle666 said:   
$1000 security deposit on new place

 

  I'd be curious on the legal precedent for security deposits, since the deposit is still YOUR money and you get back ALL of it except for DAMAGES you cause.

  Again, it's just a short list of expenses that have occurred as a result of the landlord's actions. Obviously, moving into any new place would have a security deposit, but there's a difference between moving voluntarily or being locked out of your own place and being physically moved out. Victim services says it's a judges discretion on what can be reimbursed or not. I don't know if I should ask for EVERYTHING or something reasonable.

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OmarLittle666 said:   
rufflesinc said:   
OmarLittle666 said:   
$1000 security deposit on new place

 

  I'd be curious on the legal precedent for security deposits, since the deposit is still YOUR money and you get back ALL of it except for DAMAGES you cause.

  Again, it's just a short list of expenses that have occurred as a result of the landlord's actions. Obviously, moving into any new place would have a security deposit, but there's a difference between moving voluntarily or being locked out of your own place and being physically moved out. Victim services says it's a judges discretion on what can be reimbursed or not. I don't know if I should ask for EVERYTHING or something reasonable.

 reasonable would be interest for the cost of a loan in the amount of the security deposit. otherwise, do you plan to give the amount deposit back to the LL when you move out of your new place?

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Did the landlord keep your deposit from the place he wrongly evicted you from?

That would be a cost to you.

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if you have insurance that paid out for your loss, then the insurance most likely has a right to recovery.

Involving them or excluding them has their own sets of complications. I have no experience other than reading stories of where it goes wrong (both including/excluding insurance from the process).

Good Luck.

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gatzdon said:   if you have insurance that paid out for your loss, then the insurance most likely has a right to recovery.

Involving them or excluding them has their own sets of complications. I have no experience other than reading stories of where it goes wrong (both including/excluding insurance from the process).

Good Luck.
 

  They're aware of the situation and I'm sure they're handling things on their end. I'm planning on asking for my insurance deductible back at least.

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Thanks for the update. Glad this loser landlord is getting his due.

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stanolshefski said:   I'm not sure how a security deposit is a loss.
  If it were me, i'd ask for it anyway.
Let the old landlord argue it's not a loss and let the judge make the judgement.
maybe OP will get lucky.

OP, I'd list anything I could think of that is related to loss, including time spent dealing with it. You won't get that much, but IMO it's better to overshoot than undershoot and get less. I don't think there's any harm in asking for as much as possible within "reason"

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Ask for everything you can document without making the list too long or the amounts unreasonably high. Let the judge decide. Put it in a binder that is easy to flip through with a spreadsheet at the end with amounts and a total. Also, be prepared to get maybe one or two payments from the guy before he stops paying. Then, go back to the prosecutor and tell him the guy stopped paying his restitution. Depending on how his probation is set up, they could violate him for not paying you back.

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Every state has its own laws ...you do not say where you are...if you are in Floridah....you are dead meat....I had a renter ravage my townhouse, failed to pay rent and the state attorney was not willing to do a damn thing...yes, the police were there and took pics.....

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If presenting your list directly to a judge, I would err on the side of reasonableness, so you didn't set off any "alarm bells" in his/her head when he/she is first skimming through your list of demands.

If you try to put everything you can think of and stretch it out to 120% of reality in the hopes you'll get 80% of it in the final judgement, some people don't think that way, and might take a red pen and put crosses through a number of your points just because they thought you were being a bit cheeky to ask for so much, including items that you will eventually get reimbursed for in other ways (such as the new apartment's security deposit).

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Some ideas -- I have no idea if they are reasonable or not:

A. Do you have to pay more for your renter's insurance now, because you had to make this claim on it?

If you do, you can document that extra amount you now have to pay, and maybe extend it out for however-long you might be renting in the future and however-long it might cause you to pay a higher premium than you would have otherwise, whether that is 5 years, 10 years, etc.

(Indeed, if it does raise your premiums, would having made a claim like this carry over to any eventual homeowner's insurance if you decide to buy a house in the future, that sort of thing? I don't know if it would, just thought I'd mention it.)

B. The time and cost of cleaning/restoring your items which you recovered, but which had been damaged and/or dirtied during/after the incident and required effort to be restored to a decent condition so that you could use/enjoy them again.

C. Time and costs (especially time that you had to take off work, but even if you did it all in your "leisure" time) required to find a storage facility, to lodge your complaint with the police and your insurance company, to schlepp around town and find a new apartment, to move all your stuff betwixt and between three places, to arrange for your utilities accounts to be shut off and opened at a new address, to go shopping for items that you needed immediately to replace, and all that sort of thing.

D. Time and costs involved in your taking this to court, meeting with a lawyer (if you did), taking time off work to be a witness at the police station or courthouse, or whatever you had to do.

E. Was there any damage to your "reputation" -- did the landlord put up a public notice on your front door, bring "heavies" over and cause a scene, tell the neighbors a false story about what was going on, even contact your workplace/employer, or whatever?

[Not that I think that you would want to ask for money for this last one, in this particular case (since you seem to have moved on pretty quickly and it sounds like you are doing well now, and your reputation in your community, in your family/romantic relationship, and in your professional life seemingly did not sustain a hit),
but below your main list, maybe it would be an idea to attach a list of items about which the landlord also caused you stress, embarrassment, time, money, etc. but for which you are actually NOT asking for financial compensation, just to highlight how reasonable you are being with the items that you ARE asking for money for... ?]

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I agree - YMMV by jurisdiction and judge. When a caretaker stole a cell phone that we could prove and probable other things from my mother, Victim Services took a statement which was presented to the judge including an impact statement. We were NOT allowed to talk to the judge. The prosecutor cut the value of the cell phone in a deal with the public defender because the True Value of the phone stolen made the crime a felony. Reducing the value made it a misdemeanor. Restitution was ordered in the amount of $200.00. A year later, we got a county check for $10.00. She sat in jail a year after being released for her other crimes for not paying restitution. After paying the $10.00 plus any fees, she was out again. I saw her a few times out in public. I hope you come out better, but do not hold your breath.

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Yes, make sure the landlord go to jail.

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TheDealMaker said:   Yes, make sure the landlord go to jail.
  
Because that's the responsibility of the OP, right? 
There's a criminal restitution issue here.   It's going to get handled by jurisdiction, I don't think anyone on FW will be able to tell you.
The other thing you can do is take this up as a civil action.  The criminal charge provides massive support for your case.  In some states, if the LL didn't return the security deposit, they're liable for 300% of that deposit.
The LL could also possibly be liable for your property losses.  Have you accepted the insurance settlement yet? 
Again, I'd go after actual expenses (not depreciated value), and tenant favorable deposit terms per your state, and other expenses like moving, mileage, and temporary housing. 

I think you'll do better in a civil case than criminal restitution...

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Depends on the assets I guess. A criminal restitution order comes with the benefit of the defendant going to jail if they miss a payment,

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Can OP get other types of damages that aren't certain in restitution? E.g. could OP claim things like emotional distress damages (if provable) in restitution or would he/she have to file a civil suit? Not saying OP should (as oppidium said), but curious if those things are on the table.

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That varies by state and how efficient the courts are. In my Mother's case, the culprit was before a judge for other crimes a few times before somebody figured out she had not paid any of $200.00 restitution due my Mother. She spent a night in jail; Paid $10.00 out of $200.00 originally ordered and was released.

Good luck
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On the other hand, small claims is a crap shoot. Sister had a case where her tenant admitted all my sister claimed with receipts and the judge cut the claim in half. Rules vary by state and jurisdiction.

One Blogger's Small Claim opinion

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Although I've read this thread, I may have missed it - Did any of this (eviction, late payments for anything) hit your credit report?  If so, that will cost you more in lots of things, including all of your insurance rates, the amount of your utility deposits, all credit rates, including that mortgage you intend to get next year.  You should be able to provide your credit scores before an after the eviction.

Good luck.
 

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Restitution are out of pocket damages. You may have rights, such as in California, in a civil action for additional statutory penalties, e.g. see Cal. Civ. Code § 789.3.

IANYL

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honkinggoose said:   Although I've read this thread, I may have missed it - Did any of this (eviction, late payments for anything) hit your credit report?  If so, that will cost you more in lots of things, including all of your insurance rates, the amount of your utility deposits, all credit rates, including that mortgage you intend to get next year.  You should be able to provide your credit scores before an after the eviction.

Good luck.
 

  No it didn't thankfully. After speak with two lawyers, one says that I should ask for anything and everything for restitution. Another lawyer says I shouldn't look greedy and don't request repayment of movers, storage, lost wages (had sick time), or rent repayment. I still have plenty of time to think on it, but I think asking for everything and anything with valid receipts will be appropriate.

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