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I have a possible legal issue with a former roomate of mine.Can he charge on me for throwing away his stuff?
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I have a possible legal issue with a former roomate of mine.Can he charge on me for throwing away his stuff?

Ok. my former roomate lived with me for 2months not paying any rent or utilities because at the time he came to stay with me he got kicked out of a previous live-in situation with one of his friends and he came to live with me and at the time he was unemployed; however, I was under eviction and was ordered to vacate by the end of the month in november 2007. In the mist of that, my roomate was arrested on nov 16th for aggrevated assault on my boyfriend, which I was not involved in. The cops came and took him away and he was in jail for 2 and a half weeks. During that time there was no contact from him or from his family on getting his stuff out, so I threw it away as I knew the apt community was going to do the same. He gets bail and he and his mother come by to collect his things the night of nov 30 the night before i had to be out of the apt by dec 1st. I told him the i threw them away and now he is trying to press charges against me, can he do that?


well it was very wrong to do that. i had someone do that to me over something really really stupid... she threw out the clothes for me and my daughter, my daughters bed (who was about 2 at the time), old family photos of deceased member,, my high school diploma! tons of stuff... its very wrong and hurtful to do this. i can never replace my diploma!

Not Guilty!
I don't know about charges, but I can tell you that the burden of proof weighs on his shoulders. If he doesn't haven written documentation showing you did this and you didn't tell anyone else that is willing to testify against you other than him then deny it, yes I said lie in court, lawyers do it everyday. Say as far as I know The apt. management threw his stuff out. If he has neighbors that saw you, say they must have seen you throwing away some of your stuff. If he has a friend say that a friend of her's told me so, then that is hear say and is inadmissible (object under those grounds).

I wouldn't worry about it the prosecutor knows all this as well and will not pursue a petty case like this without solid proof.

He might take you to small claims, if he does stick to your guns and lie, lie, lie. This is war and all's fair in love and war.

Not Sure....

yes he can that is destruction of property.

You mean destruction of property?

Yes he can. You should have left that stuff for the landlord to take care of. You did not have the authority to throw the stuff away.

Spock (rhp)
you need a solicitor, not an off the cuff opinion from know nothings like us here.

Usually an apartment owner would inventory the items left and put them in storage for a certain period of time. Then an officer of the court will try contacting you to pick up your things at the storage facility and pay the storage costs or the items will go up for auction. Depending on the state (mine is 3 months) the storage facility will sell the items at public auction. That's at least how they do in my state. So the land lord would not just throw the stuff away. So he may have a case against you, it depends on your state's Lien laws and renters laws. I used to work in a storage facility and we had this happen all the time. I also had a next door neighbor at my apartment complex who had a court official deliver those vacate orders and was a witness when they inventoried the items found left in the apartment. So I know what I am talking about at least how it works in my State (Indiana).

Talk to a lawyer.

You should have put his stuff in storage instead (or left it in the apartment). Since he is pressing charges, you are going to have to take your chances in court.

Good Luck!

what a mess. he can try, however, he did not live there legally (not on lease) no one contacted you about things, you never said you take care of belongings did you? he sounds like a bad person always looking for free ride, you have every right to throw him and stuff out, no legal agreement between you two. Let him try, cops love having time wasted especially by someone they arrested. He never was roomate, he was someone you let move in and help out, til he got arrested, thats it, gone. you would not allow him back after that right, after he assaults boyfriend, therefore he and stuff gone. Forget him, hes a loser

Pam H
I don't think his case will hold up. He abandoned his stuff and he didn't pay rent or make arrangements for storage of his stuff. You would need to talk to a lawyer about the laws in your area.

Ive been in a slightly similar situation where my roomate had to leave by the time I did and take her stuff, she never came back for it so we put it out on the deck for 2 months coverd nicely and all that, but never came, So we donated her clothing, CD's and other stuff if we where able to a local shelter. She then tried to sue my parents who are the landlords who where in turn with in their legal right. Anyway I dont think you have anything to worry about. His family should have stepped up and gotten his gear when you asked them too. But still talk to a lawyer or I hope one from here is able to answer it better then I can.

You are going to be arrested and booked, after you are bailed out you will be going to court to explain this to the Judge. He will probably just make you pay for the items....but if you come across arrogant or in other ways P.O. the Judge be prepared to sit in jail. Turn the situation around, what if someone threw away your personal belongings ?? Would that be acceptable ? You really need to mature first and then if at all possible expand your educational background.


You can argue your side in court, you do have something of a justification since he was incomunicado and you were vacating. But, legally, you should have left his stuff were it was and let the building authorities deal with it. You have a better case if you would ahve faced some sort of penalty for leaving his things in the room.

Either way, you are only liable for the proven value of the lost items, plus a capped amount if he claims anything of a sentimental value was lost.

Good luck.

KC V â„¢
Just my humble opinion here...but you know he's not going to stay in jail for the rest of his life. You know he has family and you know his property has value.

As such one has a "resonable expectation" that their property would either be safeguarded or returned.

Because you made no effort to secure or return the property, but instead just discarded it...you COULD be held liable.

Marc X
I keep forgetting that this is an international site, so U.S. law may not be relevant. Still, if you're in the U.S., there is no criminal charge for disposing of someone's personal property in a home or apartment. So such threats are worthless on their part.

As for civil lawsuit, they MIGHT have a case to recover damages, IF you're talking about a closetful of valuables. Even so, you could counter-sue for unpaid rent, so basically, it sounds like a mutual lesson in stupid judgement and incompetence, since you're talking about criminal charges, evictions, multiple live-in's, unpaid bills, and unemployment.

Any threats from him and his mother are empty in comparison with your other problems.

Scott F
I'm afraid so. Depending on where you live, the law requires you to give the other person I think between 30-90 days to reclaim their stuff. Of course, the only law I've ever learned was from watching Judge Mathis of Peoples Court, so take it for what it's worth. I would consult an attorney.

Good luck and God bless.

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