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Stevexo, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 1000
Experience:  31 years of a family law knowledge base.
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I had tenants I had to evict some tenants from a property.

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Hello, I had tenants I had to evict some tenants from a property. That property was both residential and commercial. It contained a defunct restaurant and two residential units. My self, family members and a contractor friend were renovating the restaurant. The tenants became physically threatening to anyone who came on the property during the eviction process. The city police were called on several occasions because tenants threatened workers or even those sent to pick up the mail. It took 4 months to get tenants (a woman, her two grown sons, two girlfriends and various others) off the property. During that time we halted renovation. After they left, before the Sheriff lockout, it was discovered they had stolen various appliances, tools and building supplies. Some belonging to me some to my contractor. They left a few days before the Sheriff lock-out was to occur taking with them everything that wasn't nailed down (refrigerators, appliances, building supplies, whatever tools were still on site and locked inside the restaurant which they broke into). A different local contractor had his utility trailer stolen during their move. Several witnesses observed a tailor matching it's unique description on the property and tenants using it in the move. We only found out about trailer theft later because this contractor had put-up reward signs for the return of his trailer.
We thought these tenants had left the area and would be untraceable but they are back in town and belligerent. At the very least I want to take them to small claims court. I have lost much more than $10k in the eviction and stolen items. My contractor has lost thousands in tools and supplies. The other contractor whose stolen trailer was on property has witnesses that saw his trailer on property. We have all been in contact with city police and they have done nothing but tell us what they cannot do.
How do I track these people down and see that they receive some kind of justice? Hire a Private Investigator and spend more money to find out their address so we can pursue them in small claims? Or do we seek something from law enforcement and DA. Seems like they are not interested at all?
Qualified as an expert in Criminal Law,31 years of Criminal Defense trial work. Unless you want to spend a great deal of your own funds to get them, you need to get law enforcement involved. Also, small claims with these kind of people does not work very well, as if you get a judgment, you can never collect on it, because the people have nothing. Also if they are prosecuted criminally you can get restitution in the criminal action, and people pay much better with the threat of jail on a violation if they do not pay, then getting served with a small claims action. You all need to go to the Sheriffs office and file a complaint. They cannot refuse you the right to file a complaint. They can decide though not to pursue it if they choose. If they think this is a business deal and should be in civil court they will not touch it. From what you have stated it is criminal, and the more victims you have to file complaints, and the more witnesses you have the harder it will be for law enforcement to do nothing. The DA will not take your case until it has gone to law enforcement first, and then the DA will make a filing decision. I see no reason for the police not to get involved from the facts stated, as long as you do not give them the impression that this is a business deal gone bad, and thus a civil matter. The police should take the reports on the theft, and then forward them to the DA so they can make a filing decision.I think if you all push hard enough,it will happen. Sincerely, Steve
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you Steve, I think you are right that city police viewed this as business deal gone bad and washed their hands of it. Contractor working on renovation had employeed tenants sons for some menial clean up tasks since they lived on site and asked for work. This was very short lived because within days they proved to be dishonest and lazy. After eviction commenced tenants had a yard sale @ property (crossroads of two state highways) attempting to sell building materials, tools and items from the restaurant. All belonging to myself or my contractor. Friends alerted us to this and took pictures. We called city police that same day. When they arrived items were put back in restaurant. So nothing was done by city police. Contractor showed up when police were their the on "yard sale" day and HE was told not to cause problems. He todok tool he could. Screwed shut every window and door but they broke in through a window later and stole more before leaving.
City police have proven to be of not much help. Do we take this to county sheriff? Or DA? So far we have only been talking to city police
Also, I want to pursue this in small claims because at this point I do not have any faith in law enforcement. I (we... All of us stolen from) have no idea what we pay taxes for. How do I pursue this in small claims.
I also want to pursue small claims. At this point I have zero faith in law enforcement. Im sure Ill get no money from small claims but so far these tenants have stolen thousands of dollars worth of stuffI have no idea what we pay taxes for.
Small claims is very easy. Just either go in person to your local court house small claims clerk, and they will give you all the forms and an instruction book. Small claims is made for people that do not have an attorney, so the forms and instructions are not very difficult to complete, also usually your county clerk will have all of this information on line for free. As far as which agency to go to,you could also go to the Sheriffs office as they have concurrent jurisdiction with the City Police. It all depends on the Sheriffs agency though, some require if it is in the city to go through the City Police, other Sheriffs office's will take an initial complaint originating in the city and also outside the city. Go there and try,it cannot hurt. As to the DA, as I previously stated, they do not act as the intake for a crime, it must go through either the City Police or the Sheriff first, and they need to refer it to the DA, you cannot go there yourself to have them investigate the crime for you. Good Luck, Steve
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Thank you so much. Remember you can always have me answer your questions, buy just asking for me in the initial question. Sincerely, Steve

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