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Good morning. I certainly understand your situation and concern. Yes, it is certainly illegal what he did. The landlord can not use self help to evict you or to demand rent be paid. Any relief or remedy sought, would have had to be obtain through the court. You should certainly keep the letters, evidencing his action and to support your testimony, about what he did. The court could take action and fine him, if you file suit. Your security deposit should have been returned within 30 days after you moved out or the landlord should have provided you with an itemized list of any deductions and returned the balance, if any. If he failed to do this, he may have waived his right to do so and would need to return the full amount. If he fails to do so, you would have to sue him to recover, in addition to any other damages which you suffered, as a result of his actions. If he turned off the power and water and you were forced to move, you could try and recover the cost in doing so.
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is there a time limit I have to pursue this
4 or 6 years, depending on the cause of action.
Injury to Personal Property: 4 years
Contracts: Written, 6 years
legal aide in new Mexico told me that he could have to pay a certain amount for each month I can prove he disconnected my water. but my vehicle burned down and I lost the letter from them..could you explain what they were telling me by chance
Based upon what you stated above, it does sound like you have a good case and chance of recovery. You want to be able to obtain all the money you can from the landlord. As such, if you are not very familiar with the court system, it is in your best interest to retain an attorney and have them represent you. They can try and get the Judge to award attorney fees and based upon the actions of the landlord, there is a chance for this as well. The attorney will know what causes of action to raise and how to proceed on the case, acting on your behalf. On Monday, you can likely set up a consultation with a few attorneys, to talk about the facts of the case and see what they will charge for representation in the matter. The last thing which you want to do, is handle this yourself and run into problems and/or not recover what you are entitled to.
is there a certain type of lawyer?I live n a very small town
It is a civil litigation case, so any attorney would likely be able to handle it. In an ideal situation, you can find an attorney that handles landlord/tenant disputes in real estate but if not, then general litigation. Please let me know if there is anything else and I would be happy to answer it. If not, please remember to rate my help with 3, ,4 or 5 faces, so I can get credit. Thank you!
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