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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 101758
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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What would damages be if you sue for malicious trespass in

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What would damages be if you sue for malicious trespass in Missouri. Facts mortgage cut ompany changed locks on condo while it was on the market to be sold. Realators could not show property because they did not have key to enter. There was no foreclosure, no notice to owner or property manager. Personal property was taken and utilities were shut off
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. In such situation, the Court tends to assign two types of damages: actual and punitive.

Actual damages may include:
-legal fees;
-attorney fees;
-costs in relocating the property from wherever it was moved to where the Plaintiff wants it to go;
-room and board for the amount of time that the Plaintiff has to pay for it after being subject to these events; and
-miscellaneous costs that the Plaintiff absorbed due to this matter.

Punitive damages are more subjective, and are at the discretion of the Court (or jury, if a jury trial), and may be awarded if one can show that the Defendant's actions could be considered outrageous conduct demonstrating an "evil motive" or reckless indifference. Altenhofen v. Fabricor, Inc. , 81 S. W. 3d 578,590 (Mo. App. 2002).

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can I sue for lost of sale of property, emotional distress and would the action be called Malicious trespass. This is a Missouri case..

Stacey,

Thank you for your follow up.

Can I sue for lost of sale of property, emotional distress and would the action be called Malicious trespass. This is a Missouri case..

Not quite. Allow me to explain.

To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state.

Here, you may possibly have causes of action of: FRAUD, INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS, CONVERSION, AND TRESPASS.

FRAUD: The elements of fraud are: 1) a representation; 2) its falsity; 3) its materiality; 4) the speaker's knowledge of its falsity, or his ignorance of its truth; 5) the speaker's intent that it should be acted on by the person and in the manner reasonably contemplated; 6) the hearer's ignorance of the falsity of the representation; 7) the hearer's reliance on the representation being true; 8) his right to rely thereon; and, 9) the hearer's consequent and proximately caused injury. Sofka v. Thal, 662 S.W.2d 502, 506 (Mo. banc 1983).

INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS: When extreme and outrageous conduct intentionally or recklessly causes severe emotional distress to another. Pretsky v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, 396 SW 2d 566 - Mo: Supreme Court, 1st Div. 1965.

CONVERSION: Civil theft. The following three elements must be established to prove conversion: (1) plaintiff was the owner of the property or entitled to its possession; (2) defendant took possession of the property with the intent to exercise some control over it; and (3) defendant thereby deprived plaintiff of the right to possession. Weicht v. SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS, 32 SW 3d 592 - Mo: Court of Appeals, Eastern Dist., 4th Div. 2000.

TRESPASS: Self explanatory.

All of these can go on the same complaint. You only need to win ONE to be victorious, and ask the Court for actual and punitive damages. An attorney is recommended, of course.

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