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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 3171
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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A few weeks ago my landlord physically attacked me and I

Customer Question

a few weeks ago my landlord physically attacked me and I defended myself accordingly. He had court today (Sep. 15th) and then gave me an eviction notice to be out on Oct. 15th). In the eviction notice which is written in pen. He wrote "You owe me for half my tools that you lost and chairs you and your friends broke and the 283 motor you didn't put together. If you dont do this I will hire it done and sue you for it. It may be in the thousands." I'll start off by saying I never touched his tools and never took apart his 283 engine. Secondly the belongings in the garage are my fathers and not mine. My father is the renter. What is my defense towards a hostile man that wishes to try and sue me for things I did not do. Side note: There not a single piece of even remotely close proof that I lost or stole half his tools or even touched his engine. Which I didn't.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 year ago.

Hello Jesse,

If he attempts to sue you, it will be his burden of prove that you lost his tools, broke the motor etc. He will have to introduce some evidence that you did these things. If the only evidence he has is his own testimony, he will have a very week case, especially if he did not personally witness you lose the tools or broke the motor. So your defense will be that there is no evidence that you lost the tools or broke the motor. Additionally, you could raise the defense that your father was the renter, and thus, you were not in possession of the items. Furthermore, since he physically assaulted you, you could countersue him for assault and battery.