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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102348
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My roommate and I are having a dispute over alleged stolen

Customer Question

My roommate and I are having a dispute over alleged stolen goods (various makeup and clothing items, no significant value). She went into my room removed the items she claimed were hers, alerted management and then began the process of filing a police report; all before she spoke with me, I had no idea any of this had happened. Once I got home and we spent hours trying to resolve the dispute wherein I insisted the items were mine and she claimed they were hers. We finally came to an agreement, the police showed up and she sent them away stating that we had resolved the dispute and we informed management we worked things out. However, this past weekend she brought up the situation to management once again claiming that more items were missing, she was uncomfortable living with me and that if they didn't evict me she would sue them. I was away over the weekend when management called to tell me that contrary to our previous agreement things were not resolved. When I returned I noticed some of my everyday items missing meaning she once again went into my quarters and removed items in possession claiming they were hers. My question is what are the legal implications of this case? I originally thought this was just petty roommate problems that could be resolved between two adults but she refuses to sit down with management and me to discuss anything. Can management evict one or both of us? Can she sue management or me on these haphazard accusations? Can management only get rid of me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Please clarify - your original agreement with your roommate - was anything in writing or was it all verbal?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was verbal, but she texted management reiterating the agreement.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Can management evict one or both of us?
Yes. Or rather they can try if they want to, based on being a NUISANCE to other tenants. This means that they would have to prove that whoever they "target" for eviction has been creating a legal nuisance - criminal activity or endangering neighbors. This is what they would have to prove. So this means literally proving the theft.
So they can try to do this, but it is UNLIKELY that they would. At this point, this is an argument between two tenants. Unless things get violent and one tenant complains about the other and/or the property begins to be damages, the landlord/management company will normally want to stay OUT of it.
Can she sue management or me on these haphazard accusations?
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 because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.
She cannot sue the management or the landlord for anything. She can sue you for conversion (civil theft) or defamation (libel/slander) if she believes she has a case. However, someone in your situation can do the same.
Can management only get rid of me?
They can try, but again, likely will not try or even want to. The landlord/management can evict someone who has been a legal nuisance, that is, criminal activity or endangering neighbors. However being accused of taking personal items by a roommate is a far cry from proving this.
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