How do I seek justice for a violation of my lease and destruction of my personal property? 7 Answers as of June 28, 2011

My apartment complex failed to notify me they would be replacing my deck. Contractors removed personal possessions from my deck and threw them in the dumpster (dumpster was emptied on the same day). The apartment maintains they were not put on notice to contact me, so it’s not their fault. The contractors maintain they were authorized to replace the deck. I cannot retrieve or replace some items as they have emotional value. The police say it is not trespassing so it is a civil matter. How do I seek justice for a violation of my lease and destruction of my personal property? No one will take responsibility in this matter. Who is liable to compensate me and how do I value monetarily something that has emotional but no financial value?

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Palumbo and Kosofsky
Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
You can retain our office to bring a lawsuit against the responsible parties.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/27/2011
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
File a small claims suit against the apartment owner and the contractor. The court should find one or both of them responsible. Impossible to value the emotional loss, but courts do it all the time. It is worth at least the amount of the small claims maximum. In CA that is $7500.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/27/2011
Law Office of Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
Take them both to small claims court and let them fight it out between themselves as to who is responsible. As far as your concerned, you could treat both of them as responsible. Please note the following necessary legal disclaimer: I have not given legal advice. I only give advice to my clients. I am not acting as your attorney. I have not yet agreed to represent you. Anything I have said is based on limited information and may be subject to change as more facts become known. Attorneys express opinions. Attorneys often disagree. If you want further information or independent verification of anything I have said then you should immediately consult another attorney. Never sit on your rights! I am admitted to practice law in New York State only and cannot practice law in any other State.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/27/2011
Frances R. Johnson
Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
If anyone is found responsible, it would be the landlord. Depending upon the language of the lease and the value of the property, you can attempt to receive compensation via a small claims or other lawsuit. It's not clear if you're wanting to be financially paid for the loss or some other remedy. I'm not aware of any legal option to force an apology. A lawsuit can potentially address the compensation issues.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/27/2011
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