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Re: RE: Illegal Eviction

Posted by TenantNet on June 13, 1996 at 23:31:31:

In Reply to: RE: Illegal Eviction posted by JoAnn Skains on June 13, 1996 at 18:54:58:

: I wrote to you (tenant net ) awhile back when in dire need of
: help reguarding landlord / tenant issues. At the time I had
: just recently experieced what I know now to have been an ill-
: egal evition. Taking your advice I tried to do the measures
: you described, however I did them to no avail.The local sheriff's
: dept refused to press charges on my landlord for illegal break-
: ing and entry & illegal detainer.

It differs in each state and we try to answer your (and other tenants')
questions in a general sense. We are inn New York and do not know
the law in every state and every town (no one can), so we try to
give you general guidelines and also generally we advise tenants
to innvestigate the laws in your state annd if necessary speak with
an attorney in your state.

In many areas owner's cannot rely on "self-help" and must go through
the court system to get an eviction. This is usually a civil matter
if the owner takes matters into his own hands, but in some places
(NYC) it can also be a criminal matter.

: After the illegal eviction on April
: 6th,1996, I was finally able to get my belongings from the rental
: unit on June 7th, 1996. However on that date my attorney informed
: me that his firm would require an additional 1000 to remain on
: my case. And also that my account was also past due, which I
: had no idea it had exceeded my first retainer of five hundred,
: by an amount of 227. He also went on to say that hence knowing
: our current situation he would withdraw from our case.

If the attorney did not keep you up-to-date on the progress of the case
or if he did not bill you regularly (monthly) you might possibly have a case
against him, but you might wish to investigate Missouri rules on this
as to obligations of attorneys -- check your local bar association. Also
check your retainer agreement.

: I have the
: money to take but wonder if I should get a more secure
: attorney, at least one that believes in me. Any info would
: be appreciated!

This is a difficult decision and one we cannot completely answer.
Of course you should be in a position to trust your attorney and
feel free to flesh out the pros and cons of a case. On the other
hand, they have an obligation to give you a realistic assessment
of the case -- and sometimes that means telling you their opinion
which might mean (in their opinion) that you have a weak case. You
need and want the truth -- not a rosy picture that you might
want to hear. But if the attorney is just jerking you around and
eating up your retainer -- you might want to talk to another attorney
to get a second opinion.
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