My question involves personal property located in the State of: New Jersey
I lived for many years with a girlfriend in a house I owned in Jersey. I became unemployed and eventually had an offer for employment in another state. Around this same time my relationship with said girlfriend became strained and we were pretty much going to break up. She wanted to stay in Jersey and I wasn't coming back to the state so I agreed to sell the house to her.
I moved away before the house was sold to initially stay in a furnished flat until a permanent residence could be established. During the next 3 months the house was bought by her, my employment fell through, and I was living a vagabond existence unable to take my furnishings from underneath her roof. Note: she was quite happy to have use of these furnishings since she had none of her own.
After about a year, she met another guy and became quite belligerent with respect to our previously amicable friendship. She gave me an ultimatum to get my property out of her house. I agreed to comply within the deadline she set, however, she became quite paranoid and eventually only allowed me to take property that was boxed and placed in the garage. I was forced to move these things rapidly under police supervision. I had to take inventory at my storage facility and quickly made a list of things I was quite angry she didn't include, which she also obviously didn't need. A second visit 2 months later allowed me to acquire these items. Again, these items were in the driveway and I was under strict police supervision during their removal.
I know that I probably should have taken her to court earlier. However, I really didn't have a place or immediate need for property she never allowed me to take...so I let it slide. It get's better: She has just recently sold the house and moved god knows where. The utilities were still in my name (yeah, I know...stupid) and she has left a quite sizable bill for which I will be held accountable by the electric company.
I would like to have her just pay the bill, but I'm pretty sure she stuck me with it out of malice and will not voluntarily pay it. So court seems like the only alternative. If I'm going to have to drive hundreds of miles just to make her pay her bill, I'd like to sue her for all the property that I wasn't allowed to take or at least the stuff I can provide a receipt for. Any advice?
The punchline: it's been 2.5 years since I closed with her on the house.