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  1. #1

    Default Commercial Lease - Landlord Changed Locks and Refused Entry and Seized Property

    My question involves an eviction in the state of: Idaho
    I had a commercial lease with a company here in Idaho. To make a long story short they changed the locks on the office while I was out fishing. I called the police and was told I had to sue that they couldn't do anything for me.

    They refused my wife and I entrance to the property to collect business assets including desks, computers, networking equipment, microwave, printers, mailing equipment, employees personal items and much more. I was personally unable to ever even talk to the company but I instructed my wife to and on several occasions she spoke with several different agents from the leasing company.

    They eventually allowed access to the property but not for us to take out any personal property just to release a $20K mail inserting machine that was leased. They refused to let us take any of our property (including personal), and never gave us a key instead escorted us in and out of the office.

    They then went through the entire eviction process (before they changed the locks the eviction hadn't even been started I think a late payment notice was issued but no eviction). Once the eviction process was complete (I assume), they took all my property from the location and I don't know what happened to it. I was unable to do anything due to extinuating circumstances for about 2 years. Happened in April of 2009.

    Do I have any recourse on this company because they illegally locked me out of my office?
    Has the time run out for me to file a law suit?
    Can they sue me if I go to the news with the story to let people know what they did to me? (everything I have said/claimed is exactly true)
    Is what they did legal or if I sue could I also sue for punitive damages?

    I don't have a full list of everything that was in the office because there were employees personal belongings as well as a fully furnished office full of everything from phones, desks, chairs, computers, faxes, printers, office supplies, printed marketing materials, other furniture and fixtures, and other personal tools and equipment. So if I can sue how can I prove what all was in the office that they seized since I was never given any notice, any lists of what was taken, or any notice of where it went etc. It was literally a fully functioning office the morning they locked the doors. I was literally gone fishing when they did it.

    Any help, ideas, comments, criticism, sarcasm, encouragement, empathy and/or anything else would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Commercial Lease - Landlord Changed Locks and Refused Entry and Seized Property

    They locked you out because you failed to pay your rent on time? How delinquent were you in your rent?

    They successfully evicted you? On the basis of nonpayment? You didn't raise any claim for unlawful detainer or to recover your property at that time? You didn't make any counter-claims at that time?

    Are there provisions in your lease relating to lock-out, eviction, and the disposition of property in the premises in the event of default, lock-out or eviction?

    What did the landlord do with the property retained in the premises?

    Why have you waited well over two years to address this issue? I suspect you're looking at a three year statute of limitations, although the limitations period will depend upon the specific causes of action that are identified as viable.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Commercial Lease - Landlord Changed Locks and Refused Entry and Seized Property

    Here is exactly what happened. I was on parole and my parole officers thought I was committing fraud with the company so they came in and changed the locks seized some equipment and refused entry to everyone for about two weeks. At that point they turned the building back over the the landlord. From that point on the landlord refused to release anything and basically do anything. I was maybe 2 months behind on rent or not quite two months behind. There were never any criminal charges or any other type of formal investigation. Just the parole officer that thought I was ripping people off. Honestly I have been in prison for almost two years while they did an investigation to find out that I was a totally legitimate company.

    There was never any charges pressed by any law enforcement agency (which could be key), I was only violated on parole while doing an investigation that came back negative from department of finance, state police, local police, and other investigating agencies.

    The reason it took so long for me to do something is they sat me in prison while doing an investigation so I have no way to contact the leasing company. However my wife did several times.

    They didn't even evict me I don't think they just sued me for the ammount of the lease. I never answered the lease suit because I was encarcerated and didn't have the finances because of how everything went down, so I let it go to a default judgement.

    There are no provisions about lockout or disposition of property in the lease except abondoned property (which it clearly wasn't).

    I have no idea what the landlord did with the property, it was in the office for a couple of months and then they removed it. Don't know if they sold it, threw it away, or what they did. I was never told what happened to the property. I never had any communication with the leasing company prior to being sued for default, and nothing since. The leasing company never released the keys to my wife so she could go get anything, and never contacted us saying they were seizing anything etc. The only thing we were allowed to go in and get was a leased peice of equipment and they didn't want to let us do that. When we did that they escorted my wife in and refused to even let her take like a bag of personal tools, personal printer we had at the office, a cell phone I had in the office, a bluetooth device things like that.

    I waited to file becuase I was sitting in prison with a "pending" investigation that came back negative and then was released and apologized to. It took two years for me to be released even though 13 computers that they seized were released after 12 months of sitting in evidence under a parole 4th waiver. Every police report taken at the time said that there was no evidence and they were doing everything under waivers from parole and that no further investigation would be done.

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