My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: New York, NY
Hi, a month or so ago I wrapped up an ugly situation with my ex roommate. She is an elderly woman who's children were taking advantage of her because they wanted the apartment through fraudulent succession rights. (They no longer live there, I am already cooperating with the building owners to ensure they do not get the property, they did not live there (but tried to claim they did)
During this time though I was put through hell. The only reason I found out I had an eviction going on is because a neighbor saw the 3 day notice and asked me about it (before the roommate took it and hid it) - this was not the only mail she took - she took all of my mail, it got to the point where I did my own investigating and while I was living there I bought tiny key chain finders, mailed myself letters and put them in there. I also dusted the inside of the letters with theft detection staining powder. A few days later I saw the purple powder on her hand and also used the key ring finder and sure enough the sounds were coming from her bedroom. I called the police - they tried to convince her to return all of my mail but all I got back was the letters I sent myself however they are both on duty cops who are witnesses and even assisted me in taking pictures of her with the ink on her hands in the event I ever needed the evidence in court. It took me about 6 weeks but I am moved out and settled in my new place however I refuse to let her and her children get away with their actions. I wasted 2 years of my life at this place when they asked me to stay to help take care of her son who had ALS, which I did..when he passed away I was shortly told to "get the hell out."
Yeah Im griping but the bottom line is I have evidence they commited a crime against me. I called the postal inspection service and all they said was they would gather the information and I wouldn't likely hear of the outcome - they were not even interested in the names of the police officers I had as witnesses. I went to the civil court house a few days ago and the clerk advised that I find a way to put a dollar amount on the suit and was told not to worry as I have 9 more months before the SOL runs out. If anyone can provide any advice on this I'd be grateful - their actions have made me miss work due to the escalation of my major depressive disorder, caused me to miss important mail (due to them taking it) - I even had an apartment I could go to in January but I couldn't because I was waiting for my replacement debt card which had a lot of money on it, and since they took my mail (which included the debt card) I missed out on it. I also could not get my prescribed medication for a couple of weeks which did not help my condition. While I know the reasons for wanting me out was so their kids could get the apartment I don't know why they took my mail - but doing so caused me both emotional and physical pain from all the sleep I lost during this. I want to take appropriate legal action, I want my turn in court. Everywhere I read it says stealing mail is a felony but worried that the postal inspector was not interested in the facts. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
P.S. I have horrible nightmares when I am taken advantage of - my therapist years ago suggested just not to let people take advantage of me, and in (legally) fighting back against people who do it has helped my depression immensely. I need justice so I can put this behind me. If a judge doesn't decide in my favor I respect that - again - I just need my turn in court. Thank you.