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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    1

    Default Who is Responsible for Damages That Were Incurred from Wrong Legal Advice by Police

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: Iowa
    At the closing of my house buyers were made aware that I needed extra time to pack remaining items. A verbal agreement was made where possession would be delayed one day and in exchange I would provide a professional cleaning service the following morning and offered a hotel for the night. Buyers ignored the agreement and 10 minutes after closing 5 people aggressively entered the house demanding immediate possession of the house and all remaining items on the property. I left the house to avoid any confrontation in front of my children but their cars had blocked my licensed,Filled to capacity,enclosed cargo trailer preventing me from getting it. After dropping my kids off at a friends I returned to the house(20 minutes laterJto discuss the situation (per my realtors advice) and my trailer was gone. When I asked the buyers where it was they said they gave it to a stranger walking buy who asked if he could have it, then while arguing with them and questioning the validity of their story they called the police and said I was trespassing. Police arrived, claiming a civil matter, they had no authority to make decisions. Then immediately made a ruling that the trailer was considered an abandoned vehicle and the buyers could do what they want with it. This is not the law in Iowa, it does not meet the criteria to be determined abandoned, and even if it were, taking ownership of it is not an option, there is protocol to follow. My dumpster was scheduled to be picked up the following morning, so I went to the house to meet dumpster company, when I arrived all contents from my trailer were emptied from my bins and thrown in the dumpster then covered in wet paint, nothing was salvageable. I am aware that the buyers mights have a legal claim to contents inside the house but they do not have a legal claim to the trailer and itís contents. Iíve filed a small claims suit, waiting for hearing. My question is in reference to the police giving wrong legal advice which then allowed them overnight to destroy everything in my trailer thinking it was theirs. If the police told them the actual law, or told them to get the trailer back until a judge could rule on ownership, The damage done could have been prevented. How much of the responsibility is on the police and can he be held accountable for any of the damage.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,667

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for Damages That Were Incurred from Wrong Legal Advice by Poli

    Quote Quoting Bgiad827
    View Post
    My question involves police conduct in the State of: Iowa
    At the closing of my house buyers were made aware that I needed extra time to pack remaining items. A verbal agreement was made where possession would be delayed one day and in exchange I would provide a professional cleaning service the following morning and offered a hotel for the night. Buyers ignored the agreement and 10 minutes after closing 5 people aggressively entered the house demanding immediate possession of the house and all remaining items on the property. I left the house to avoid any confrontation in front of my children but their cars had blocked my licensed,Filled to capacity,enclosed cargo trailer preventing me from getting it. After dropping my kids off at a friends I returned to the house(20 minutes laterJto discuss the situation (per my realtors advice) and my trailer was gone. When I asked the buyers where it was they said they gave it to a stranger walking buy who asked if he could have it, then while arguing with them and questioning the validity of their story they called the police and said I was trespassing. Police arrived, claiming a civil matter, they had no authority to make decisions. Then immediately made a ruling that the trailer was considered an abandoned vehicle and the buyers could do what they want with it. This is not the law in Iowa, it does not meet the criteria to be determined abandoned, and even if it were, taking ownership of it is not an option, there is protocol to follow. My dumpster was scheduled to be picked up the following morning, so I went to the house to meet dumpster company, when I arrived all contents from my trailer were emptied from my bins and thrown in the dumpster then covered in wet paint, nothing was salvageable. I am aware that the buyers mights have a legal claim to contents inside the house but they do not have a legal claim to the trailer and it’s contents. I’ve filed a small claims suit, waiting for hearing. My question is in reference to the police giving wrong legal advice which then allowed them overnight to destroy everything in my trailer thinking it was theirs. If the police told them the actual law, or told them to get the trailer back until a judge could rule on ownership, The damage done could have been prevented. How much of the responsibility is on the police and can he be held accountable for any of the damage.
    The police told you it was a civil matter. I doubt they actually made any "ruling" whatsoever. It isn't the police's responsibility to help you deal with your civil issue in any way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,054

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for Damages That Were Incurred from Wrong Legal Advice by Poli

    The police neither gave legal advice nor made any ruling. They owed you no duty in this situation and committed no legal wrong against you. Your claim is against only those people who destroyed or discarded your personal property.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
    Posts
    1,526

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for Damages That Were Incurred from Wrong Legal Advice by Poli

    The police don't render legal advice and your description doesn't appear to be advice so much as a statement.

    It's a bad idea to have any belongings still in a home being closed on without agreements already in place in writing. If you weren't ready for closing then it's on you. Simply making the buyer aware that you needed more time doesn't mean they're obligated to allow it.

    Knowing that these people were going to be a problem you walked away from a trailer filled with your belongings. A trailer that was parked on what was now their property. I can see how it could be viewed as abandoned, whether or not it's reasonable.

    The small claims court limit in Iowa is $6500. If your belongings that were damaged/destroyed are worth more than this (not replacement value, the depreciated value) then small claims court may not be worth it, especially in light of the willfulness of the act.

    You have yourself a bit of a mess, between the belongings left in the house and the ones that were chucked in the garbage. While I agree that the police bear no responsibility for your plight I do believe that you should consult an attorney regarding the buyers. You made some mistakes but you didn't willfully destroy property.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

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