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How can I sue a former tenant for damages, beyond the security deposit, without an attorney?

Rochester Hills, MI |

My former tenant was in my house for 12 months and left extensive damage. She didnt leave a forwarding address.

Attorney Answers 4


You can file suit on your own, but you will have to know where your tenant is currently residing so that you can serve them with the summons and complaint. You are also supposed to sue them in the district court ((if you are suing for $25, 000 or less) for the municipality in which they reside. If you are suing for more than $25,000, you have to file in circuit court.

If the damages are only a few thousand dollars, you can sue in small claims, which is a little more "lay person friendly" than your other options, but you are still going to have to serve the defendant. Small claims is also filed in the district court where the defendant is residing.

All of that said, there is a reason people go to law school. The practice of law is complicated and procedures are dictated by law and court rule. If you do not know what you are doing, it is easy for your case to get thrown out and you will have to start over. I would never advise a client to go to court without an attorney.

Best of luck to you,

John J. Keenan

This response applies to Michigan law only. This initial response to your question(s) is for general purposes, only, and is based upon the limited information you have provided. Therefore, this general answer should not be relied upon as a reason for your action or inaction. This response does not establish an attorney-client relationship; such a relationship may only be established by the signing of a written retainer agreement, and the payment of the agreed upon retainer. Please call me, or another attorney of your choice, with more details, and for an appointment to discuss same. Thank you for this opportunity to address your question(s).

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You can, but it is not advisable.

The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.

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It depends on the damages. You can sue for up to $5k in small claims court, without an attorney. If the damages are more than that, you might be better off considering an attorney.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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I would ask an attorney to consult with them for a reasonable fee to check out your options. You also need to find out where the person moved too. Call an attorney today.

Kennedy Law Office, PLLC
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Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship has been established. Please contact an attorney about your legal rights. This answer is for educational purposes only.

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