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I won a small claims action against my previous landlord, has taken years now he died how do I collect against his apartments?

Sturgeon Bay, WI |
Filed under: Landlord-tenant

He went into my apartment and stole my home office system, I got him in court, won the small claims judgement, has taken over a year to do. He recently fell down stairs and died. Him and his wife own lots of property and apartments, are very scandalous persons. They dragged out this settlement, paying me the money awarded me in small claims for a long time. Unfortunately, I only added him to the initial complaint for which the money was awarded me, but they are partners in the apartments/property. How do I get my monetary damages awarded me in small claims court against the deceased, against his property? Thank you.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You should post this question in the probate section because you will have to file some sort of claim in the probate estate.

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  2. You need to determine how title to his apartments were held. You also need to file a creditor's claim against his estate and/or trust. Have you reduced your award to a judgment? You may want to consider placing a lien on his property. You really need a civil attorney familiar with probate, or a Probate litigation attorney. A general property attorney may not have enough experience to deal with the civil aspects of your claim.

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  3. You have a claim against his ESTATE, if he has one. The potential problem I see is that there may not be an estate, if all of the assets were jointly owned between spouses. If that is the case, it is likely you will not be able to collect the balance of your judgment. I would review this with a probate attorney who can help you investigate further to determine how best to proceed. Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation.

    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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