I've been paying rent to my parents in exchange for a place to live after returning from Los Angeles, CA since March. During the course of cleaning my mother discovered what she thought was marijuana. Officers later discovered it was tobacco just as I had insisted. However before that they locked me out and placed a criminal trespassing complaint against me. They are holding all my possessions, including: drivers license, credit cards, birth certificate and I am unable to get these as there is a no trespass order. I did not sign when the officer informed me. Can I be evicted like this? I thought they had to file an eviction? And trespassing at my own place of residence? In Texas I believe you establish residency at a dwelling after more than 30 days. Thanks in advance.
Criminal Defense Attorney
In many states, landlords can not engage in "self-help" evictions. In other words they have to take you to Court and get a judge's order. I do not know the law in Texas. Regardless, if you were living there and weren't given any sort of warning before being charged with criminal trespass, I would be suprised if they pursued the prosecution, once made aware of the facts. You also have a right to your posessions, (unless they are being held under lien for back rent, etc.---again the procedure varies by state). You need to contact the police and have them meet you a short distance from the residence and escort you in to get your belongings. That is your right everywhere that I am aware of. The cops aren't always very helpful in this way and frequently don't volunteer info. But you need to insist on this. DO NOT GO BACK ALONE. Speak to the watch commander if you don't get anywhere with the desk sergeant or whoever answers your call at the Police Department.
As to the eviction yourself, you either need to consult a Texas lawyer or research yourself what the law is in Texas regarding evictions. You may very well have a cause of action against them for illegal eviction--I simply do not know the law in Texas.
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