I agree with Mr. Heydenrych's advice and would only add one cautionary note. You should probably wait until after the criminal matter is resolved before filing any sort of civil claim. There are two main reasons for this. First, a civil claim could compromise the criminal case. You would be opening yourself up to a good defense attorney asking you questions on the stand to make it look like you are just after money. Second, if he's convicted in the criminal case, this makes proving your civil claim much easier.
My responses to posts on AVVO are not legal advice, nor do they create an attorney-client relationship. In order to provide true (and reliable) legal advice, an attorney must be able to ask questions of the person seeking legal advice and to thus gather the appropriate information. In order for an attorney-client relationship to exist, you and I both have to agree the the terms of such an agreement.
Yes you can. Just understand that you will have to pay the up front costs of bringing suit, and at the end of the process you get a judgment, not cash. A judgment needs to be enforced in order for you to extract any cash value out of it, and that again may require some up front costs. At a minimum you should budget about $750-1000 for your litigation costs, with the understanding that it might take years for you to recoup your money. There's also a chance you might not ever recoup your money. If your ex boyfriend doesn't have any money, then there's no way to collect from him. As they say, you can't get blood from a stone.
This post is offered as general information and is not intended as legal advice. This information does not in of itself create any attorney-client relationship.