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illegal eviction - how to sue after?

Posted by A. on January 24, 2000 at 15:52:15:

I was illegally evicted from a rent-controlled sublet in Manhattan. The lease-holder changed the locks, even though I had paid the rent. I had no signed lease, but do have copies of my cancelled rent checks. I also have a police report about the eviction. The building is multi-unit. They lease-holder changed the locks without my knowledge of permission, and then removed all my belongings to his van, without my permission. The police were able to retreave my things, but I had to pay a mover, and a broker's fee -- and all of this was on Thanksgiving day. The lease-holder never even phoned me to say he planned to do this. His "justification" was that he was sure I was planning to skip out on the phone bills. Now he is suing me in small claims court, claiming that I was a "guest" and that I owe him $800 for unpaid "bills". I have never seen these supposed bills, and furthermore, I never agreed to pay any bills. I've been told I can press criminal charges for illegal eviction & that I can also sue for the same -- but I have been unable to obtain information about this. Any ideas, references, or suggestions are welcome. Thanks -- a.

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