If I was a victim of vandalism and know who did it, how should I proceed?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2014

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If I was a victim of vandalism and know who did it, how should I proceed?

I did not call police to scene my vehicle was badly keyed at a recent party. I am pretty certain I knew who did it.The home owner has a security cameras but refused to show me them. I confronted the spouse if the person I think did it and after a few days I received a call from this individual to apologize and they offered to pay for damages. If they do not come through what are my legal rights? How do I protect myself now?

Asked on September 29, 2014 under Criminal Law, New Jersey


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the person who vandalized your car does not pay for the damage, you can sue that individual for trespass to chattel. 

Trespass to chattel is the intentional takinr or damaging of the personal property in the possession of another without consent or legal privilege.

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for trespass to chattel) would be the cost of repairs to your car.

The answer to your question about how to protect yourself would be to have the culprit sign a written agreement to pay for the damage to your car.  You can get an estimate of the cost of repairs and have that amount stated in the agreement.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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