Obtaining punitive damages

9 posts in this topic

I'll try to be as a brief as I can, but I had a roommate living with me, and he moved out after a serious monetary dispute. At the same time he was moving out, I ordered a new desk to replace the old one in his room. He found the receipt for it and decided to take it upon himself to go to the furniture store with the receipt --claiming that he was my "caretaker", that I was "mildly autistic" and had written down an old address. He gave another address for the item to be delivered to and signed a fake signature on the delivery slip. (Amazingly, they fell for it!)

 

Of course, I lodged a complaint with the police, however, 6 months later I received a letter from the city prosecutor that value of the desk (€180) was considered too small to be processed criminally. He advised for me to take him to civil court instead, and stated that he had been given a "strong warning" about his actions.

 

I really hate to sound indignant, but this is sending a message that it's okay to commit fraud and theft in Berlin as long as the amount is under a certain level. In this case, if I felt someone owed me €150, I can just go steal it right out of her purse--the court is too busy to bother with it, anyhow!

 

Is it possible to sue him for punitive damages? I want to send him a clear message--otherwise, it just seems that he got himself a free desk and a good laugh to go with it.

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Just drop it and move on.  The amount truly is trivial.  How much is your time worth to pursue the matter further? It does yourself more damage in the long run to hold on to your thirst for revenge, which is all your desire to show hom a lesson really is.

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I understand your anger at how it is being treated as “too small” to be given attention. The fact that you were duped is reason enough to want to shred your ex roommate to pieces. But to fight this could also cause you more than he owes you. Sometimes we need to choose the battles we fight for our own good. In my opinion, just let this one go and be leery who you trust next time. Or you can also leave comments in his social media posts asking him for the payment of the table he stole from you. 😉

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10 hours ago, AlexisPrince said:

Is it possible to sue him for punitive damages?

No, as there is no such thing as "punitive damages" in German civil law.

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I think you need to put this on the back shelf of your mind for the time being - of course your indignation is well-founded, but the amount of stress it is causing really is not worth it.

The Germans have a saying that we meet everybody twice in our lifetime.

Be patient, and you might well get to meet this person again, in a different time and place, but then you might well be able to reach a solution that is far more satisfying.

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10 hours ago, AlexisPrince said:

I really hate to sound indignant, but this is sending a message that it's okay to commit fraud and theft in Berlin as long as the amount is under a certain level

Not exactly. You can still sue him for damage compensation (and that could be more than the mere value of the desk but could include any expenses you incurred fixing that problem. But the threshold above which criminal proceedings are instigated isn´t up to you to set. In my view he deserved a fine but unfortunately, I´m not the state prosecutor. I doubt that he´d have gotten away with it that easily in Bavaria.

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Can't you make a claim against the furniture store?

 

After all, they allowed a 3rd party to change details of the delivery and effectively steal.  You could claim that they should either deliver a new desk or pay you the money back, as it was clearly there fault.

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Unsatisfactory from a moral point of view. The guy is a con man and the store was conned. They are as much victim as the OP.

 

My Croatian brother-in-law would be paying for a couple of Russians to pay the guy a visit. Has the OP thought about visiting the guy himself? Making himself a real pain. Persistently in small ways? Calls in the early hours? Character assassination? Till he gets it off his chest. Two wrongs don't make a right but I have to admit the right sort of revenge can be really sweet for those who deserve it.

 

Karma will likely sort it in the long run.

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On 5/11/2019, 9:44:22, AlexisPrince said:

I'll try to be as a brief as I can, but I had a roommate living with me, and he moved out after a serious monetary dispute. At the same time he was moving out, I ordered a new desk to replace the old one in his room. He found the receipt for it and decided to take it upon himself to go to the furniture store with the receipt --claiming that he was my "caretaker", that I was "mildly autistic" and had written down an old address. He gave another address for the item to be delivered to and signed a fake signature on the delivery slip. (Amazingly, they fell for it!)

 

Of course, I lodged a complaint with the police, however, 6 months later I received a letter from the city prosecutor that value of the desk (€180) was considered too small to be processed criminally. He advised for me to take him to civil court instead, and stated that he had been given a "strong warning" about his actions.

 

I really hate to sound indignant, but this is sending a message that it's okay to commit fraud and theft in Berlin as long as the amount is under a certain level. In this case, if I felt someone owed me €150, I can just go steal it right out of her purse--the court is too busy to bother with it, anyhow!

 

Is it possible to sue him for punitive damages? I want to send him a clear message--otherwise, it just seems that he got himself a free desk and a good laugh to go with it.

 

It happen to me something similar. I was at a bank machine and took 150 euro in cash but i forgot to take them . I went back after 5 mins and the machine didnt take them back but the next person in line stole them . I went to police to ask them to review video evidence and catch the thief ... They said 150 euro is too less for them to bother ... It pays to be thief it seems.

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