Visitor Question

Assaulted by sister’s husband inside joint-owned property…

Submitted By: Doris (Newark, NJ)

I was verbally and physically assaulted by my sister’s husband while trying to stop him from physically disciplining my minor cousin with a belt. I was slammed against a wall and as a result my back was injured. I also suffered nerve damage in my left leg as a result of the slamming.

I am currently undergoing tests/x-rays to find out the extent of the damage. My sister and her spouse live in a house owned jointly by my mother, sister, and myself. What are my rights as part owner? Can I get payment for my medical bills? Also, I want him out of my house! What can I do? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Doris,

Continue to seek medical treatment until such time as you are fully healed or until your physician says you have reached a level of maximum medical improvement (where additional treatment would not significantly improve your condition).

Next, contact the police and file a criminal complaint against your sister’s husband. From the facts you present, he quite obviously committed a criminal assault against you and the minor.

Once the man is arrested he will likely post bond and eventually be released (unless he has a prior criminal record, or is on probation or parole). If that’s the case, he may not be released.

Once he is arrested, his case will eventually be sent to the Office of the District Attorney in Essex County at 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Newark, NJ 07102. You can call the district attorney’s office at 973-621-4400 and ask to speak with the prosecutor handling your sister’s husband’s case.

Explain you were the victim in the case, and as a result of the assault you sustained medical bills and related expenses. Ask the prosecutor if your sister’s husband is going to receive probation. If so, ask the prosecutor to add as a condition of your sister’s husband’s probation that he have to pay back all of your medical bills and related costs.

If he receives probation, he will be required to make those payments. In the event he fails to do so, that would be a violation of his probation, subjecting him to arrest and incarceration for the full term of the crime.

If you are thinking of filing a homeowners claim you will be surprised to learn homeowners insurance does not cover criminal acts of their insured, especially when those acts result in injuries to third parties.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: May 10, 2016

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