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Whos at fault for vandalism claim?

by sandy
(Alice, Tx. Jim Wells)

My son and a friend were at the movies. They both had their own vehicles. There was a constable who noticed the windows were smashed in around 10:00, however he did not notify anybody.

When the boys came out they informed him. They were told it was private property. He never got off his vehicle.

There tread marks in front the vehicles so the boys followed them and found a golf club. The officer came over and said good job we found the weapon.

The stated he was going to take it for fingerprints and they would be ready in about 30 min. However the golf club was never tuned in. Who is liable, the movies or the constable who failed to turn in the golf club?


Hello Sandy,

The vandals are liable. No one else. The fact that evidence was not properly secured does not make either of the parties liable for the damage. You have to show causation, please see:, to me them liable to you.

In other words, your negligence theory against either of them (the constable or the movies) must have duty breached that casually caused the damages. The duty here might be (they might not even have duty) is to turn the evidence in. If they do not fulfill that duty, can you say that they failure to turn in evidence cause the ultimate damage (smashed windows?), probably not. The windows were broken by vandals.

You will probably try to argue that should the evidence been turned in, the vandals would have been caught. However, this is very unlikely, because often times, even when you have clear finger prints, the police cannot find even a suspect. This is most often the case. This is why your case would probably be very weak on causation.

Good Luck,

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