What can be done if my landlord locked me out and I need to get my personal possessions?
My landlord locked me out of the building that I have leased. Cops said it was a civil matter. I have a lease and keys. I didn't pay all the rent because a bay door was broken for months. I called an attorney and he said to file a restraining order. Why? Is there anything that I can do to get my stuff out fast without filing a replevin?
You tried the logical thing--involve the police. If they refuse to get involved, then your recourse is to sue you landlord. At the outset, recognize that you were probably wrong to withhold rent--that is rarely the proper way to resolve matters. By doing so, you gave the landlord grounds to evict you. However, he needed to evict you the proper way, by going through the evicition process at court. Locking tenants out is not allowed, and nor is barring them from access to their belongings. You can sue the landlord for access to your belongings; for costs you've incurred owing to his improper eviction (e.g. having to stay in a hotel or rent a new location at a higher rate); and also for costs from not having access to your belongings. He of course may be able to in turn sue you for some back due rent.