Ohio - so long story short, do seasonal summer job, signed a 8 month lease from March - Nov 2014. Move in April 2nd. After a week, notice bites all over me and a day later discover there was a bed bug infestation (previous infestation). Called the landlord right away, he wasnt aware of any bed bugs before I moved in so he claims, despite a good amount of droppings on the walls etc. Exterminator was out in 2 days, sprayed, they went away for 3 days but came back again. He comes back two weeks later, sprays and informs me he thinks they lived there previously. I asked around and my neighbor also says he knew of bed bug problems in that unit (tried to get him to come to court but he was in jail at the time I believe) before I moved in, once again, confront my landlord he denies knowing anything. Finally after 4 treatments (3 months, tons of bites and no improvement, I couldn't take it anymore, loss of sleep etc. So I called the landlord and he agrees to break lease and refund deposit. I was told by the exterminator not to dispose my furniture, but I found one crawling on my dresser after the the third treatment and decide to toss 90% of my stuff to prevent them from getting into my families house. Either way, I was very mad, no one wanted me to stay with them so I had to sleep in my car for four days until I was certain they were gone. I decide to file a small claim against my landlord for return of rent and deposit after I signed the lease, verbal agreement to break lease and return deposit (let me add apartment was disgusting, mold, rotten floors etc). I suffered through this for four months and even went to the hospital and didnt present my hospital bill because I was so flustered I forgot about it. Anyways, 4 months later court finally comes. I met with an attorney to organize my case, got text messages, pictures etc together, moving bills, storage fees. So finally I have my date to present my case. Anyways, I was very unprepared for the case. I froze up and become incredibly nervous (do that all the time when put on the spot). I lost track of what I was trying to say, my brother was witness and I didn't know what to ask him, I froze up. I started asking him about the apartment and asked him if we have ever had bb before, he said no, but I also started answering his questions. Judge becomes angry and begins yelling at me to stop answering my questions. I get nervous freak out and have a brain fart. My landlord was well prepared, had an attorney and had a counter claim for breach of contract for 5 reaming months. I was suing for loss of stuff emotional damage etc (aka return of rent and deposit) landlord said he would return it never did, even after sending my demand letter before court to settle. My landlord was put on the stand. He starts lying about this and that and when asked about the verbal consent to break lease, he denies ever giving me permission. Anyways, he calls as a witness the owner of the exterminating company, but he didn't treat my apartment, so he couldn't really answer many questions as to if he thought there was a previous infestation before I moved in, the guy who treated my unit quit and wasn't present at court. Anyways, the defense attorney didn't have a great case or set of witnesses but enough to convince the judge that I up and left which is not true. The landlord knew i was suffering tremendously and I had pictures of my bites to prove it. I had a strong case with before and after pictures etc but by this point the judge clearly made his mind up and my case was dismissed. He awarded the landlord all the rent and me nothing. He didn't even look at my evidence. I should have brought mt attorney, we would have won hands down. Anyways, I feel so stupid because I did such a terrible job presenting my case. I had no idea what I was doing and I never called my landlord out for lying. Its been driving me crazy and I feel I should appeal his decision to get a retrial with my defense attorney so all the evidence can be presented correctly. I feel the judge was impartial and didnt give me the chance to explain myself. He cut me off and didnt listen to me. He never even looked at my pictures, in tact he told me they were useless because I didn't date them, but I had the dates, in my phone, on which I took the before and after pics. I am not worried so much about the money, but I feel my landlord was awarded money on his counter claim he didn't deserve because I represented myself very poorly, didn't show all my evidence, and the judge was bias in his decision because of my nervousness and explanation. I could barely talk straight. So question being, should I appeal the decision so I can present my evidence more clearly by a professional? I feel robbed, taken advantage of and his decision was very unfair. I was screwed over twice here. The bed bugs caused me so many problems then my landlord gets to walk away with the money I didn't owe him because he lied. I can prove it and I believe I owe him nothing. Is it worth appealing? I just feel I was pretty much robbed.