how do I get my personal items back once I leave a job and they are not returning my calls?

I worked for a plumbing company and the job site was 5 hours from my home so my employer provider a house for us to leave in during the week. I was fired and my personal belongings are still there along with my tools that I had to provide. The company will not return my calls on arranging get my items back. What do I do?

Asked on July 7, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The only way to get your items back is to sue the former employer for "conversion"--a kind of theft: illegally retaining items under their control but which did not belong to them. The easiest way to do that is to file in small claims court, acting as your own attorney ("pro se"), suing for the monetary value of the items--the employer can then settle the case by returning them. You might start by sending them a letter, sent some way or ways you can prove delivery, putting them on notice that you will sue unless your items are returned within, say, 10 days. If they don't return them, file the suit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.