i have a small business as a professional organizer. one of my early clients decided to give away some of her musical instruments. i helped her

identify a musician who teaches music in a charter school as well as at a local institution in chicago. he went to her house and picked up the instruments. his understanding was that she knew he was keeping them at his house in order to help with the development of a music curriculum he is working on for his school. regrettably, there was not signed documentation about this transaction. 14 months later, she is asking for them back and threatening me with small claims court and/or a money sum. does she have rights in this situation? i am obviously not out to do harm to her but need to know. thx

Asked on October 10, 2011 under Business Law, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Do you have any witnesses who can verify that the instruments that you have were in fact given to you by the musician? If so, then you have others besides yourself that can verify that you were given the instruments. It is unfortunate you have nothing in writing stating that the items were given to you.

You need to remember that the musician has the burden of proving that you improperly have the instruments. You could also claim that since the musician is taking the position that the items were not given to you, storage fees are owed to you by him or her.

Good luck.

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