What can I do if I just left my fiance of 4 years but she is holding my personal belongings and won’t give them back?

I tried to file a special civil complaint but I don’t know what one to file and the court clerk can’t tell me.

Asked on February 27, 2016 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Easiest way to address the situation: based on value (e.g. $3k or below; $3k to $15k; or above $15k), file a lawsuit (complaint) in, respectively, small claims court, special civil, or even law division, against your fiance for the theft of your belongings; theft is not just a crime, it is also a tort (or civil wrong) for which you can sue. You sue for the monetary value of the belongings, since suing for monetary value is much easier and more straightforward that suing for  the physical return (suing for the specific items to be returned requires suing in Law Division sitting in chancer for a court order, which is more complex than suing for compensation), but the matter can be settled or resolved by her returning your things.

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