Moved out of a home shared with an ex who initially agreed to me picking up my personal belonging that I brought into the home/relationship. He still resides there but won’t allow me back in to get my belongings…

We shared a home for 1.5 years. The relationship ended and when I went to redeem my personal property most of the furniture in the home including rugs, LR suite, large flat screen TV, furnishings, kitchenware and clothing. We arranged a pick-up date, however he refused to meet me at our designated time. I even tried using my key to get inside, but noticed has has since changed the lock.

Other than filing small claims, is there any other recourse?? He also has a license plate in his possession that belongs to me – renewed tag in Dec. He has since placed it on his own personal vehicle, illegally so.

In addition evidence will show my furniture was the primary source of furnishing the home, when we agreed to move in together. I also purchased some items on my own while there.

I have reserved a moving truck and storage unit and just want to move my things out and move forward. I saved his texts, messages and record of calls to try to end this situation 2 months ago.

Asked on March 30, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You have two options:
File a small claims suit for the value of the items (and another cost he caused you to incur, such as if you rented the truck or unit).
File an Order to Show Cause (that's what we call it in my state; yours may have a different name) for unlawful distraint, seeking a court order allowing you in to retrieve your belongings.
The small claims case is procedurally simpler for a lay person, but only gets you the economic (i.e. not sentimental or emotional) value of what has been taken from you. The distraint option is more likely to get you the actual objects/belongings back but is typically more challenging for a non-lawyer.
You should be able to get instructions and/or forms for both from your county court, either in person or online.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.