What can I do if my ex-girlfriend stole my tools?

I was dating with a woman for about 6 months and she was living with me for 5 month. After breaking up, she stole some of my expensive sculpture tools/power tools which I use frequently. She was keeping them in her vehicle. When I asked her to bring my tools back she told me that she has no idea where my tools are. I need to open a legal action against her but I do not know the legal procedure. I will really appreciate if you can assist me to open a case by myself by giving me step-by-step guidance.

Asked on September 17, 2016 under Criminal Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the value of the tools is less than the limit for small claims court, go to small claims court in person (or go the court's website) and get/download the instructions for filing a suit and a sample or template summons/complaint. Fill out the summons and complaint and follow the court's instructions to file the suit--small claims court is *designed* to be readily and easily usable by laypersons representing themselves "pro se" (as their own attorneys). You sue for the economic value of the tools, but the case can be settled or resolved by the tools' return.
If the value exceeds that, you'll have to sue in regular county court, which is more complex. For that amount of money, hire an attorney to help you.

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