Can I get arrested for taking my personal things out of a storage unit that my husband has and won’t give me access to?

UPDATED: Aug 27, 2011

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Can I get arrested for taking my personal things out of a storage unit that my husband has and won’t give me access to?

My husband and I had to get a storage unit last year. We put everything in there. He stayed up in IN and I went down to TX. When I came back up, he was with another women and has her name on the unit with his, but not my name. Everything of mine is in there. I have no job, no insurance, no car. He destroyed all that. A lawyer told me off the record to break the lock, get my things, put a new lock on there and give him a key. He won’t return my calls. He is a convicted felon, on probation. I have my gun in the storage unit too. I thought my name was on there, but it’s not.

Asked on August 27, 2011 Indiana


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The reason the attorney told you "off the record" to break the lock is because an attorney can not advise a person to break the law.  And that goes here as well.  So the answer to your question is yes, you could get arrested for breaking the lock if your name is not on the unit even though your things are in the unit and he has no legal right to keep them.  Have you approached the storage facility about why your name was taken off the unit?  They really are not supposed to do that and you may be able to make enough of a stink to get them to open the facility for you.  Then technically you would not be breaking the lock.  Have you started divorce proceedings?  It may be time for you to consider that and filing something quickly to gain access. Good luck.

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.

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