Can I sue my ex-boyfriend for stopping payment on a storage unit which resulted in my losing all of my possessions?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue my ex-boyfriend for stopping payment on a storage unit which resulted in my losing all of my possessions?

I shared a storage unit with my ex-boyfriend I suppose he is still my common law spouse. I wasn’t smart and the storage unit was only in his name. After we broke up, I asked him to add my name to the lease and he didn’t. He stated in several emails that he would be returning all my items to me. Fast forward several years later and he stopped payment on the storage unit. All my belongings were auctioned off. I know it’s my fault for not being listed on the lease but could I sue in regarding to having written emails stating that he would mail all of my belongings to me?

Asked on February 19, 2017 under Business Law, Wyoming


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you may able to sue him not for stopping payments--he had no obligation to you to keep making them--but for not returning your items to you in the first place. You would sue based on conversion, a form of theft--retaining property which belonging to you but which was entrusted to him--and also negligence--carelessly failing to return property before he let the storage lapse. File the case right away, before more time passes: there is a statute of limitations, or time limit within which you must start a lawsuit if you are going to be able to bring one. If several years have gone by, it's possible you are already out of time; but if not, file it now, before any  more time goes by.

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