If I bought a phone off of an app but after buying the phone I found out that it was a stolen phone, what are my options?

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If I bought a phone off of an app but after buying the phone I found out that it was a stolen phone, what are my options?

I contacted the original owner and told her that I have her phone. She said she reported it to police already. I then contacted the police in hopes of getting help to get my money back but the told me that they can’t help; I need to sue him. I have his picture (took it just in case), address and phone number.

Asked on July 3, 2015 under Business Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the original owner is entitled to her phone back, so all you can do is sue the person who sold you the phone to recover your money. Even if he did not know that the phone was stolen, he would be liable for breach of contract: he did not provide you with what you paid for, a phone that would legally be yours. Small claims court, where you can act as your own lawyer and where filing fees are low, is a good choice for a suit like this.


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