What are my rights to property that I inadvertently left in a car that I sold?

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What are my rights to property that I inadvertently left in a car that I sold?

Afterwards I realized that I had left an expensive pair of sunglasses in it. I emailed twice the next morning to let them know that I’d like to get them back. After no response, I called the following morning and she said her brother had them and was not going to give them back. Do I have any recourse at all?

Asked on February 15, 2014 under Business Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Selling a car does not mean selling the contents of the car unless they were specifically part of the transaction; technically, the glasses would still be yours, *unless* they were included in the deal and/or their was some reason to think that rather than being accidentally left behind, they had been abandoned. That said, it is probably not worth it trying to get them back:

1) If they won't give the glasses back, you'd have to sue to recover them.

2) To win a lawsuit, you'd have to prove i) that the glasses were left behind; ii) they were not part of the deal; iii) they were not abandoned; and iv) the person's brother has them. If there is nothing in writing evidencing this and the other side is prepared to lie in court, you may be unable to prove this and win.


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