Legal document retrieve from locked storage unit

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Legal document retrieve from locked storage unit

My sister has a storage unit she didn’t pay for the last couple months and it’s going to auction. She had legal documents like birth certificates and stuff in there and the storage place won’t let her get it before auctioning the unit. This seems like it could cause a chance for ID theft and make the storage business culpable because they are aware. Are they culpable? Is there anything that can be done to get the documents before the unit goes to auction?

Asked on May 25, 2016 under Business Law, Washington


G.J., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Under the circumstances, your sister will not be able to retrieve her personal items before the auction. However, the buyer is usually required to return personal items as such as tax statements, legal documents, photo albums and any other items that do not have resale value to the original owner. Therefore, she will get the items back but only after the sale is complete.

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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