What are my son’s rights to his belongings?

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What are my son’s rights to his belongings?

He was living with a girl for 4 years. They have been going through a very ugly break up. The last time that he lived there was about 6 weeks ago. He went back there to get his belongings an after several unsuccessful attempts, he had to bring the sheriff. She told the sheriff that my son had not lived there for 4 months. Consequently, the sheriff only let him get some of his clothes and told us if we wanted to get the rest we would have to file suit. She then changed the locks and claims that she is afraid of him. Where do we go from here?

Asked on June 10, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

Tricia Dwyer / Tricia Dwyer Esq & Associates PLLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Hello. Definitely, with the police involved, your son ought to have private attorney assistance; this website provides general information, not legal advice. Yes, your son would have a claim to his possessions. Please obtain assistance from an attorney licensed in the appropriate state. Some attorneys are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Many attorneys will confer initially at no charge. Then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys will provide a reduced fee for financial hardship. Some attorneys may also assist you in limited scope manner to conserve legal costs. All the best.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your son sues. While legally yes, he has a right to anything which provably was his (as opposed to he) belonging, the way someone enforces that right if via a law suit--there is no other legal way to get access to what he owns. He can sue her in small claims court for the value of his belongings if it is under the small claims threshhold; or he can sue in regular county or district court to get the actual belongings back (small claims courts cannot grant orders to return specific items) or for their value if greater than the small claims maximum.


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