Salt Lake City, UT asked in Criminal Law for Utah

Q: I lent my sister certain items. when asked for said items she refused to return them. what should i do

I lent her the items while i was on my 2 year Mormon mission. i have since returned and asked for them back, but she refuses to give them up, saying that "I gave them to her". some of the things that she has she didn't have permission to have in the first place. what should i do in order to get my possessions

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Stephen Howard
Stephen Howard
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: Theoretically, you could sue her in small claims court (assuming these are not very valuable items), or you could call the police and report the items as stolen. Whether you succeed in court would depend in part on who a jury or judge believed. If the jury/judge believed her when she said that you had given the items to her, then she probably wins the case. If the jury/judge believed you, then you would probably win.

The second part of the question is what "should" you do to get the items back. In the years I have practiced law, I have found that most legal questions have a non-legal component. The non-legal part of your question relates to how much your relationship with your sister is worth to you. Suing your sister or filing a police report against her runs a real risk of damaging that relationship, and potentially your relationship with the rest of your family. You will need to balance the value of those relationships against the value of the items you're trying to get back. Sometimes negotiations and compromise are a better solution to a problem than taking someone to court. But ultimately, it's your call to make.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.