Q: Additional information after lawyer responded
The detective knows where the woman lives. He is serving her with theft charges and a warrant for her arrest. She STILL won’t return my dogs even though the law has stated they are rightfully mine. The detective is saying he can’t get the dogs back for me if he can’t find them...she may be hiding them somewhere else etc. I was wondering what my next step should be? There are two dogs one was $5000. Does the woman pay restitution for that? I’m waiting for the detective to get back to me with what the DA has to say. Bottom line I want my dogs and I need to find them if no one else will. Especially if the law has determined they are my dogs.
A: If a criminal case is filed, you could be entitled to restitution for the value of the dogs, but it's up to a judge and only if there is a conviction. Since you want to find your dogs, you should sue her civilly under a replevin theory. These are complicated cases, so while the courts do have forms you can fill out to file on your own, it really makes sense to hire an attorney that handles custody cases. There are other potential claims you can add that could even entitle you to attorney fees and triple damages. Bottom line, it pays to hire an experienced animal attorney in matters like this.
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