North Hollywood, CA asked in Animal / Dog Law for California

Q: Ownership dispute with previous roommate

I adopted a dog with a roommate, my name was on the adoption papers and I paid the fees up front. We have split everything since then, food toys ect. When she moved out, she took the dog with her without my permission. I have been in contact with her about setting up a schedule so we can both spend time with the dog. We settled on switching every 10 days. She has since gone silent on me, what legal action can I take?

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1 Lawyer Answer

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you adopted the dog in your sole name and paid for all upfront fees, then arguably the dog is your personal property which your roommate arguably stole, barring a contract to the contrary. Under this argument, money she paid towards dog bills would qualify as a gift - again barring a contract to the contrary. But your attempt to form an agreement to split time with the dog might qualify as a contract in and of itself, which she either never agreed to or has breached. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, I practice law in CA, NY, MA, WA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.

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