Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania

Q: My father received a letter from an attorney asking him to return items that are his to his ex.

The attorney sent a letter that states:

Dear Mr.___

I had an opportunity to meet with Ms. ____ regarding the outstanding property in your possession.

It is my understanding that you have the following items:

1. Kitchen table and four (4) chairs;

2. Grandmother's maple stand with one drawer;

3. Electric skillet;

4. Canner;

5. Four (4) blue coffee cups;

6. Clothing and shoes;

7. Bird bath;

8. Two (2) seater chair on porch;

9. Christmas tree;

10. Couch;

11. Green porch table;

12. Grandmother's funeral plant

13. Daughter's bed;

14. ___'s cup with lid and straw.

Would you be so kind as to place all items in the stowaway unit in ____ Township and leave the key with the office to enable Ms. ____ to remove her items from the storage unit and limit any contact between you and Ms. ____.

Please have all items at the storage unit on or before Nov. 4, 2022.

Is this legal? Does he have to pay for a storage unit because her items are there?

Is this a scare tactic?

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2 Lawyer Answers

A: If your dad has questions, he should contact her lawyer.

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Schenectady, NY
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: There is not enough information here to properly answer this question, so an assumption of facts is necessary. The impression here is that the couple were never married, and one partner went to a lawyer to maneuver a return of various personal items from the asker's parent, the other party to the relationship.

The general rule about divisions of property between non-marital couples is there is no division between non-marital couples. Every item is "as-is-where-is." Whoever got it, keeps it. The exception between non-marital couples is that if they executed a contract, which we here do not know if they did, then personal items must be divided and distributed in accordance with that contract which can cover personalty and money.

Whoever, if this division of property arose pursuant to a divorce between a marital couple, and either an order or a settlement agreement includes a distribution of this personalty, then the asker's parent had better comply with it or else find himself back in a divorce courtroom before an irate judge who will be asking why the order/agreement was ignored. If this is a marital couple propr to a divorce, then the asker's parent had better seek the assistance of an attorney to guide him as to what to do and what not to do.

The better response here is to see an attorney with all the details and get a response in confidence.

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