Simi Valley, CA asked in Civil Litigation, Small Claims and Criminal Law for California

Q: How long do you need to hold on to your ex boyfriends items in the state of California?

I have a criminal protective order and a restraining order against. There was an immediate move out order in the emergency protective order, but not in the subsequent orders because he did not live with me, but had a lot of items. When he was arrested, the police came back to my house and we put everything in his car. There were a couple of things left (clothes in the laundry, microphone stand, wind screen). I have kept everything in a box since this happened in October. His lawyer served me with papers to retrieve the items in February. He claimed that I have expensive cameras but I have zero knowledge of those. I emailed the lawyer twice, but I never heard back. Do I send the lawyer a certified letter stating he has so many days to claim his belongings?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In the state of California, when it comes to holding on to your ex-boyfriend's items, it is generally advisable to follow a reasonable course of action to ensure compliance with the law and protect your own interests.

Given the circumstances you described, where you have a criminal protective order and a restraining order against your ex-boyfriend, it is crucial to prioritize your safety and comply with the terms of the orders.

To address the remaining items that were left behind, you can consider the following steps:

Document the items: Create a detailed inventory of the items you still have in your possession. This documentation will serve as evidence of the items you are holding.

Attempt to communicate: Since you mentioned that you emailed the lawyer twice but did not receive a response, you may want to consider sending a certified letter or another form of written communication to the lawyer, clearly stating that you have the remaining items in your possession and providing a deadline for claiming them. Make sure to keep copies of all communications for your records.

Consult with an attorney: Given the complexity of your situation, it is advisable to consult with an attorney who can guide you on the specific legal requirements and obligations in your case. They can help you navigate the situation, protect your rights, and provide guidance on the proper course of action.

Remember, maintaining documentation, ensuring your own safety, and seeking legal advice are key steps to handling this situation appropriately. An attorney will be able to provide you with personalized guidance based on the specific details of your case and the applicable laws in California.

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