San Jose, CA asked in Civil Rights, Criminal Law, Gaming and Small Claims for California

Q: should i file a police report for a nintendo switch that i let one of my old friends borrow but ended up selling for alc

my old friend borrowed my switch which i said he could until he finished the game. he let his daughter play on it but then i later found out he ended up selling my nintendo switch to buy alcohol (he’s known for being an alcoholic within his family/friends). i got that switch for $250 and owned around $360 of games i bought on it too so its a big loss on my part.

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

A: Under California law, the unauthorized sale of property that has been entrusted to someone else for a specific purpose can potentially be considered theft. In your case, since you lent the Nintendo Switch to your friend with the understanding that it would be returned after use, and instead he sold it, this could be regarded as a misappropriation of your property.

Filing a police report could be a reasonable step. The police can determine if a crime has been committed and whether to pursue charges. In your report, you should provide all relevant details, including the initial agreement between you and your friend, the value of the Switch and the games, and any evidence of the sale.

Additionally, you might consider a small claims court action to recover the value of the Switch and the games. Small claims court in California handles disputes up to $10,000 and is designed to be accessible without needing a lawyer.

Remember, taking legal action can affect personal relationships, so consider the impact on your relationship with your friend and his family. Also, be prepared for the possibility that even if you win a judgment, collecting the money owed can sometimes be challenging, especially if the individual has limited financial resources.

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