Good Day, about 2 years ago i was looking for space to house my business equipment when a then good buddy said that i could move into his place in exchange for maintenance. we never signed a lease and no money was ever exchanged for that purpose. anyhow from one moment to another we had a falling out. he changed the locks on me and has completely denied me access to my stuff, which is valued at over 100k.he is claiming i owe him back rent. I passed by the place the other day and saw one of my machines just sitting out in the rain which i am 110% is good for scrap now. the worse part is that i'm losing tons of work and thus $$$ because i can't get to my equipment. what can i do? thank you for any advice you can provide.
2 Answers from Attorneys
You need to file a court action to obtain what is called a "Writ of Replevin." The Writ will order the other party to return your property to you. You should make sure that the Writ also contains provisions for the police and/or sheriff to accompany you in order to keep the peace and make sure the order is followed, and also specifically says that you can bring a locksmith to achieve access if there is no cooperation.
You can also consider suing for damages you have suffered due to his depriving you of property which you use to earn an income. I do not know enough about your matter to make any comment about whether you have a good claim or not for that.
You can also consider going to the police and telling them that you are going to reclaim your property and ask them to accompany you to keep the peace while you do so. Their presence may motivate the other party to cooperate. This would save you the time, effort and expense of filing for the Writ of Replevin. However, the police may not be willing to get involved and may tell you that this is a civil matter not a criminal matter. Maybe so. But if the other person is exercising unlawful control over your property, that is a crime. So you can try to persuade the police to get involved. That would give you quicker results than filing for the Writ of Replevin.
If you have to file for a Writ of Replevin, I strongly suggest that you seek the representation of an attorney. Particularly since you say that your equipment is worth over $100,000 and is being mistreated.
Note: Due to the limitations of the LawGuru Forums, the response to questions posted does not constitute legal advice or legal representation of the person posting a question. The information provided is general. The poster should obtain specific legal advice from an attorney, and should not rely upon the response as the basis for making any decisions of legal consequence.
what the other lawyer wrote is basically correct. you hire a nasty lawyer, and go after him in court to force access to your equipment. there may be some other ways to deal with this as well. but you really need a lawyer.
Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the telephone call and no charge for the first office visit.
Robert Davies, Esq. 201-820-3460
The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
45 Essex Street, Suite 3 West
Hackensack New Jersey 07601
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