Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

I gave my desk top computer to a friend 7 weeks ago to fix. He's an information technology professional and at times works on the side on his friends computers. I've e-mailed, called, etc.. and no response. I've even resorted to having other friends call him and simply ask for some kind of update. At this point I just want the computer back fixed or not fixed. I'm still getting no response from him. What can I do at this point? I'm wondering if at this point, since I've requested the item back, and he has not complied, can you now assume this is "theft"? At this point he has the computer without my permission.

Asked on 10/31/09, 2:14 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Lyle Johnson Bedi and Johnson Attorneys at Law

It is not a theft. You can sue him is small claims court for replacement value of the computer. The value of used computers, as I understand it, is very low. The value of the data, programs etc on the computer would probably have more value than the computer itself. There is also the time required to reinstall the programs which could be included. The cost of small claims court is about $75 to the court for a filing fee and the fee to have him served. Anyone other than your self who is over 18 can serve him with the small claims complaint.

He may come into court and state that the computer could not be repaired. The hard drive could be used as a short cut to the install required for a new computer.

Most counties have a small court claims clinic. These clinics are generally free, and will provide an opportunity to review the facts of your case with the advisor.

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Answered on 11/05/09, 2:34 pm
Joe Marman Law Office of Joseph Marman

The police will not consider this a theft, since your friend got the computer with your consent. You can still tell this guy that is theft, and that you will sue him in small claims court if he does not give the computer back in two days. Or leave a written message at his place of business or his home with this same threat.

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Answered on 11/05/09, 2:55 pm

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