Legal Question in Civil Litigation in New Hampshire

Missing lended personal property

An old roommate of mine, when I moved, asked if I wouldn't mind leaving a few of my things for him to use that he needed until I needed them again. I agreed and said that I would be back to get them all should I need them in the future, which he agreed on. When I went to get them, he had moved with no notice or forwarding address. Is this considered theft, and or, is there any reprocussions I can take to get my property back?

Asked on 1/07/01, 5:57 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Edwinna Vanderzanden Getman, Stacey, Tamposi, Schulthess and Steere, PA

Re: Missing lended personal property

You ask whether this constitutes a theft which implies criminal conduct. I would say, probably not, this is muich more likely a civil matter. Your recourse is to locate the individual and try to regain your property, first by agreement Failing a voluntary return,you could (In NH) bring a small claims action in the state where he/she resides.

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Answered on 1/12/01, 3:49 pm
Goldstein Arthur The Goldstein Law Office

Re: Missing lended personal property

Your question puts the cart before the horse.

Your first problem is to locate your former roomate. You may get his or her address from members of his or her family, friends, or mutual

acquaintances, his or her former employer, if it was a school roommate arrangement from the alumni office of the school or various goverment agencies who may have issued licenses or permits to your former roommate. A web check for telphone and adddress may be useful, but many people may have the same name.

One other possibilty exists, if your goods were covered by a homeowners policy you may be able to recover up to 10% of the personal property

coverage, as off premises goods subject to your deductible. For this to occur you must file a claim with your insurer. This is your last resort

since deductibles and limitations may not make ecomomic sense to pursue.

Good luck, you need a "skip tracer" rather than an attorney at this stage. However with skip tracers you may find the cost exceeds your economic loss, find out in advance what the cost will be against the used value of the goods.

Good luck

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Answered on 1/11/01, 9:17 pm

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