Stolen/Lost Property: Small Claims

This is a discussion on Stolen/Lost Property: Small Claims within the Civil Litigation forum, part of the ATTORNEYS, COURTS, LITIGATION category; I recently was at a business that a friend of mine works at, and I left my phone inside at ...

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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 12:30 AM   #1
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Confused Stolen/Lost Property: Small Claims

I recently was at a business that a friend of mine works at, and I left my phone inside at closing by accident. It was locked safely in the business and I had no worries about it going anywhere, and I was going to pick it up the following day.

The employees get there at 11am, and open for business at 12 noon. I arrived at the business at 1pm, and asked about my phone. The employee I was speaking to said she had found my phone, and put it behind the register. She asked me questions to confirm that I was the rightful owner, and then went to retrieve said phone. She returned to me and said she could no longer find the phone. After contacting her coworker, she said they both didn't know where it went.

Though it was my mistake for leaving the phone, the girl I was talking to had recovered it, and then "lost" it. All I wanted was my phone back, but now I'm thinking about going to small claims for this. There are no posted disclaimers or warnings about lost/stolen property. Since the property was retrieved by an employee, and then lost or stolen while in possession of the business, do I have a chance at filing a suit in small claims for the fair market value of my phone, or its replacement?

Thanks in Advance,

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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 02:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Stolen/Lost Property: Small Claims

I wish to inform you that in your case the status of the employee who had found your phone is that of finder of lost goods. In this the finder of lost goods is under duty to return the goods to its original owner. The fact that you have gone next day and you were then informed that your phone has been lost show that the finder has not taken proper care and is responsible for the phone. It is the duty of finder to return to the true owner when true owner demands and by refusing to return finder can be made liable. Losing phone shows that finder have not taken proper care for protecting phone. Hence as there is a failure to perform the duty cast upon the employee under law, you can file a suit in small claims to recover the value of lost phone.

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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 08:00 AM   #3
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Question Re: Stolen/Lost Property: Small Claims

I have already informed the owner of the business that I am asking they pay the worth of phone, and have not heard from them. In my letter, I told them after two weeks time if I have not received word I would file in small claims. I will be filing my claim on the 17th of March, 2010.

I'm trying to find out more information about the "finder of lost goods". So far the only thing I've found close to this is California Lost Property Statutes California Civil 2080-2082. Is there anything else that will help me in court?
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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 08:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Stolen/Lost Property: Small Claims

Sorry, I wasn't logged in for my last reply. I posted as "unregistered."

Thanks again for any help!
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