Property Abandonment Issue (Indiana)

This is a discussion on Property Abandonment Issue (Indiana) within the Landlord vs Tenant Issues forum, part of the REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY LAW category; I own a house in Indiana, and lived there with my children and their mother. About a year ago, the ...

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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 11:53 AM   #1
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Confused Property Abandonment Issue (Indiana)

I own a house in Indiana, and lived there with my children and their mother. About a year ago, the mother and I had separated (never married), and she continued to live in the house while I still paid mortgage, utilities, food/etc, and child support. In that time, she managed to destroy a good deal of the interior of the house (out of spite for me leaving), and over the course of 2 winter months racked up a $2200 gas/electric bill. I had lost my job around then, was unable to pay it in time, and gas/electric was turned off at the house. She then moved in with her family, who lives 1/2 mile down the same street. She has never come back to get her personal affects, nor the children's items, and to this date it has been 4 months. She has come through and taken certain items, but just picking here and there. I have attempted to meet her numerous times so she can collect her stuff, yet she either never showed or she would grab one or two things and leave the rest. I've since sent her a certified letter TWICE with a deadline to gather her personal property, and she has denied receipt of the letter both times. And to top it off, about a month ago, she attacked me and went to jail. When she got out of jail, she went to the county courts and filed for a protective order against me - so I am unable to contact her or my children (i have currently hired a local lawyer for that issue).

My question is, how long is "long enough" for me to consider the property to be abandoned? I want to remove it from the house. It has been months now, and she has not made ANY attempts within the last 2 months to retrieve said property. I cannot move back into my house with all her stuff there, and want to move on with my life.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 02:55 PM   #2
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Default re: Property Abandonment Issue (Indiana)

What do you mean she has claimed not to have received the certified letter? Send the letter certified, return receipt requested, and you'll have a signed receipt showing she got it. Proof that she received it.

As for what steps you need to take to legally remove the belongings and how long you must wait after giving her notice, see the following statutes:
IN Code 32-31-4-1 to 32-31-4-5 and IN Code 32-31-5-5

Follow the procedures exactly.
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Old Jul 4th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #3
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Default re: Property Abandonment Issue (Indiana)

I had sent her a letter with a deadline to remove her stuff, via certified letter w/ signature reciept, but the first time it was delivered she did not sign for it nor pick it up from local Post Office. I had it re-sent, and again, she did not accept it.
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Old Jul 4th, 2009, 05:54 PM   #4
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Default re: Property Abandonment Issue (Indiana)

... and thank you for your response. I have already read and printed out the Indiana codes you mentioned above, and will see about going to the local county courts after the holiday. I just hope that I don't have to wait another month in order to get back into my house.
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