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Ex-boyfriend will not release my personal belongings until I pay him what I owe him

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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 03:59 PM   #1
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Unhappy Ex-boyfriend will not release my personal belongings until I pay him what I owe him

My boyfriend and I just broke up over money issues. We had been living together for a few years. None of the bills are in my name nor am I a co-signer on anything. We had a verbal agreement upon me moving in with him that he would pay the mortgage and half of the groceries and I would pay the utilities and the other half of the groceries. I had some financial problems and he found out about them and broke up with me, kicking my son and myself out. He will not let me get any of my furniture, papers, personal belongings until I pay him what he claims I owe him. We reside in Franklin County, Ohio. I tried to research what rights I have but I'm not having luck finding any information! He states that he called his attorney and his attorney advised him not to release my things until I pay him. I was under the assumption he cannot hold my things. We did not have a property agreement drawn or any legal forms drawn up when we moved in together. Please help! Among the things he is withholding are my important documents (my son's birth certificate, shot record, my banking info, etc) and some very priceless family heirlooms. Thank you!
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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 04:35 PM   #2
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I wish to inform you that you may send a demand letter to the other party to return your personal belongings. In this regard, you may issue a written notice to the other party that he is not having any right to have a lien over your personal belongings or to withhold them. If the other party refuses then you may either file a lawsuit for recovery of your assets or you may inform law enforcement agencies that your personal belongings are being withheld without your permission. If there exists an oral contract then necessary evidence is required to be placed before the court by the other party in this matter. You may self represent yourself in the court or seek guidance from Legal Aid.

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Old Oct 6th, 2011, 10:39 AM   #3
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You can also sue him in small claims or other court if need be.
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Old Oct 6th, 2011, 11:46 AM   #4
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My boyfriend and I just broke up over money issues. We had been living together for a few years. None of the bills are in my name nor am I a co-signer on anything. We had a verbal agreement upon me moving in with him that he would pay the mortgage and half of the groceries and I would pay the utilities and the other half of the groceries. I had some financial problems and he found out about them and broke up with me, kicking my son and myself out. He will not let me get any of my furniture, papers, personal belongings until I pay him what he claims I owe him. We reside in Franklin County, Ohio. I tried to research what rights I have but I'm not having luck finding any information! He states that he called his attorney and his attorney advised him not to release my things until I pay him. I was under the assumption he cannot hold my things. We did not have a property agreement drawn or any legal forms drawn up when we moved in together. Please help! Among the things he is withholding are my important documents (my son's birth certificate, shot record, my banking info, etc) and some very priceless family heirlooms. Thank you!
Let's start with the obvious.

He did not speak with an attorney. He's lying about that. How I know he's lying about that is - an attorney knows the law and unless your ex got the most inept attorney on the planet, no attorney with half a brain would give such idiotic, illegal advice.

Just by virtue of you living in the residence makes you a tenant. This means he cannot legally kick you out without proper eviction done via a court. He hasn't done so. This means you can legally back in should you wish to.

What your ex is guilty of is constructive (and illegal) eviction. He cannot keep your property and personal belongings nor can he use them as emotional collateral for payment of what you "owe" him. Those two things are completely separate.

If he wants to take you to court over what he believes you "owe" him, then he's free to do so. What he cannot do is steal your belongings (which is what he's done, in effect) and withhold them from you regardless of his reasoning.

Have you gotten the police involved in this matter? All you need is a couple of bills in your name addressed to that property. That's proof you are a tenant.

Here's what I would do to teach this person a harsh lesson in reality. I would file a restraining order against him and ask the court to order him to vacate the premises. That's one way to get your stuff back and teach him a lesson at the same time. You will be free to live there while the order is in effect, thus giving you ample time to get your personal belongings out of there and find a better place to live.

The other way is to not only sic the police on him, but to file suit against him in court. He will be found guilty of what's known as "constructive eviction" and he will be ordered to return your possessions to you.

Personally, I favor the restraining order and having him ordered to vacate the home. Perhaps his "attorney" will help him figure out what a mistake it was to follow such idiotic advice.
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Old Oct 6th, 2011, 11:48 AM   #5
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People makes these idle threats all the time. They tell the person they've spoken with an attorney and "my attorney has advised me". Bullcrap. This is just a ploy to intimidate you and to also absolve himself of the accountability that rests squarely on his shoulders.

Take him to court. Better yet, ask for the name and phone number of his attorney and tell him that your attorney wishes to speak to him.

Your ex is stupid beyond all reason. If he wants to make up stories about speaking to attorneys, he better be prepared to back those claims up.
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Old Oct 7th, 2011, 08:11 AM   #6
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From the facts of the case your boy friend’s act is not justifiable. He has no right under any circumstance to hold your belongings. You have the right to sue him for what he has done. You can file a petition with the police regarding the matter and you can sue him in court of law.
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Old Oct 9th, 2011, 10:22 AM   #7
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To retrieve your belongings you may enlist the aid of local law enforcement. Retaining your property is criminal. What he alleges you owe him is civil.
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Old Oct 10th, 2011, 07:34 PM   #8
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Retaining the property in the location it was in when you lived there is not criminal.

If he were to have stolen it and taken it elsewhere - and you could prove it - that would be criminal. Proving theft is more difficult criminally than it is civilly.

Local law enforcement cannot help in this situation. This is a civil domestic matter. The two chose to live together and set up housekeeping. It is not the job of police officers to get involved in such matters. That is why there is civil court.
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 12:31 AM   #9
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My boyfriend and I have been together for the last 7 years. During that time he has controlled every aspect of my life. Money, friends, family, work. I just found out that he has been cheating and lying to me and I finally got the nerve to leave. He says he won't let me take my furniture till I pay him money he says I owe him. There are no bills in my name nor is the property in my name. We have no verbal agreement regarding the bills just his rule that I pay him half of the light bill, cable, and lot rent. I have mail delivered to his address with my name showing that I live there. He always makes me pay in cash so there are no reciepts. He doesn't want to have any evidence that I pay anything.
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 10:36 AM   #10
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My boyfriend and I have been together for the last 7 years. During that time he has controlled every aspect of my life. Money, friends, family, work. I just found out that he has been cheating and lying to me and I finally got the nerve to leave. He says he won't let me take my furniture till I pay him money he says I owe him. There are no bills in my name nor is the property in my name. We have no verbal agreement regarding the bills just his rule that I pay him half of the light bill, cable, and lot rent. I have mail delivered to his address with my name showing that I live there. He always makes me pay in cash so there are no reciepts. He doesn't want to have any evidence that I pay anything.
If you can prove it is your furniture you are entitled to have it back. The mail showing you live there is fine, but to take any substantial possessions out of the house other than your clothing and personal effects that obviously belong to you, a woman, is another thing.

Policemen are peace officers, first. And they often are called to help a person retrieve their belongings in a domestic situation such as yours where a couple is splitting up and there is the potential for argument or violence. It is done every day.
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