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need advice on how to get my office equipment back.

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need justice

My husband and I owned our own transportation /warehouse business. We had to close it in November 99.We loaded all of our office equipment and records into a 48 foot trailer to move to a storage place.The person who helped us move and loaned us the trailer to put our property in said he would store the trailer at his company until we were ready to transfer it to the storage place.We tried to get our trailer in December but the man that helped us said he was holding it for ransom until he got paid on a claim form a load that our parent company owed him for(he is a broker and we were agents for the parent company.)We were told yesterday we could go get the trailer and he would settle for a desk for payment. We went to get our trailer and found out that the place were he stored it at he did not work for them but all of our property has been taken out of the trailer and the company where it was are using all of our property for there own use. We did not authorize anyone to open the trailer which was locked or to use our things.How can I get our property back.We have records in the files cabinets that we need for a lawsuit we are in at this time.The porperty is worth over what a small claims court could do. Please help us we have been scammed by so many people through all of this and our other business we were forced to sale.Where is the justice for the small business owner who plays by the law.Where are our rights. Thanks to anyone who would at least point me in the right direction as to where i need to look for similar cases.



You have a lot of issues here. First, you "bailed" your equipment when you gave it to the person to store. So if you are researching this, find out what are the rights and duties in your state of a bailor (you) and bailees (the party who stored your equipment). Namely, find out if a bailee has a right to keep property to secure a debt owed by the bailor.

Next, arises the issue of whether you had a debt to him. If you were an agent, as defined in your state law, and you were acting within your authority as such, and it was clear to the other party that you were acting as an agent, generally you would not be liable for the debt.

Lastly, there is the issue of whether you have a right to the equipment as opposed to the company that is now using it. That, I believe depends on the relationship between your bailee and the company. Again, state laws may differ on this.

An alternative to your doing all this is to have an attorney send a letter demanding that you get your equipment. Sometimes such a letter gets results where people would otherwise ignore your side.


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