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small claims rights

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My ex-boyfriend stole at least $1500 worth of photography equipment from me in Los Angeles and moved to New York City in 1993. I have been speaing tohim at least once a year and he always claims he'll return it or send me rent money for it, and never does anything. I want my photography equipment back and now live in Indiana. I have his business address. Are there any statutes of limitations, do I have to be present in New York City etc. to collect?? Wha can I do to force him to return the stolen property? Thanks


Alice A

If he "stole it" you should have called the police in 1993.

For cilvil recovery, the statute of limitations probably ran out a few years ago -- but if you sue him he has to raise it as an affirmative defense, In other words if he doesn't it won't matter how long ago this happened.

Getting jurisdiction over him is the hard part. Small claims courts in Indiana won't have jurisdiction, and going to NY is not practical. I'd rely on his good graces and forget about suing him.

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