VIC Ex Disposed of Equipment from Self Storage - Theft?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

Allan Hahne

1 September 2014
I had a heap of fishing and camping equipment in a self storage unit in my name. After the separation between my partner and I, I spoke to her about the concern that I could not afford the storage fees as I am unemployed and on a Centrelink payment. Since this conversation took place, things had gotten worse between her and I and she had taken out an intervention order on me. In August while attending court, I had the duty lawyer (Legal Aid) ask about the gear in the storage. I was informed that my ex partner has gotten rid of most of it and changed the lock on the storage unit. I have been told by the Geelong Police that this is a civil matter as the gear is considered communal property. My question is this, is it? Everything I have read on this subject leads me to believe that it's Larceny as Baliee or theft?

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Allan,

If you were in a de facto relationship with your ex, you may take this matter up with the Family Court as you may need to divide property/assets and seek compensation for your property which he sold/destroyed. This is because it does appear to be a "family" dispute about property division and settlement after separation.

Alternatively, you may initiate an action with VCAT for damages regarding property that was converted or destroyed.

For bailments, the relationships between the bailor (owner) and bailee (person who actually has possession of the goods) are usually at arm's length under an express or implied contract. Hence, it is not really a good description of your situation. It is really more of a family property dispute.