VIC How to Get Laptop Back from Sister-in-Law?

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MattKir72

Active Member
8 October 2015
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Hi,

I lent my sister-in-law a laptop a few months ago to assist her in her studies whilst her laptop was being returned. I have asked for it to be returned twice now, however she refuses to do so. She sates it was a gift, which it wasn't.

How can I recover the laptop, and what is the process I need to follow under Property Law?

Thank you in advance.
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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Have you asked your wife/brother to intercede on your behalf?

Do you have proof of purchase? Do you have any correspondence from when the laptop was originally lent indicating it is a loan?

Legal path is magistrates court or VCAT.
 

MattKir72

Active Member
8 October 2015
5
0
31
Have you asked your wife/brother to intercede on your behalf?

Do you have proof of purchase? Do you have any correspondence from when the laptop was originally lent indicating it is a loan?

Legal path is magistrates court or VCAT.

I don't have proof of purchase. But I do have all the text messages I sent to her - see below.
What would you recommend magistrates court or VCAT?

Thankyou so much!


Date Message

3-Oct-15 Sent M: I have asked my legal team to pursue the return of the laptop i lent u previously
and u refused to return. If the laptop is not returned to me by COB 06/10/2015,
all costs involved in the recovery of the laptop and any damage to the laptop will
be pursued through the legal channel. This is the 2nd and last time i will ask for
u to do the right thing and return the laptop. If u don't u have been made aware
of the legal action that will be undertaken. Your choice.

5-Aug-15 Sent M: No problems M, if u won't return the laptop i will likely take legal actions u.

5-Aug-15 Inbox M: It was a gift. You never verbalised anything to the contrary, nor did
you indicate it in any message to me. You're welcome to take further action.
NEVER CONTACT ME AGAIN unless it's through a solicitor.

5-Aug-15 Sent M: No problems M. If u won't return the loaned laptop to me as requested,
i will need to take the appropriate action. I have never said the laptop was for you to keep. Your choice.

5-Aug-15 Inbox M: No, you told me at the time you gave it to me I could have it and you didn't need it.
That came out of your mouth. It was a gift. You can't change your mind
months down the track

5-Aug-15 Sent M: As i said to u earlier this afternoon this was a loan. I haven't suggested otherwise.

5-Aug-15 Sent M: No i didn't, it was as a loan.

5-Aug-15 Inbox M: Why? You gave it to me as a gift.

5-Aug-15 Sent M: Hi M, Could you please organise the return of the laptop i lent to u on the 12th of
May to assist u with your studies. I am happy to pick it up from u, or u can
return it to me. Whatever suits u the best. I need it back by Monday 10th August.

Cheers
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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When did you loan it to her? And do you have any correspondence/witnesses that can back your story?

Seems strange you are asking for it back just prior to exam time. Suspect another event has occurred and that may not bode well for you.
 

MattKir72

Active Member
8 October 2015
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When did you loan it to her? And do you have any correspondence/witnesses that can back your story?

Seems strange you are asking for it back just prior to exam time. Suspect another event has occurred and that may not bode well for you.
I loaned it to her because she was having issues with her laptop, and she was going to get it repaired. The only witness is her partner and she is saying the laptop was given to her. Why would I give a $1200 laptop to someone for no reason? There is no written correspondence the laptop was a loan.
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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Hmmm, why are you asking for it back just before exams?

The reason you gave for the loan makes no sense UNLESS her laptop was repaired. The timing just before exams seems suspect.
 

MattKir72

Active Member
8 October 2015
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She is not doing exams ATM. She is doing placements. I have been asking for the laptop back since 5th of August.
 

Rod

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OK.

Facts: no receipt, but acknowledgement of ownership.
One witness: Supports other party
No supporting correspondence at time loan was made

Don't like your chances unless you can somehow convince the Judge/member of your side with little evidence.

VCAT is your easiest choice.
 

MattKir72

Active Member
8 October 2015
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31
Thank you for your help - really appreciate it.
Looks like I have learnt a valuable lesson! Next time get something in writing, even from a family member.