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QLD Property Law - Ex Left My Things on Footpath - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Mark62, 1 March 2016.

  1. Mark62

    Mark62 Member

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    Long story short, she cheated, had a child which I found out when my son was 3 months old. I stood by her only to find out she was still cheating a month later. She filed a DVO. I only took my clothes until we could talk like adults. She cancelled it a month later, then we started seeing each other again. She'd sold a couple of my things and said I could store the rest till I got a bigger place at the end of my 6-month lease.

    After a week of trying to contact her, I went round to see her. Two hours later I get a text saying my things are on the footpath. By the time I got there, everything was pretty much gone.

    Where do I stand under Property Law?
     
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  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    She has to safeguard your property, give notice for you to remove your property and allow a reasonable amount of time before disposing of property. Placing items on a footpath is not safeguarding your property.

    If you plan to sue her, you will need a lawyer.
     
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  3. Mark62

    Mark62 Member

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    Yes, I do. I've been walked over too much and it's time I stand up for myself and my rights.

    Is this under the property law act? And would I be correct in thinking its a civil matter?

    Any suggestions on the best firm to assist me with such a matter?

    Many thanks.
     
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  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    It is both a civil matter and a criminal act, however, in practice, the police will claim it is a civil matter and more than likely elect to do nothing. In some ways, I've come to accept their reasoning because:
    1. I can't change their minds
    2. It means they hopefully use their limited resources to catch and prosecute people doing worse things
    This leaves you with taking it up as a civil matter. A lawyer will advise you after hearing all the details on how he/she plans proceed. This forum doesn't allow recommendations on lawyers. You can use the 'find a lawyer' link at the top of this page.
     
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  5. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mark62,

    The Property Law Act only relates to real property. The criminal and civil sources for actioning this are as follows:

    Criminal:
    "stealing" s391 of the Criminal Code would probably extend to this situation - Criminal Code 1899 - SECT 391391 Definition of stealing

    Civil:
    "Common law conversion" - this is established by case law and involves a voluntary act, causing interference against another person’s goods, purporting to deal with the goods for their benefit which may involve the selling, giving away, or lending of goods in which he or she has no legal title.

    As already mentioned, I doubt police will want to get involved - they will say "it's a family law issue". Your civil rights can be enforced by bringing a civil action, however, your prospects of success will depend on the evidence you are able to produce, (did you take photographs of your things on the street etc? keep text messages and emails and diary notes of conversations?) and the benefit you gain from bringing proceedings will depend on whether the value of the goods is exceeded by the cost of any civil litigation you embark on.
     
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