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Property Law - What are Son's Property Rights?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Madison, 30 January 2016.

  1. Madison

    Madison Member

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    Being late Saturday, I'm unsure where to turn to as all the legal places are closed in my area until Monday.

    A very close friend of my daughter...his father is what you class as a charmer, extreme drugs user, alcohol, abusive to son, paranoid, etc. Whenever someone else is around, he is all please and sir and tries to look all innocent and be a victim. When he does not get his own way or the law is not watching, he instantly turns abusive and threatens violence and lives.

    A couple of nights ago, he assaulted his son who called me for help. Whilst on the phone, his father was screaming abuse and kicking him out the house saying never return. He then attacked his son and the phone was broken.

    I went straight around to get the son and found them both on the street. The son had packed a bag and the father had wrestled it from him saying he could take nothing (the bag contained clothes for school the next day). The father then threatened mine and my daughter's life, so I said I was calling the police. He immediately calmed down but demanded I leave the son to walk the streets all night. I refused (that area was not safe) and eventually managed to get an alternative location I could take the son to for the night. (The only way to ensure my and my daughter's safety was to promise not to take him to my place).

    Since then, the father has called the location where the son is over 100 times per day screaming abuse if the call is picked up. The police have now become involved and the son is refusing to go home.

    The police took the son around to collect all his belongings from the father's house this afternoon. This includes a boat, ute, computer, table, chair, and clothes. The son grabbed his clothes but the father physically stopped him from taking anything else. The son asked the police to help, showing papers of ownership, but they refused, saying they could not get involved.

    My question is this: the father is refusing to allow the son his boat, ute and computer (or at minimum hard drives). If the police do no see this as theft or are refusing to intervene, what can the son do under Property Law? What property rights does the son have now to enter the property to retrieve his items?

    If he waits until Monday these items will disappear from the property. We are not talking $1,000 items, the PC and ute are both worth around $5,000 ea and the boat 70K.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    The father does not have the right to prevent re-entry. Your son is at the very least a tenant at the property. Separation though is recommended when one party is being irrationally violent and threatening.

    Read this: Adult children living at home - Legal Aid NSW

    BTW, you haven't said how old the son is. I'm curious about circumstances where a son at school owns a $70K boat. Makes me wonder if the father does own the property and son had free use of it. If a gift to the son, proving it before disposal may be hard to do.

    Not sure if you can get an emergency injunction preventing the disposal of property before the court can determine ownership. Needs someone with more knowledge than me to answer this one. This may be a case where possession = 9/10ths ownership.
     
  3. Madison

    Madison Member

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    Thanks. The son is 17. The boat is a weird one I know.

    On his birthday, the father gave him the paperwork showing that boat was purchased some 10 years earlier in the son's name, and has always been registered in the son's name. The father said he'd bought it as an investment for his future and that the expectation is that he will sell it to purchase a house, as he now has his P's it is now his to use and look after.

    The boat has obviously devalued to this amount over time so one begs to question why the father didn't just put the money in the bank but he must have thought he was doing the right thing. Only he knows. The ute and computer the son has bought through his diligently saving his pay, he's only had his computer 2 months.
     

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