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SA Property Seized by Police - Still Not Returned After 2 Years

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by MultiTasking, 8 October 2015.

  1. MultiTasking

    MultiTasking Member

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    Around 2 years ago I had all my computer equipment in my home seized, from laptops to usb sticks, not only my own property but also both of my housemates' equipment.

    I was charged at the time with theft and a bunch of other computer crimes, however we filed a no case and my bail was removed, etc., however it has now been 2 years and the police are still holding my property for examination.

    Is there anything I can do to get my stuff back at all? I have filed a complaint with the police ombudsman but unfortunately they have told me there is nothing they can do.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi MultiTasking,

    I know that in Qld the police need to issue you with a receipt for all items that they have seized and if you are found not guilty of an offence you can apply to have your property returned after 28 days as long as its not something illegal like drugs. There can be some delay before your property is actually returned though. After 30 days, you can write to the police commissioner asking them to return your property if it’s not needed as evidence.

    Check this article out on the position in SA:
    Search and seizure

    I would write to your state police commissioner formally requesting a return of your property.
     
  3. beanie

    beanie Well-Known Member

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    Oh my goodness, 2 years, that is TERRIBLE! Yes, by law you should have the items returned to you if there were no charges laid, or you were acquitted of crimes. Even if they were still 'investigating', they will need to have proof that either your property is 'tainted', or is illegal, as Sophia had mentioned.

    If you are having difficulty getting a response, be persistent. If all fails, get a solicitor/ barrister and they can ask the court to demand your items back - if the police had no reason to keep these items for the last 2 years and you successfully win the case in court, you can also ask the court to award you the cost for fighting a case that should not be in court in the first place.

    The police will obviously never admit that they had done anything wrong and rely on the inertness of civilians, their fear of court and lack of money and resources to pursue them for wrong doings. The court is also not 'self-executing', they will not award you the cost even if it is the most unfair thing on earth, so your lawyer will have to ask for it.
     

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