Seven months ago, I ended a 12 year relationship with my partner. It was not a friendly split. I had been planning on leaving him, but wasn’t sure exactly when it would happen. It happened suddenly on day in March. He got mad and threw me out of the house with some clothes and a few other items. He instructed me to come back the next day for the rest. Well, when I came back the next day, he wasn’t home and the front porch of the house was piled up with my belongings.
I talked to him once shortly after that and mentioned to him that there were a few items that he must’ve overlooked. He refused my request to enter the house to see if there were any other items that were mine. He verbally attacked me and said to leave him alone. I decided to let the items go and let him have them. They weren’t valuable or anything.
Over the next few months, he has refused to answer my e-mails, take my calls, etc. He simply doesn’t want to have anything to do with me. That’s understandable, considering our break up situation. Basically, he was a controlling person who demanded to know where I was every waking minute. He also insisted that I have no friends and ones I did have, he sabatoged our relationship.
Anyway, yesterday I went to a store and noticed that they had a Christmas display up. I then realized that my ex still has all of my Christmas stuff, some of which had been handed down from generation to generation. One of the things is an ornament that belonged to my great, great grandmother. These things I want back.
Short of getting a lawyer to intervene, do I have any options? He is being completely unreasonable about the whole thing. Would the police be able to do anything? Even if the police did get involved, he wouldn’t answer the door if they knocked. He will not answer the door for anyone. He is a recluse. Always has been.
Do you have any mutual friends who could intervene? It might be best if some third party could get your stuff back for you. If not, maybe a letter (in an envelope, with an actual stamp) would at least be read. And maybe the tone shouldn’t be “Gimme my stuff, you jerk,” but along the lines of “These Christmas things have been in my family a long time, and many people will be disappointed if I lose them…” Maybe you could refer to some past holiday that the two of you enjoyed together (in 12 years, there must have been one, right?).
If none of that works, you could probably sue on your own behalf in small claims court, but if he claims everything was in the pile on the porch it might be hard to prove otherwise.
Do you have district justices or magistrates in your jurisdiction? Go before one of them, explain the situation. Have a list of all of the items that you know you don’t have that you want back, be as specific as possible. Ask for assistance in recovering your belongings and ask if you can have a police escort. You may, depending on the rules of your jurisdiction, have to pay the police officer as he may have to be officially off the clock in order to accompany you on this errand. (Though he’d still be empowered to intervene if ex-boyfriend refuses to comply with a court order or becomes abusive toward you.)
Slight hijack, but my friends ex-girlfriends friend said the same thing about my friend. We both thought that was pretty funny. We want nothing but our girlfriends to have other friends. Last thing you want is a girlfriend sitting around bored and lonely all the time while you go out with your friends.
Anyhow, good luck with your stuff.
The thing about getting the cops involved is that it pretty much ends any possibility of an amicable resolution of the problem. The other thing is that if you show up with a cop he is there to make sure nobody hurts anybody. But he doesn’t have any way to know who owns what. If you try to cart something out and your ex-partner says “no that’s mine,” the cop is not going to take sides unless you’ve got receipts, titles, etc. Even if you can prove you paid for something the partner could claim you gave it to him as a gift. If you go into the house when the partner isn’t there and take what you want, even with a cop present, the partner could claim you stole something of his. This is essentially a domestic property dispute, and if you can’t work it out between yourselves it’s going to be an expensive mess. I still vote for having a mutual friend mediate.
First of all, allow me a short howl of frustration that stores are putting Christmas displays up in October.
Okay. About your ex. My first bit of advice is that if you haven’t stopped trying to e-mail him, etc., do it now. He has asked you repeatedly to leave him alone. You say that you wanted to break up with him anyway. So honor that request and quit trying to contact him.
Now you have a legitimate reason to contact him and he will probably see it as just another attempt to re-establish contact with him. To complicate matters, you admit that you “gave” him the rest of your things. Legally I’m not sure you have any recourse at this point. He may have even thrown the stuff out by now. So be prepared to accept that your stuff may be gone.
Nonetheless, I’ll second the suggestion to ask a trusted third party to contact your ex with your request. By using a third person, you will hopefully show that you are not just trying to come up with a reason to see him. Make a list, with as much detail as possible of the things that you want back and give specific directions about where it is located in the house. Then hope your ex will not be an asshole and refuse to cooperate.
What testride said. Without a judges order a cop not only won’t do anything but can’t do anything in a civil dispute. I good one will try to mediate between the two parties just to keep the peace but if one side decides not to cooperate then the police have no power to do anything in this case.
In any case, if you go to court you would have to prove that the stuff involved is yours, and that you neither gave it to your partner nor abandoned it. I’m not sure that it would be easy to do that in the case of personal property that two partners have shared for 12 years. If there is no mutual friend, in some cities the courts sponsor volunteer mediation services to try to resolve minor interpersonal disputes before they get to the level of a lawsuit. You might see if you have access to something like that.
I just went through a similar situation with my best friend. He was living with one of our mutual friends and they had a big blow-out. It was then my job to go to here house with a list. She didn’t mind and gave me most of the stuff, but wouldn’t give him back his records because of money she said he owed. He claimed he didn’t owe that money. She basically said if you don’t pay me by this date I will sell all your records so he went the cop route.
He had two cops meet him at her house and they knocked on the door, she let them in, he went to her closet and got the records. The funny thing is there was about a 4 foot marijuana plant in her bedroom that they didn’t say a thing about.
But again, like testride said, the cops told him first that if she said the stuff was hers, they couldn’t let him take it.
Hello ? Tony Montana just because there is something called a writ of assistance in your state does not mean its the same everywhere. I have dealt with similar situations many times in the past and never heard of one. I do not believe there is any such thing in NJ. I don’t know where the OP is. Laws vary greatly from state to state.
be a pest. call him constantly. show up constantly. leave very short notes like, give me my christmas memories and i will give you peace and quiet. Also, call the police and make them aware of the situation should anything happen.
Upon further review the OP is in Virginia. I have no idea what the law is there. I hate to say it but unless there is some hope of cooperation from your ex, you may have to get a lawyer. I won’t even try to speculate if the situation will be more difficult with a same sex couple. It shouldn’t but it might, though it probably won’t be any worse than any two unmarried people.