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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71133
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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holding possessions in lieue of money owed

Customer Question

holding possessions in lieue of money owed
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I left my partner on friday who I have been living with for 12 weeks.He owes me money(or furniture) and some possessions.I have texts to prove that he owes this money and texts saying he intended to transfer- but he did not.I took with me his clothes, his computer, some camera equipment and bits and bobs.

He has been to the police,and then so did i - I was hoping they would escort us to both swap - but the police have said that this is now a civil matter. (they saw my proof)

I am concerned now in case I may have done the wrong thing - as on googling its says that what i have done is wrong. But the police seemed to think it was not criminal, but domestic.

Can you give me some advice. I did take ALL the clothes that he has in London.He owes me 3,750 plus tiffany jewellery and clothing



Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Unfortunately domestics are criminal. You would not believe how much I wish that our current policy were not to get involved in domestics.

Whats the value of his goods roughly please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not sure - approximately 2.5- 3K



Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

I don't know why the police have given you that information. What you have done is very definitely theft but its simple enough to resolve it by returning the goods.

I suppose you could argue that there was a defence to theft on the basis that you didn't intend to permanently deprive him of the goods but its not very good really. Actually if you were saying you would return them if he pays then that is blackmail which is much more serious but it doesn't matter because it won't come to that.

Just send him one letter, or text or email, saying that you wish to make arrangements to return his goods and collect yours. That pretty much protects you unless he starts making those arrangements and you refuse. Return his goods as soon as possible.

In relation to yours, he is in a different position because you just left them there. He hasn't taken possession of them and left. He just hasn't made efforts to return them. However, he cannot hold onto them and you do have a claim against him.

If he refuses to hand them over then just issue against him here

for the value of the goods and he will deliver up fast enough.

You could even send him a letter before action giving him 7 days to return them and making clear that you will sue if he does not. It very rarely needs anything else.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Thank you .

I just called again, and they said that as he had once refused delivery (they have proof) , it now becomes a civil case.

I reiterated I wanted to meet and swap, but they have actually strongly advised me NOT to approach him or to meet with him without a member of police present.I was beginning to feel a bit bad and wanted to drop some bits off.

They also said that if he turns up at my property I must not open the door and must call for police to attend.


They seemed very adamant. I must say I am surprised, but that is three different shifts that have confirmed this now .


Thank you for your advice though. You can see why I wanted a second opinion.




Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

I don't agree with that at all I'm afraid. It makes no sense at all. If they wanted to prevent a breach of the peace then they could just escort you.