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Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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we have a client that we are in dispute with, mainly due to

Customer Question

we have a client that we are in dispute with, mainly due to one of his payment instalments being late and now we can return to do the next instalment for weeks. We have since been back to site to collect an item of kit ( over 5k value) and he has taken it. We called the police and they said it is civil as he said he will give it back if we finish the work. We have contacted the police again as our staff witnessed without their knowledge his wife and new builder load it in a car and take it away. We want to report it as a theft but the police keep fobbing us away.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

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

What is the value of the item please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The item is valued at £5000.00

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Ive not had an answer still.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
I am just travelling back from court at the moment. Please bear with me and I will respond as soon as possible.

Thanks for your patience.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

I'm back now.

Are you asking if you can force the police to take a report?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not exactly. I'm asking how I deal with this as as far as we are concerned our equipment has been stolen. Although the police are saying it's not theft as It's a civil dispute and he may be holding it until you finish the job. What I'm asking is this theft? As now it's also left the property by a third party as far as we are concerned it could now be damaged or sold.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Well, it depends.

He will be saying that he is holding a lien over it until the debt is settled and he may or may not be entitled to do that in civil law but it does not amount to theft because he's not saying that he will keep it permanently.

Unless there is evidence that he intends to retain this item permanently this would not amount to a theft. Obviously I have not had full vision of this case that where people misappropriate property the fact that they intend to keep it is usually inferred from the circumstances. I don't know if he is said anything contrary here? If he has then that would be a problem I'm afraid.

You can always sue him for the value of the item at Small Claims Court or if it is something that you need urgently then seek a mandatory injunction forcing him to return it. That is an expensive option but he would be liable for your costs.

Can I clarify anything for you?