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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71136
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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JoI have spoken to so many solicitors and the auction

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Hi Jo I have spoken to so many solicitors and the auction house. also the police and I simply do not have any spare money to resolve this matter. Do you deal with civil matters? Thanks Kathy XXXXXX

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Can you remind me of your situation please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo

There will be a problem with the statute as I only found out about this just under 3 years ago. That is how long I have been working on this problem. I have even had lunch with the owner of the auction house! When I was 25, I dated one of the Beatles for a while and he gave this book to my Mum. What I didn't know was that there was a note inside which belonged to me. I wasn't worried about asking for the book when I wanted it back. My sister would have been only too aware of just how precious it was to me sentimentally. I honestly hadn't even thought of it in monetary terms. The book sold for £6000 and the note inside which was my personal property sold for £19,000! Both items are now on display in the Beatles Museum in Liverpool, so there has been a paper trail. All I need to do is prove that it was my sister who auctioned the items in the first place, or possibly her son who had a drug debt at the time. She is not short of money so trying to get it back shouldn't be a problem. I on the other hand am now retired and stoney broke. But as i said, it is more about the in justice of what she more than likely has done. If I casn get the name of the person who sold the book and note then I can chase up that paper trail. It's awful. My sons would have inherited that book. I have a copy of my mothers will in which she wanted everything belonging to her to be split 3 ways, but my sister insisted at the time that the book was part of my journey and I should have it. I am trying to upload pictures of it but I am lousy with computers! how do I get back to you directly after today? Thanks

So basically they sold a book belonging to you and didn't have your permission or give you the money?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Absolutely. I see the book loaded! I will try to load the picture of the note as well. I know that all this happened a long time ago but I knew nothing about it until 2012. Do a really have to allow her to get away with this because of the law? I have sent her copies of the auction pictures to which she replied " I am seeking advice ". I have heard nothing. I just need that name from the auction house and then I can possibly,( I don't know how), get her bank statements checked to see if the money was deposited in her account. It's such a disgusting thing to do to a family member.Even if I wanted to sell it, it would be worth much more now, but I wanted to put it in the bank for safe keeping.

Let me confirm the facts please.

There is a valuable book which belonged to your mother given to her some years ago.

The book would now belong to the beneficiaries of the estate, you and your sister?

Your sister has sold the book and pocketed the money?

There is a note in the book which belongs to you and she has also sold that and pocketed the money?

She doesn’t know that you know about the sale or money?

Is that the situation?

The first thing to do is obviously speak to your sister about it because this is theft and is a police matter. I appreciate that you might not want to involve the police and that is admirable but if you don’t, then your sister could well get away with this.

You would need to get a civil injunction to get the return of the items from the museum and the museum would net then need to bring a civil claim against your sister.

My first port of call would be my sister and the second port of call would be the police.

The police are unlikely to do anything about the book which belonged to the estate and they are likely to say that is a civil matter but the note was yours and that would appear to be beyond dispute

Unfortunately, legal proceedings are not cheap and are never without risk and although you can inquire of solicitors as to whether you could get any to do this no-win no fee, it seems unlikely and you have said that you’ve already spoken to several.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The book did belong to my mother and in her will it states that all her belongings and any money should be divived between my sister, brother and myself. I am quite willing to give them £2000 each, should get the money back. The note is just mine. I was a fahion model in those days and my Mum used to keep all sorts of press cuttings and items that belonged to me. I have enquire about no win no fee and no one will take it on. My sister does know about this situation. I wrote to her by registered lettet twice, asking for the book and note back. She said it must be in the garage with our mothers other belongings and she would look for it. Then I sent her photocopies of the auction and asked if perhaps that was the reason why she could not find it. She admitted having the conversation with me by letter in the fact that I should have the book . We didn't know about the note at the time as I hadn't flicked through it. I am presuming that it was my sister who sold the book and pocketed the money. as it was agreed between us that she would take care of it. How do I get hold of you with any further questions? Also I only want this to be a one off payment as I can't afford a monthly plan of any kind unfortunately. Could you please comfirm that by email ? *****@******.***. This is so frustrating. Can you find out for me the law regarding the auction house giving the name to me? I am guessing that they are not at liberty to do so. Let me know how to get back to you and thankyou. You are the second person to say that I should write to my sister but I would like advice on how to phrase it. Should I mention the police? I want her kick start things from her end to see what she has to say which at this point is nothing really. Thanks Jo for your time.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo

Would you be able to give me some clues as to how to word a letter to my sister when I write to her. I don't want to scare her off or make her believe that I am struggling financially to bring her to justice. I have sent a text to the auctioneer again asking him to confirm once and for all that they are NOT prepared to supply me with the name of the person who put the book up for auction. I am waiting for a reply. Once I know this for sure, at least I will know that I am back to square one again. Trouble is that all this time taken may mean that a judge would throw the case out anyway and I will have to swallow the fact that my sister has got away with this crime. Should I mention in the letter to her that I know that the book and note are in the Beatles Museum in Liverpool? Thanks Jo. All the best, ***** *****

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Jo

I have not received an answer from you regarding help with writing the letter to my sister. I would appreciate this help asap so that I can get it in the post.

Many thanks


To get details of who put the item up for sale tell the auction house that you are aware that this item belongs to you and your sister that if they don’t tell you who has put it up for sale, you will make a court application for an injunction for pre-action disclosure to compel them to give you the details..

If you give them your sister’s name and address and ask them to confirm that was the person, you may find they are more willing to tell you that if you simply ask who it was. it will also assist you if you had already referred this to the police and you gave the auction house an incident number.

The fact that your sister has told you that she is looking for this item and it appears to be less laid to me shows dishonesty and that then becomes a police matter and you should have already reported this to the police. Because it’s your sister, I can appreciate your reluctance to do this but you either have to report it to the police and/or confront your sister otherwise you are going to be without the items and the money forever.

I don’t know whether you are on speaking terms with your sister you can always say that you have found out that these items are in the museum and that it would appear that someone has managed to get hold of them and sold them. Because she said that she thought they were in the garage and were eventually found in an auction and are now in a museum in Liverpool, it would appear that they had been stolen and you want her to go with you along to the police to make a report of theft! See what she says that and if she doesn’t come clean, you may have to actually tell her out right that you think that she put them in the auction and that she therefore has to make amends