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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I gave 6 large paintings I have done, free to a lady who was

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I gave 6 large paintings I have done, free to a lady who was to display them for me in a certain arts centre.Now 2 years later she says she gave them to a man who has passed away and she doesn't know where they went.
Can I sue her for damages ? I only agreed to have her show them at this one centre as I wanted to keep track of them.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
What were the terms? Were they a gift, were they a loan?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I gave them free to a lady under the condition they were going to be displayed in a certain arts centre.

So displayed at a certain place, but not given back?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I was happy for her to display them there -as and when , but she says they coudnt accommodate them so she gave them to a man in wales to give to an arts centre ,but she wont give me the address,says the man passed away and she cant help me .

But did you say they had to be returned when given?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No that she could give them to the arts centre to keep and display

So it was only conditional on her giving them to someone else? Why didnt you just give them direct to the Arts Centre?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I advertised them on gumtree to go to a good home where they would be displayed , I didn't know this arts centre existed ,and she replied

Were they advertised for free?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Difficult to accommodate they are 4x4ft

Were they advertised as free to a good home etc?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Its bad news then I am afraid. You could only sue for breach of contract, but the purpose of taking someone to Court is to put you back into a position you would have been in had the breach not occurred.
If you had sold the paintings for a fee on this condition they were shown and not, then you could have issued proceedings for this fee.
But on the basis it was free to a good home, you have mo loss. If they had done as agreed then it would have been free anyway. So sadly there is no claim.
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

but surely this is receiving goods under false pretenses, they are my intellectual property and I need to keep track of them

There is no breach of contract because you need consideration - there was no exchange of money. That is a key requirement to a contract sadly.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

can I report this to the police as she will not give me details of their whereabouts?

No. Its not a criminal offence.
I can tell you the process to issue proceedings for compensation if you wish?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you yes

You need to write and set out your losses and request compensation within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not compensate you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The paintings are worth about £200 each so it would be £1200, if I lose in the small claims am I liable for costs or anything?

You are liable for any travel costs and time off work (£90 max) for the Defendant.
Does that help?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Alex , that's all been clear and a great help ,Trish

Good luck!
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