Can my previous landlord press charges?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my previous landlord press charges?

My previous boss/ landlord bought my family a fridge as a gift. He does not typically furnish them and we did not have one so he said he would buy one for us. When I moved out I took the fridge with me. He is now threatening to press charges. I told him he can have it back but I do not have the means, unless I rent a truck, to get it back to the house. He said I have until the end of the day today but don’t get paid until Tuesday. I don’t know what to do.

Asked on June 23, 2019 under Criminal Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If it truly was a gift to you and not merely a fridge being provided for the apartment, then it's yours and you don't have to give it back: a gift, once given, cannot be ungiven. But as stated, that's if it was a gift to you and your family and not just something to use in the apartment he was providing you. You'd have to show that he intended to let you keep it forever and not merely use it while a tenant.
If it was only for your use while in the apartment--that is, it was for the apartment which you happened to be living in--then if you took it, you did commit theft (taking something that does not belong to you) and he could press charges.

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