I had a contract with a consignment shop to sell hammered copper art but it unexpectedly close and I haven’t gotten $2000 of my goods back?

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I had a contract with a consignment shop to sell hammered copper art but it unexpectedly close and I haven’t gotten $2000 of my goods back?

The store owner closed the store without informing me 6 months ago. The phone numbe, and standard contact information to contact the store owner are no longer valid. I am short as to options that I can pursue to retrieve my merchandise. Any suggestions? Can this be considered a criminal matter?

Asked on June 11, 2015 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It's almost certainly not a criminal matter, because it is unlikely that the owner had criminal intent--more likely, his business failed on him more quickly than he'd hope. It's also very unlikely you could get the police interested in this.

Try contacting the landlord--the building's owner, who rented to the shop. Explain who you are, provide some documentation that the art is yours, and offer to executed an indemnity agreement that if someone else later shows up claiming that they own the art, you will protect the landord from a lawsuit for giving it to you. If you do that, there is a very good chance the landlord will let you retrieve your art, IF  it still exists--after 6 months, it may have been disposed of by the landlord has having been the abandoned property of the store owner. In cases like these, you generally have to act quickly to get your property back.


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