My mom stole all my things and will not give them back, what do I do?

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My mom stole all my things and will not give them back, what do I do?

After getting a protection order against my stepdad 10 months ago, she packed all of my things, my sisters things and a lot if his things. A few months ago (after spending 5 months homeless) she said she would give me back my stuff. I came to her apartment and loaded up the boxes that were there. But when I looked though them I that saw that over half of all my things (clothes, books, school supplies) were still missing. I am almost 16 and we can’t afford to hire a lawyer or go to court or anything like that.

Asked on November 22, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can sue her yourself without having to hire a lawyer. You need to file in small claims court and see if you have pictures of what you believe were taken. You will not get replacement value but essentially you can sue her, then you will have about 10 years to attempt to collect anything from her (either directly if she volunteers or indirectly if you have to then use the judgment to garnish her wages). In the interim, go to your school and ask them to see if they can help out since you do not have any shool supplies and missing clothing. Check with the red cross and also check with Legal Aid. You may qualify to have a lawyer represent you for free.


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