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Question: “In Ohio, how long must personal property sit before it is considered abandoned property?”
Answer: There is no specific period of time. Property is abandoned when the owner expresses an intent to abandon it. For example, if you’ve been holding onto my property for 2 days, and I tell you that I no longer want it, then you have a strong case that I abandoned it. On the other hand, if you’ve been holding onto my property for 2 years, and I never said anything about abandoning it, then you have a weak case that I’ve abandoned it. Of course, you could make demands that I retrieve the property, and if I ignore those demands, then you would have a strong case that I abandoned it.
In sum, property is abandoned when the owner intends to abandon it. The owner’s intent can be proven with evidence that he failed to retrieve the property in a timely manner.
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It depends on whether the conduct, in light of all relevant circumstances, would lead a reasonable person to conclude that the property was abandoned.
Was that the first and only attempt to have her retrieve the property? If so, then I doubt a reasonable person would conclude that she abandoned the items. A reasonable person would probably conclude that for some reason that particular time (3:00-3:30) wasn’t convenient. But if that was the 5th time she blew you off, then a reasonable person may conclude that she’ll never get the items, and therefore, she abandoned them. On the other hand, even if it was the 5th time, but it turns out the reason she didn’t pick up those items is because she got into a car accident while she was on her way to your place, then a reasonable person would probably not conclude that she intended to abandon the property.
I wish I could give you a definite yes or no, but it’s just not possible because the answer depends on all of the facts and circumstances. Since you know all the facts, you’re in the best position to answer that question. Do you believe that she failed to retrieve the property because she doesn’t want it, or do you believe that she failed to retrieve the property for some other reason?
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