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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
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In Ohio, how long must personal property sit before it is considered

abandoned property?
Ask Your Own Legal Question

Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

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.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.

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DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.

Customer reply replied 7 years ago.
But. I have a text from her dated Sept. 7th saying "If you will let me kow when works for you I will move them ASAP" I replied to her saying "I am making myself available Sept. 15th between 3 and 3:30 for you to come get your stuff" and she chose to not get her stuff after a time and date were set up, does that constitute choosing to abandon her belongings?

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?

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.

.

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.

 

Customer reply replied 7 years ago.
Well this was actually the 3rd communication and the final one that I had from her. Basically she's living off of others and don't have a home of her own to go to and sees my home as a free storage place. It's because she was picked up on a warrent she had for theft against her mother totalling over $5000. But the case is with the grand jury awaiting their decision. I found out about the warrent after her stuff was here for 3 months but that's a long story. The policemen told me "no good deed goes unpunished" so that's what I get for helping a "friend". I personally don't feel that she will come get her stuff. And by brushing me off as she has she thinks that I will continue to store her things here. So we will donate them to charity and I will continue to save the text messages from her stating that she was given ample time to get her stuff. Thanks for your help and have a great day.
Wow, that does stink. It sounds like she's taking advantage of you. Being that it was the third time she blew you off, you probably have a decent argument in your favor. However, I would probably write one more communication to her, and tell her that she has one more chance to get her things, or you will consider them abandoned and you will give them to charity. Then, if she blows you off, you can reasonably argue that since she knew you'd give the items to charity, she must have intended for that to happen when she refused to pick up the items.

Good luck!

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DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.