How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask P. Simmons Your Own Question
P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32818
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
Type Your Legal Question Here...
P. Simmons is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My father died 02/09/2103. I have occupied his home since his

This answer was rated:

My father died 02/09/2103. I have occupied his home since his diagnosis in april of 2102. My father's home is in probate. The will has not been read and it has been said that my siblings are going to contest the will. I have 2 female siblings, who have removed items/money from his home. I have changed locks to attempt to prevent this. However, twice, they have obtained the services of a locksmith to gain access to the home. The first, realized he was not in the right place for the right reason and ended his services on the spot. The second, cut locks to barns, picked locks on entry doors to home, in the interior of the home, changed locks and drilled a gun safe that belonged to me and my son to gain access to contents. I was in Alaska at the time, this occurred in SC. I was alerted that a locksmith and my two sisters had entered the home. I was able to obtain the locksmith's phone number and called him while he was in the house. I asked him to leave, he refused. I attempted to speak with my sisters and the refused as well. I called the local law enforcement and they instructed the three to leave the home. After my return the next week, I realized my security system was gone, the locks were changed, cash from the safe that was drilled was gone. the safe damaged. I also received information that the locksmith was at the house for two days and my sisters spent the night in the home. Do i have an avenue for criminal prosecution for any of them?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Have you filed a criminal report? If so what was the response from the police?

And the property that was stolen...was that your personal property or was that the property of your father?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i did file a criminal report. The Law Enforcement AGency uses the Probate to avoid obtaining an arrest warrant. The property taken was my personal property. The investigator said to me "how do I know that the property was yours?" I told him by doing his job, by performing an investigation and asking me for receipts for the items taken. He dismissed me saying he couldnt help me....because of probate.


Thank you

That is the hurdle you enforcement (including the police and the county prosecutor) have "discretion"

They have the ability to decide what they will and what they will not spend resources investigating/prosecuting.

There is no legal way to force the police or the county prosecutor to investigate the case.

That said, you may still have some options.

I agree with you...if you had personal property stolen that is a crime...they should investigate. I would go "up the chain of command" to the chief of police and ask them to do just that.

Then, if the chief refuses, you can contact your elected representative (council person for the city) and ask them to put pressure on the police. The police are part of the executive branch of the government....they work for city council and the Mayor.

If that does not work?

Then you can use civil can file a claim in small claims court against your sisters for the value of the property they stole from you.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne: you can not force the police to prosecute. But you can ask them to...and you can also file a civil lawsuit to recover the value of the property they stole from you. If you file in small claims you can save the cost of a lawyer and "do it yourself"

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Does this include the locksmith as well? Shouldn't he have had proper "paperwork" to enter the home? And to drill the safe....such as probate documents and proof of ownership for the safe?


Yes...I agree. But he (the locksmith) is an agent of the ultimately they are liable for his conduct. You can sue them (the sisters) for his trespassing.

I agree also that the police could charge him for trespassing...but you need to convince the police to take the case first.

P. Simmons and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

Related Legal Questions