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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33781
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I recently sold some farm equipment that my late husband and

Customer Question

I recently sold some farm equipment that my late husband and I owned. One of the pieces (a BUSHHOG mower) was originally purchased by his sister and given to him in exchange for him mowing her farm, too. She saved a fortune in labor costs and he got the free mower. It was a win win. Now, five years after his death I sold the tractor and the mower together as one. Two days ago, the sheriff showed up at the new owners farm claiming they had purchased stolen equipment and that she had filed with the DA's office against me for theft. I was shocked n embarrassed to my business friends that bought the equipment but - as hard, and unfair as it is - I am just going to have to suck it up and pay her money as she's just not worth the stress it would cause to battle her. My question is..I don't want to have to personally deal with this anymore than necessary so I was told I need someone to call her attorney and I guess the sheriff and let them know it's been a huge misunderstanding and negotiate for a payoff. What kind of attorney do I need and because of my budget - any tips for helping this get over with in a expeditious way and what if she's asking for it back or way too much money?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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What kind of attorney do I need and because of my budget - any tips for helping this get over with in a expeditious way and what if she's asking for it back or way too much money?
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You would need to contact a criminal defense attorney if she has filed criminal charges for theft of property. The truth of it is that if you fought it and had witnesses testify that sister in law (SIL) gave the mower to husband, it is highly likely that any charges would be dismissed (if they have filed anything).
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This may be a case where it is handled informally and the sheriff will just return the mower to SIL and you will have to refund the buyer's money for the mower.
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With that said, I would suggest talking to a criminal defense attorney and having him contact the DA and her attorney and work out something where you just paid her the depreciated value of the mower in order to settle the entire mess. This isn't something that the DA is going to want to pursue due to the question of whether it was a gift or a loan of equipment. So the DA will lean on her attorney to settle the matter with you or he will decline to file formal charges. She can file a complaint, but it is up to the DA whether to turn it into a case by filing formal charges against you for theft.
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Obviously I don't know the parties, but if the DA is like all the other ones I know and have worked with, he will push this towards the civil courts and refuse to file formal charges. But you need to talk to a criminal defense attorney just to be safe.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Barrister and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Barrister replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much for the positive rating and generous bonus, it is very much appreciated!

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. Please feel free to ask for me if you need help with anything in the future and I will do my level best to help or get you to someone who can.

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Barrister