Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today.
You can file a police report but they are almost certainly not actually going to file the charges.
The criminal statute of limitations on theft in Florida is either 3 or 5 years, depending on the specific charge.
Most crimes can be charged in more than one way, but the maximum time for a theft is 5 years.
Are you there?
Thank you - I read online that judges usually don't throw out the case even if the wstatute of time has passed. Also before asking my question, there was an answer generally given that DA office is the one to fil.e the complaint with. That was the answer given when I googled the question. Isn't there anything else you can tell me that I can actually do? Your answer above does not go into any detail that I expected and the general answer from google told me more. No offense intended but am just desperate to learn something that I can do. $40.000 is not a small sum. Are you still there?
yes I am - I wrote you above re contacting the DA office - Did you get it?
No, that's incorrect. The statute of limitations is one of the few reasons a judge will actually dismiss a case.
I see - so that is it - there is nothing I can do that has any chance of being heard, right?
Your question was can you file a complaint based on theft. I'm not sure what else you need other than what I provided. There isn't a lot of detail available other than what I've given you.
When did you find out about the theft? Not who did it but when did you find out a theft had occurred?
Well under theft as defined, there seemed to be. I found out a few weeks ago after my father's passing. My sister gave me a legal file on the property and I founjd out that the reasons she gave for collecting a "debt" from me were wrong.
Was the theft from you or your father?
Directly from me. I wrote her two checks totaling $40,000 from a new loan I took from Wash. Mutual. She said she wanted the equity she hade put in back. But found an agreement that obligated her to only 12,000 contribution over 5 years for which she was entitled to 25% of profit from sale of property.
You might be able to maintain a civil lawsuit based on a variation on the fraud concept and the "discovery rule".
It doesn't apply to criminal cases but it would allow you to sue.
Thank you - can I file such a suit myself in the self-help sectionj at the courthouse?
You can. You are never required to have a lawyer. It is usually a good idea but not mandatory.
Just one last thing if you don't mind. What is the discovery rule?
If you are going to pursue this you need to do some legal research and have some cases ready on the Discovery Rule. There is a pretty good and inexpensive e-book available om that topic at http://www.lessonsinlaw.com/the-guerrilla-guides-to-the-law/the-guerrilla-guide-to-legal-research-finding-the-law-for-non-lawyers/
The Discovery Rule extends the time for filing lawsuits if the basis for the lawsuit is fraud and it was concealed from you. The time for filing begins to run from your "discovery" of the true facts, hence the name.
Thank you very much you have helped me a lot. My printer is not working, so will our chat remain here for me to refer to?
Once you issue a Positive Rating the format will change into a regular Q and A and the question will no longer time out so you can come back to it whenever you like. I'm not sure how long they remain on here but I know it is over a year. If you would like when it changes format I can enter a brief message and you will get an email with a link back to the question telling you that I have responded. Just save that email and don;t click on the link until you need to come back to it.
Sounds great - just give me a minute to copy one or two things above juwst in case I do something wrong. Many thanks for your time and expertise.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).