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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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What do I need to do to get a pet returned from my ex-fiancee?

Resolved Question:

What do I need to do to get a pet returned from my ex-fiancee? Where should I file, and do I need a lawyer?

We were living together in CA. While still in the relationship, she was staying with her father to help through an illness in IA, and had taken my dog to keep her company. We ended the relationship in CA, and prior to moving to OH, I asked that she return my dog. She subsequently refused to return my pet. I have all AKC paperwork, purchase receipts, and registration in my name. I want the dog returned, but am unsure how to proceed. Because we lived in CA, and both now reside in different states, I am unsure where to file, if this is a small claims issue, or if I need a lawyer. The dogs worth is approximately $1500.00. We ended our relationship in April, and I have repeatedly asked her to return the pet via email. Help please.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 11 months ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question.

You will need to file the suit in the state and county where she lives with the dog. Because you are asking for the actual return of the dog, you will need to file in the general trial court (small claims is only for money claims).

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
ZDN
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3814
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Do I need a lawyer for this? Any suggestions to help me be successful in getting my dog returned?

Expert:  Zachary replied 11 months ago.
Yes, you do need a lawyer because what you are going to have to ask for is an injunction, which is a complicated procedural matter.

The issue you will face is whether or not you could be said to have "gifted" the dog to her. You will need any evidence you can gather, including witness testimony, which shows that you never intended to give her the dog and did not ever tell her you were giving the dog to her as a gift.

An alternative tactic would be to sue her in small claims court for the money damages and tell her you will settle with her if she returns the dog to you. Do you believe she would pay you $1500 to keep the dog?
Expert:  Zachary replied 11 months ago.
If you file in small claims court, you will not need a lawyer.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

ok, last question. If I go small claims court, can I do this in OH or should I go to IA? Thanks for the help ZDN!

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