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 Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 28429
Experience:  Lawyer
26798026
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My ex threatened to kill me and took my phone and is holding

Customer Question

my ex threatened to kill me and took my phone and is holding it in his house. I called the police and they went to his house and he told them he gave my phone back to me (which he didnt) the cops told me all they could do was report my phone stolen. The police told me if I could prove it was there then to call them again and let them know. I tried to track my phone on find my iphone and he has turned my phone offlilne so there is no way of proving it is there. If I know for a fact he has my phone in that house because he took it from me and refused to give it back, yet he told the cops he didnt have it, is thre anything I can do to get the police to help me or is he just going to get away with it? What are my options & legal rights in this case?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Texas
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: yes. When i left his house i went down the road and found someone outside and called the police. I reported the abuse and that he had my phone and they went down the street to ask him about it and he lied to them and said he gave my phone back so all they did was report a stolen phone and filed a report for the abuse and left.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have already filed two reports on him in the past, one for assault with a deadly weapon and one that is Class A assault.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

There unfortunately isn't any legal right to make police pursue a case, and they can use their discretion to choose not to get a warrant to search the house. If you can get any evidence (like if you have a mutual friend who saw your phone there or if he admitted to taking it), then you can ask them again to prosecute. Another option is to talk to the district attorney who is handling the assault cases and see if they will add claims for the stolen phone.

You can sue your ex-boyfriend for the value of the phone, the cost of having to the case in the first place, and punitive damages for taking it in the first place. The civil equivalent of theft is conversion. The standard of proof in civil court is much lower than in a criminal case. In civil court, the standard of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence. That means, more likely than not, things happened the way you say they did. If beyond a reasonable doubt is proof to a 99.9999% certainty, by a preponderance of the evidence is 50.1%. Your testimony that he took the phone is proof that it happened (and the judge can consider that it wouldn't make sense for you to sue if he'd given it back to you).

It's also possible to file a civil case for each count of assault. Because of the difference in standards of proof, if he pleads guilty or is convicted in the criminal case, you will AUTOMATICALLY win the civil case. All you need to win is to bring a copy of the judgment from his criminal case. But you don't have to wait to file the lawsuit if you don't want to.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Do you have any other questions about this?