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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 37337
Experience:  Attorney,16 years experience in consumer protection areas
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A fellow airline passenger inadvertently took my computer

Customer Question

A fellow airline passenger inadvertently took my computer bag which contains my personal laptop and valuable data. Due to the volume of people in the airport I was not able to catch him before he disappeared. Until now, he has failed to return my belongings to the airport and/or thr airline. I do not know his name and am not able to file a police report. American Airlines has advised me to file a subpoena in order to have his name and contact relleased. Can I sue this person in ca civil case?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Can I sue this person in ca civil case?

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Yes, what this person has done if this was an accident is called "conversion" which is the wrongful keeping of the property of another. If you don't know the person's name, you can file a suit against "John Doe" and state that his identity will be added later. Then once the case is filed, you can get a "subpoena duces tecum" to send to the airline so that they can release the name of the passenger and you can then amend your complaint to add his name. Once he is served with the suit, I can't imagine that he would try to fight it instead of simply giving you back the computer..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do I need to file a lawsuit in order to file a subpoena or can I file the subpoena alone? Is it advisable to hire a lawyer for this?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Do I need to file a lawsuit in order to file a subpoena or can I file the subpoena alone?

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A subpoena is a request for information either in the form of documents or for someone to appear in a civil case to testify. So you have to have a legal case filed in order to get a subpoena issued by the clerk of the court.

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So you have to file a lawsuit first, then have the clerk issue the subpoena, then file a motion to amend the complaint to reflect the person's name that you got with the subpoena so that they can be served with the summons and complaint demanding the return of your personal property.

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Is it advisable to hire a lawyer for this?

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If you aren't familiar with filing your own lawsuits and subpoenas, then yes, hiring an attorney to assist would be a good idea.

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thanks

Barrister

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