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LawTalk, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  30 years legal experience
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My boat was in the possession of a repair shop. While there

Customer Question

My boat was in the possession of a repair shop. While there we had specifically requested that the boat stay INSIDE to protect ourselves from anything being removed from the boat. We had driven by the marina and noticed the boat outside. We called and complained, they said it was out temporarily to allowing room in the shop. Upon picking the boat up, we noticed in the drive home that the rear seat was missing. We called the marina and asked if they had it sitting somewhere and they did not. Once we got home, we started to further inspect things. There ended up being almost $4000 worth of bass fishing tournament heat missing. They knew exactly what they were looking for also. Now we are going to court. The judge advises me it is my responsibility to prove the items were stolen. How do I do that?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.

Good morning Kelly,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

It is true that you bear the burden of proof to show that the items were stolen---but like any theft covered by insurance, that is not done with direct evidence, but circumstantial evidence.

You must first prove that you owned the things take. That may be done with receipts for purchace, photos----(judges like lots of photos)--- even witness statements---think friends, family----and finally, your testimony. All of these things can be used to show you owned these items

Then you must show that these items were in/on the boat when you took it to the shop. This might include explaining why you didn't remove these things prior---which might be that they were attached to the boat in some fashion. You can urge that these items are always stored in the boat---again, your testimony and that of friends and family, and again---photos showing these items in your boat at some time.

Finally, you will need to convince the judge that these things were in the boat when you turned over possession to the shop. It would help if you can testify that you voiced concern for the boat and asked that it always be stored inside, and that the employee you dealt with agreed to do that. Also, your testimony, and witness testimony of anyone who went with you to drop the boat off.

Finally, you will point out that between the times you picked up the boat and when you discovered the missing items that the boat was in your exclusive possession-on and that the items could not possibly have been stolen between the times you picked up the boat and when you noticed the items missing.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,


Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
Good evening Kelly,

I wanted to thank you for using JustAnswer, and to inquire whether my answer to you was helpful to your understanding of the law, as regards your question.

Is there anything else that I can assist you with, please feel free to ask. If you do not require further legal information at this time, please feel free to bookmark my profile so you can request me when you do have another question. Here is a link to my profile:

Thank you very much and take care.