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 Delta-Lawyer Your Own Question
Delta-Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3546
Experience:  Over A Decade Of Criminal Law Experience
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Delta-Lawyer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

A week ago Saturday my husband and I were in an argument-

Customer Question

A week ago Saturday my husband and I were in an argument- the police came and I was asked to leave because he was drunk and couldn't drive. I came back next morning and found he had taken all of my jewelry, my computer, my passport birth certificate and Social Security card, 19 percocet and 30 methadone pills all prescribed to me. Approx total for the property is $47k - He hid the items at his mothers in Columbus GA where he was then arrested on a parole violation charge. I tried to contact his mother but she refuses to talk to me. I did a Civil Standby and was allowed to search the garage only - I recovered a small amount of my items. The remainder are hidden in her home. The police are telling me this is a civil matter - however the local DA says its criminal. Police are not cooperating. If he gets out of jail the stuff is gone. Advise me please
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of criminal law experience as well as civil litigation experience. It is a pleasure to assist you today.

First off, you have taken the correct steps up to this point. You are to be commended for that because most would be completely at a loss. The next step should involve local law enforcement. However, since they are unwilling to help, you may have to force the issue here. There are two ways to force the issue: (1) the local court system; and (2) the Attorney General's Office in Georgia.

Your first step needs to be that you formally attempt to file theft and conspiracy charges against your husband and his mother with the local sheriff office. If they are unwilling to cooperate, you can at least tell the court that you attempted to do so. You then need to file the same criminal charges with the court of competent jurisdiction in the county in which this is taking place. The court clerk may balk at first because there is no law enforcement involvement. You can then explain that they are unwilling to cooperate (It would be great and you should request a letter on the sheriff's letterhead that they are unwilling to file your charges). The court can take the charges that you file. You may also want to file a civil injunction request (emergency) with the same court against the mother in an attempt to seek an injunctive order which prevents her from blocking you from entering the premises to search for your items.

If, for some reason, the court is also unwilling to assist, you need to then speak with the Georgia AGs Office and request assistance. You need to also seek to file a Public Integrity complaint against the sheriff for his unwillingness to cooperate under the circumstances with the AG.

Document all of these steps as you progress forward.

Make no mistake that there is no surefire method to handle this issue if the authorities are unwilling to intervene. You can sue the mother civilly but that will take months, if not years, to resolve. In the short term, you need to proceed as directed above.

Let me know if you have any other questions or comments. Please also rate my answer positively (three or more stars) so I can receive credit for my response.

Best wishes going forward!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think my profile must be old - I am in Ohio - do I need to redo the question or is the answer the same?
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

No, that does not change anything. Since the items are in Georgia, everything has to take place there, unfortunately. I know that is a burden. You can handle this from Ohio though. You can either hire an attorney in Georgia and have them handle the affairs for you or you can handle it over phone and email. You can sign affidavits (sworn statements) and email or fax them relative to the charges.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No the items and me and him and his mom all in Ohio -does it change?
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Oh...I am sorry....yes, that actually makes it easier. You can do all that was suggested in my first post, but transpose Ohio for Georgia. I am sorry for the confusion. Procedurally, it works the same in either state.

Let me know if you have any other questions and please don't forget to rate my answer positively.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am having trouble finding out what the court of competent jurisdiction would be...called the court and they told me over $10k (small claims) I had to have an attorney. Is that correct? They claim they don't have forms to give me to file that only attorneys have those forms.
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

You do not have to have an attorney in small claims. If your value exceeds $10K, which this does, then you will likely want an attorney. Proceeding (pro se) or without an attorney, is normally not fruitful. They will not have forms. You will have to draft a formal complaint (which you can find forms online at places like You file the complaint, they must file an answer in timely fashion after formal service of process...then discover begins (which is interrogatories, request for production of documents and requests for admissions). A trial date is then set if there are no other dispositive motions filed by the parties. It can get pretty complicated if you are not experienced...thus the reason why most proceed with an attorney.

Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Just checking to see if you had any additional questions. I want you to be as comfortable as possible moving forward. Thanks!

Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Just checking in again. This is important to me because it is important to you. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!

Related Criminal Law Questions