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JD, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Over 11 years in practice as a litigator ... civil and criminal
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Sirs, i am a jeweler in Knoxville Tn. and recently a Knoxville

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Sirs, i am a jeweler in Knoxville Tn. and recently a Knoxville Detective was here in my store looking for a diamond ring that was stolen 45 days prior. I still had the ring as the law here states that all jewelers, gold buyers and pawn shops have to hold their purchases for 30 days. I turned the ring over to the detective and was told that the court clerk would be in touch with me about appearing in court. I was given a property receipt for the ring and have not heard from the detective or the court clerk. I paid $1088.50 for the ring and I would like my money or the ring back as I understand that I am the legal owner of the ring and either the courts or the owner is supposed to reimburse me. I also think that the legislation that was brought about is unconstitution since it hinders my ability to earn a living, in other words holding the gold for 30 days is a burden as it takes me 6 weeks to get my money back from the refiner. Thanks foryour time.
Stephen Albanese
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 7 years ago.
Hello -

Thank you for contacting JustAnswer. My name is Michael; I look forward to helping you with your legal problem today.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. What legal question can I answer for you?


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
I have not had an answer for the question I paid for on the 14th. please advise
Expert:  JD replied 7 years ago.

Since the other expert appears to be offline and it has been four days, I will help you with your question. First, understand that there is statutory language in Tennessee that governs the disposition of the property you've described. Take a look at the following statute:



T.C.A. 38-1-205. Buyer or dealer obtaining and recording information from seller to be made available to law enforcement -- Recovery of property by party asserting ownership by making report to law enforcement following report of theft.

(a) When any person sells property to a buyer or dealer subject to § 38-1-201, the buyer or dealer shall obtain and record the information provided for in § 38-1-203 and obtain a statement of the seller that the seller is the lawful owner of the item, and shall have the record signed by the seller. This record shall be made available to any law enforcement agency or officer upon request.

(b) (1) The party asserting ownership of any property that the party alleges is stolen and that is in the possession of a buyer or dealer subject to § 38-1-201 may recover the property by making a report to any law enforcement agency of the location of the property and providing the law enforcement agency with proof of ownership of the property; provided, that a report of the theft of the property was made to the proper authorities within thirty (30) days after obtaining knowledge of the theft or loss; and provided, further, that the party asserting ownership will assist in the prosecution of the seller of the item. Upon the receipt of proof of ownership, any law enforcement officer is authorized to recover the property from the buyer or dealer, without expense to the rightful owner of the property, unless the buyer or dealer presents evidence of having received proof of ownership of the property by the seller. Any property recovered from a buyer or dealer subject to § 38-1-201 shall be returned to the rightful owner of the property, subject to evidence in any criminal proceeding.

(2) In the event that the party asserting ownership of the article has provided a timely report of the theft or loss of the article, and the buyer or dealer presents acceptable evidence to the law enforcement agency of having received proper proof of ownership from the seller of the property, then and only then shall the law enforcement agency have satisfied its processes, duties and responsibilities. It shall then inform the party alleging ownership that it will be necessary for that person to commence an appropriate civil action for the return of the items within thirty (30) days of receiving the notice. The buyer or dealer shall not be required to surrender the property to any law enforcement officer or agency or any other person absent an appropriate warrant.

(3) If for any reason after the local authorities have seized certain property and are unable to locate the rightful owner of the property after due diligence, then the property may be returned to the buyer or dealer upon the buyer or dealer executing a hold-harmless agreement to the local authorities pursuant to title 40, chapter 33.




Therefore, unless you can demonstrate that you received proper proof of ownership then the original owner will recover the actual property. You will be considered a crime victim and will be entitled to criminal restitution against the person who sold you the ring. However, criminal restitution can take time to recover. You should contact the Knox County District Attorney's Office and speak to them about this issue. If you have proper proof of ownership from the person who sold you the item, provide it to the District Attorney along with a written request for the item's return.


If you are unable to provide such "proof of ownership" then you will need to follow the criminal case and make sure the District Attorney gets restitution ordered against the thief. You may also wish to claim this on any insurance policy you may have. Further, you may wish to pursue a civil action against the thief for money damages.


As for the constitutionality of the statute, you will probably find that the cost of challenging the constitutionality of the statute will far outweigh the value of any success.


Please reply if I can help further.



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JD, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience: Over 11 years in practice as a litigator ... civil and criminal
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