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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
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A young friend had to leave an abusive boyfriend in a hurry.

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A young friend had to leave an abusive boyfriend in a hurry. She is a good many states away from NY. Her boyfriend gave her some gifts she could not take with her, and now he says she'll need a court order to get them. One is a very expensive sewing machine, a guitar, and an ipad.

If I can use a court order, can I do this myself, with her signature?

Welcome and thank you for your question!

I am sorry to learn of the facts you've described. Your friend would have to return to New York to sue him for the items. Once the NY judge rules in her favor and orders the return of the property, yes, then you could go and receive the property on her behalf.

However, you cannot go to court for her to get the order. She would have to sue herself or hire a NY lawyer to sue for her and get the judgment/order.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

~~ J.B.
JB Umphrey and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


So she would have to pay an attorney if she cannot go to court herself? She has no money, and no job at this point. Staying with relatives. She could never afford to drive or fly back here.


Could she sign a paper of some sort allowing me to do this for her? Sort of like a power of attorney thing?

Your understanding is correct. She would have to return to NY or hire a NY lawyer. She cannot give you such a piece of paper because you are not a licensed attorney in New York. A power of attorney does not have the legal authority to practice law. I know it may seem like splitting hairs but it's a key distinction.

I hope this helps to clarify things. If not, please reply!

~~ J.B.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. It makes me so angry that a person cannot go to court without an attorney. I have run into this and had to forget about court because I could not afford an attorney. They charge about $400 an hour here, and even if I won a case, I would have spent more than I was trying to get back.

ONE OTHER THING: Is there a time limit on her her ability to get her things back? (That is, if he hasn't sold them.)


You have been very helpful; now I don't have to "wonder" about this.



Thank you for the follow-up, She has three years to sue for the return of the property.

To be clear, she can go to court without a licensed lawyer. She can go to court and represent herself. She cannot, however, have a non-lawyer go to court for her.

I hope this helps to clarify things!

~~ J.B.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Now I thoroughly understand! Thank you

You are most welcome and I am glad that your friend is safe.

Please do not forget to click on excellent service feedback so that we are credited for assisting you.

~~ J.B.