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Someone left a bunch of stuff in our garage and we can no longer

get in touch with her...
Someone left a bunch of stuff in our garage and we can no longer get in touch with her. What is our obligation regarding these belongings?
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
6/2/2013
Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4,829
Experience: Experienced in both state and federal court.
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TexLawyer :

Good afternoon. I'll be assisting you with your question.

TexLawyer :

Do you have any contact information for her (even if she isn't responding)?

TexLawyer :

Also, how long has her stuff been in your garage?

Customer:

No, her cell phone number has been disconnected, and we have no idea where she lives.

Customer:

Sorry...her stuff has been in there for more than 3 months.

TexLawyer :

Can you explain the conditions or terms when she left it there? In other words, why is her stuff in your garage?

Customer:

She keeps getting kicked out of every place she lives. We agreed to let her keep her stuff in our garage for a short time, until she could find somewhere permanent to move. There was no implied contract.

TexLawyer :

If you had to guess, what would you say the approximate value is (sorry for all the questions, I just want to have a clear picture)?

Customer:

$200 at most.

TexLawyer :

OK. Let me look a few things up. It will only take a few minutes.

Customer:

Fine.

TexLawyer :

OK. Colorado doesn't have a specific statute dealing with abandoned personal property outside of a landlord tenant relationship. As such, you fall back on basic common law, or general legal principles. In that case, if you sold it and this were ever brought to court, a court would look at what her intent was regarding reclaiming the property.

Customer:

What if we just donate it to charity?

TexLawyer :

As such, there are a few steps you might want to take before you dispose of her property.

TexLawyer :

First off, you might want to send a letter to her last known address, if you have one.

Customer:

Okay, then what?

TexLawyer :

I'm sorry, I was waiting to hear if you had one. If you do, send the letter, preferably certified. In the letter, you should give her some specific time frame to come pick up her property, something like 30 or 60 days.

TexLawyer :

If you don't hear back from her in that time, you are free to dispose of it as you wish.

Customer:

Got it. Thank you very much.

Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4,829
Experience: Experienced in both state and federal court.
Verified
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Category: Legal
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