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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102504
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hi, I have an estranged step parent who is in possession

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I have an estranged step parent who is in possession of my birth certificate, passport, and college degrees. He's an unpleasant person that I'd rather not deal with. What would be the easiest way for me to recover these documents from his possession aside from going through the proper channels to purchase replacements?

Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. The best way perhaps would be a threatening letter demanding them back, or else one would file for Writ of Replevin.

Under RULE 4:61, a Writ of Replevin may be issued by the Court upon request if a Defendant (them) is holding something that rightfully belongs to Plaintiff (you).

Often, the party will acquiesce and return the items to avoid expensive litigation. An attorney's letter normally carries more gravitas, but let me know if you need a sample of such a letter.

For the law on Writ of Replevin, see here. Normally, said writ applies to larger items, but nothing states that documentation cannot be attached, either.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your response. I have been told by a number of people that I could also go to the local PD and ask for an escort to retrieve the items. Would this be possible since there's no disputing that they belong to me?


Not unless you have your name on the property's lease/deed where the items are being held. If so, then yes.

If not, then the police are less willing to help unless THEY agree to allow you to come.