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What should I do? I invested 15k in equipment for a legal Oregon

medical marijuana collective garden on...
What should I do? I invested 15k in equipment for a legal Oregon medical marijuana collective garden on my business partners property and now my partner has decided to change the locks and not allow me access to the garden, medicine and my equipment. Everything is done legally and I have actual patients registered with the state at that address. I have ALL receipts for equipment, rent and electric. I thought about calling the police, but I want to get some legal advice first
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
9/11/2013
Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
Verified
Thank you for your post. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

Why exactly are you locked out? What happened, what exactly caused this rift between you both?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
His reason is " I decided to do this on my own from now on, cuz my dad doesn't want anyone else involved" (it's his parents property with a shop on it) so I told him that's fine as long as I get my money or investment back, after that he can do whatever he wants. There hasn't been any arguments or confrontations so far and that's why it caught me off guard, it has been 5 months since we started and as soon as we were completely done building and I did all the legal paperwork to form the collective he locked me out
Thank you for your follow-up, Josh.

It sounds as if he attempted to use you for your expertise and then pursue it on your own. I am sorry to hear that, truly. Was your partnership ever reduced to writing, or was oral in nature? Can you prove that you made the investments? Ideally, what do you wish to accomplish in this case?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
I provided my expertise and knowledge and built a system that's 95% automated and requires minimal work. But the system does not work without the plants and all plants and medicine legally belong to the patients that we grow for. So the patients can legally show up with authorities and request everything back. I have informed the patients of the situation and they are willing to do what needs to be done. The partnership was an oral agreement. I can prove with pictures, receipts, witnesses and bank account withdrawals every single purchase made. He refused to sign a rental agreement, but I paid rent on time $800/mo till sept. I wish to get my money back, which he doesn't have.. So I would like to take my equipment back legally and just call it a loss on the labor and 5 months of work.

Josh,

Thank you for your follow-up.

In this situation the police would not be able to help. The reason has nothing to do with the fact that this is a medical marijuana establishment but as there is no agreement in place, there is a legitimate factual issue as to who owns what. That is a 'civil' issue rather than criminal. It means that you would have to go to court and file suit against him for the assets in question. You CAN potentially call the police with a copy of your lease, point to the fact that you are on the name, and locked out, and ask that they supervise you breaking back into the premises. If the police agree, you could re-enter and then remove your equipment without penalty--just bring a truck. If there is no lease in writing and no evidence, you would need to go the long way around--you would need to go to court, file for 'replevin' (return of personal property), and use that as a basis to get an order allowing you to re-enter and remove your things if he refuses to return them. I see that as your best option, ideally, based on the facts provided.

Good luck.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
What about the fact that the plants belong to the patients and we have signed 1 year agreements to grow for them and if the patients want their plants back, he legally has to return them, right?

Josh,

Thank you for your follow-up.

The plants that belong to patients are ultimately not your responsibility--it is the responsibility of the patients to contact him directly and compel him to perform the contract or return the plants. He legally would have to return their property back to them--he likewise cannot hold those items, and they could also go to small claim court and sue him for the return of their personal property. This is a 'legal' plant, so the courts can provide recourse and can hear this because the contract the patients entered into was valid and binding under your state's law.


Good luck.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
They are my responsibility! I am the registered grower for 4 of the patients in the garden, I am legally suppose to grow for them in the garden, I have signed contracts with them, if I'm locked out of the property, how am I suppose to perform my responsibilities ?

Josh,

Perhaps I misspoke when I said they weren't your responsibility. I meant that as you are locked out yourself, the other party is the one who is in violation--they have to pursue him if he is refusing to return the property. That is what I meant that the plants are not your responsibility.

Good luck.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
Relist: Answer quality.
ID like someone with medical marijuana law expertise to answer my question.

Josh,

I do have medical marijuana law expertise. I have set up medical marijuana shops in multiple states including New Jersey, where they are still being ramped up.

This is NOT a marijuana law question, this is a personal property law question. The assets owed to you can be pursued by you via the courts. The assets owed to your patients can be pursued by the patients as they are the ones who are injured by his behavior. The suggestions I provided are what will work in this instance-there is no real magic to it even if the subject matter is somewhat unique. Courts are prepared to help but the police will not as this isn't a criminal issue--this is a civil matter for the courts to decide.

Take care.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
Ok, thanks for clearing that up, how long does a court process like this usually take? And if I was to "repossess" the equipment on my own, would that put me in legal trouble?!?

Josh,

Thank you for your follow-up. I will be happy to reply to both but I do have to inform you also that it is very late here, and I will be logging off to get some much needed rest once I post my response. Should you have any further questions i promise to reply to them but only after I wake up and log back on.


To respond:
If you file quickly enough, you can potentially get a hearing within 6-8 weeks. It is not the fastest process out there. As for repossessing on your own, provided you get access legally, it is a non issue--you are still nominally a partner in the business, and if you can somehow get access, get a truck to remove the items, and leave the premises, it would not violate the law. But you cannot use force--any repossession of your property has to be 'peaceable' in nature.

Hope that helps, and if satisfied, kindly do not forget to positively rate my answers so I can be compensated for my assistance. Thank you!

Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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