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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8775
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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I was moving and had four rifles that a friend of mine was

Customer Question

I was moving and had four rifles that a friend of mine was safe guarding while I moved. I settled into my new place and asked for the return of the rifles. But, he dragged his feet. I said I was going to get law-enforcement involved. He stated that some one broke into his home and sole all except for the .22 rifle which he returned to me. He also stated they sole some of his wife's jewelry. He offered to give me in exchange a rifle that he purchased with the insurance money. The rifles are old and my father gave them to me before he died. One rifle is a Winchester Commemorative Gold Plated 30-30 that I won in a contest in 1973. These are all 50 years or more older in age, but are rare. He is an appraiser and work is slow and crys poor. But, he has money to travel from work in Los Angeles to his home in Orem, Utah. The estimated value of the three remaining rifles is approximately $5,000 to $10,000 with the Commemorative most valuable. Playing hard ball is the only way to deal with this guy. My insurance company will pay, as they consider it theft and insurance fraud on his end. But only have a limit of $2,500 per rifle on my policy. What are my options. I have no problem getting the police involved, or my insurance company. I just do not want to drag it out and longer than necessary. Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will do what I can to help...When you delivered the guns to the person, you created a legal "bailment" and he had a duty to safeguard the guns and protect them. Since he failed to do so, he is entirely liable for any loss that you incurred if your insurance doesn't pay the entire value of the guns..So if he is not willing to compensate you voluntarily, you will have to sue him in court for a judgment for the unreimbursed value of the guns. If you are in CA, then the small claims limit is $10,000 and you don't need an attorney. The clerk will have the summons and complaint forms you need to file to start the case and you can recover your court costs as well as your damages...thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there anything I can do with law-enforcement? Report it as a theft? I have no idea what he has done. If he did claim them as his property is that not insurance fraud. I had a situation when I had property that was destroyed in a fire at another persons business and my insurance covered it. My gut says, he still has them and will not give them up unless pressed. I need to play hard ball and he will make it good.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I understand what you're saying as far as small claims. Even if I get a judgement, there is no guarantee he will pay. I need leverage of some kind. The cops do it all the time. Fess up, and it will go easy.
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Well, you could file a police report and claim that that he stole them, but since you voluntarily gave them to him to hold, I don't think that would get very far and they would tell you it was a civil matter. It does seem odd that the "thieves" took everything but the 22 and it would be even more suspicious if he didn't file a police report. .However, if you can get the police to come and talk to him, then that might scare him enough to "locate them" so it wouldn't possibly go further...You might even scare him by just telling him that you don't believe his story and are going to file felony theft charges if they don't reappear...But if they were in his care, then his insurance should pay for them, if only to reimburse you...thanksBarrister