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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102162
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My Mother has been getting into my personal belongings and

Customer Question

My Mother has been getting into my personal belongings and gets rid of them. This is clothes,jewelry, books,electronics, vitamins, prescribed medications. ..etc.
She does this because she says I have too much stuff and it's in her house so she can do whatever she wants.
Is that true or do I have any legal rights here,and are my rights worth litigation?
Im grateful for your advice.
Toni Hoag
P/S I'm a grown woman & staying @my moms' house in order to take care of her following major surgery.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. No, this is not true. What you are is a tenant at sufferance. This means a tenant who is staying without payment at will of the owner. But while this is the weakest form of tenancy and the owner (mother) can ask one to leave at any time, the owner owes the tenant the same rights to respecting their things like a regular tenancy. This means she cannot simply pilfer what she wants. In addition, common law civil doctrine disallows people to do this.

Technically, one can tell her to stop, and if she does not, to sue her in court for conversion and trespass to chattel. Conversion is civil theft. Trespass to chattel is interfering with ownership of items.

However, if this is done, she can easily then ask you to leave since again - as tenant at sufferance, you have no right to stay there. So with a few days notice, she can ask you to leave and then evict you if you do not. Whether or not she would do so if you threaten/file suit on her is her decision, so she can "retaliate" by asking you to leave.

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Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!