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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55444
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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My daughter (53 yrs old) took my engagement and wedding

Customer Question

My daughter (53 yrs old) took my engagement and wedding ring. She refuses to return them because, her excuse is, I may pawn them. I want them very badly because they were given to me by my late husband and they mean my life to me. I would never pawn them as they mean too much to me. What can I do to get them back?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

You want to raise the stakes on your daughter. Your daughter has absolutely no legal right to keep the rings. It doesn't make any difference what you decide to do with the rings as they belong to you, not your daughter. I would let her know that she can either return them immediately, or you will have no choice but to: i) file a civil suit against her not only to get the rings back but also to ask the court to award punitive damages due to your daughter's willful and intentional misconduct; and ii) contact the district attorney's office to file criminal theft charges against her. In my experience, it would never come to this as she is likely to give the rings back rather than face a suit she can't win and criminal prosecution. But, if she calls your bluff, you may have to proceed with one or both of the foregoing to get her attention.

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Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for following up. If the claim is $3,000 or less, you can file this in small claims court without a lawyer. Otherwise, you will need a lawyer for your civil suit. Under my terms of service with JustAnswer, I'm not allowed to make a specific recommendation, but I can give you direction. You would want to either contact the state bar association or your nearest law school for a referral. I prefer the latter because they take great pride in their graduates and will take a more personal interest in making sure your referral is a good one because it will be a reflection of the school. But, this is not a complicated case so you would only need a 1-2 year lawyer rather than a more experienced lawyer with the higher billing rate that comes with that experience. For the criminal suit, there will be no cost; you simply contact the district attorney's office...they will prosecute her at no charge to you.