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Ask Delta-Lawyer Your Own Question
Delta-Lawyer, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3546
Experience:  10 years practicing IP law and general litigation
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When I was a 14 year old attending school, I was receiving

Customer Question

When I was a young 14 year old attending school, I was receiving music lessons on playing trumbone. I expressed an interest in playing violin. My music teacher expressed to me that if I had a violin I should bring it to class. I did bring my violin a "Stradivarius" entrusted to me by my grand father. Upon seeing it my teacher told me he would like to look at it. So I let look at it. He picks it up and walks out of the room with it. At the end of the day I go to his office and ask for him to return it. Instead I'm rebuffed and snubbed on other occasions. Each visit to the principals office to see Mr Scanzello, I'm told that he is neither in his office or building. I never see my Stradivarius again. Over the years I try to find him but cannot find any listing or contact information. Presently, I'm 69 years old and saw his obituary in The Morning Call, 3 November 2015. I'm wondering if my violin is in his family's possession, or did he sell it for profit.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of experience handling many different legal matters, including some similar to your issue. It is a pleasure to assist you today.

Due to the statute of limitations, it may be difficult to lay a claim to this instrument, if it was in his possession when he died. You cannot file a law suit for the rights to it, per se.

That said, you can assert a claim with his estate when it goes in for probate wherein you attempt to either locate or lay lawful claim to the instrument. You will have to be able to show some form of proof that the instrument was yours and was stolen or converted in illegal fashion. The estate will attempt to state that it has been too long and therefore even if your claims are true, you cannot claim it now (statute of limitations).

That said, since you were a minor, you can perhaps argue that when it was taken, you had no way to prevent it and have just now figured out that he died and want to assert a claim. It is a legal shot in the dark to make a claim, but it is perhaps the only way that you can at least get some sense of closure relative to this horrible thing that happened to you in your youth.

In short, you need to try to make an entry of appearance when his estate is probated and try to claim or find the information relative to this instrument.

Let me know if you have any other questions or comments.

Please also rate my answer positively (three or more stars).

Best wishes going forward!

Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Just checking in to see if you had any additional questions or comments. I want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible moving forward. Thanks