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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116728
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I was forced to move out of a house being shared with friend

Customer Question

I was forced to move out of a house being shared with friend of 20 years due to her mental illness. Some of my belongings remain there - she has the gate chained with new locks - the Deputy in Phelan said I needed a civil court action to require her to let me get my things. 1998 Toyota Sienna, 2 twin beds, a cupboard, bird cage, folding chairs and some bins of Christmas decorations. Is there a form I can file with my documentation to get this done quickly and inexpensively? I have social security income only. Thank you, ***** *****
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California - San Bernadino County, the town of Phelan in Antelope Valley.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I reported to sheriffs and tried to have them help with a "keeping the peace" action but they had too many emergencies to attend to it on the day I had hired a truck and man to help me. I had to call the sheriffs twice while living there because of her violence and intimidation toward me so there is a record of that. I asked if I could report the Van stolen but was told NO since I knew it was in her yard it would be a civil action.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have known the woman for years, we co-owned some show dogs and she asked me to live with her. In 2010, she filed that I was to be her executor upon her death and that I would receive the property - 2 1/2 acres with mobile home and kennel in Phelan CA. The filing also awards me $45,000 reimbursement for money I paid to help with maintaining her property, dogs and living expenses. I understood us to be "partners" until she abandoned the premises and animals (11 dogs, 4 cats) on October 31, 2014 - with the intention to move to Florida to live with her oldest friend forever. Said I'd have to figure out how to take care of things - she moved back 6 months later when things "didn't work out". I was living and working in La Mirada, CA at the time so had to employ friends I could trust to take care of things. Lost my job in March, 2015 so moved onto the property then. For 7 months I paid all expenses including mortgage. Once owner returned the mortgage and utilities were split - I paid for dog food and vet care which ran ($9,000 in 2015). Owner having mental issues - likely altzheimers - is paranoid and becomes violent especially toward me so I moved out as soon as I could arrange it. Took 4 dogs and 2 cats but had to leave my twin beds because it was during the Sand Canyon wildfire and friends had to evacuate - needing a place to sleep. I planned on returning for final things but Carol had locked everything up and left me a note saying future communications had to be with her niece who lives in AZ. Friends who have stayed in touch with her say she thinks I'm sending people over her fence at night to steal things and make her think she is crazy; that I have a gun and want to kill her. Thank you for your advice.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am afraid that you must file a suit against the woman for "replevin" which is for return of your property. Once you take her to court and win a judgment, then the court will order law enforcement to go to her property and seize your property and return it to you. That is the only way to recover your property at this point I am sorry to say.
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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you - can I do this without an attorney. Are there forms I can fill out to attach my supporting documents to?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You can file it without an attorney, but you need to be in CA or travel back and forth, because you cannot do it by mail or email. Here is the form to file:
You also need a Summons form, which you can find at: