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courier2003

Statute of Limitations on a Civil Suit

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If filed in the district court, it's 10 years and can be renewed for another 10.  If recorded in circuit court, is is valid for 20 years from the date of the judgment. A circuit court judgement is valid for 20 years, renewable for another 20 years.

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A warrant in detinue is the legal process initiating an action to recover possession of personal property.*  The limitation on the right to file such an action to recover specific property is: if founded on a written contract five years; if founded on an oral contract  three years; otherwise two years.  The time begins when demand is made for turnover of the property.

 

* similar to a writ of replevin in other jurisdictions

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My biggest concerns are the length of time that has passed (2 years), and being able to show that these belongings are indeed mine. I recenlty tried to contact this person in a good faith effort to resolve this situation without having to go to court. I haven't talked to this person in almost a year. All she did in response was forward me the same "Cease and Desist" letter that she sent in August 2016. So, it's obvious that I will have to take her to small claims court in order to have any chance of getting back at least the monetary value of these belongings. some of which had sentimental values. 

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Go ahead and file the suit.  The worst that happens is the case is dismissed if the defendant convinces the judge the statute of limitations has run.  Claiming the defense of the statute is a burden on the defendant. Sentimental value is not a valid element of damages.

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2 hours ago, courier2003 said:

My biggest concerns are the length of time that has passed (2 years),

 

You would have three years to file suit based on an oral agreement, 5 years based on a written agreement. So if you're going to sue, better get on it. The longer you wait, the less credibility you'll have and you're probably running low on it now.

 

2 hours ago, courier2003 said:

and being able to show that these belongings are indeed mine

 

Personal property is presumed to be owned by the person who possesses it. To overcome that presumption you will need receipts with your name on it. Otherwise you'll have a hard time proving ownership.

 

2 hours ago, courier2003 said:

it's obvious that I will have to take her to small claims court in order to have any chance of getting back at least the monetary value of these belongings.

 

You would only be entitle to the used value of the items (ACV). Think yard sale prices for most household goods.

 

2 hours ago, courier2003 said:

some of which had sentimental values. 

 

Sentiment = $0 in court.

 

1 hour ago, RetiredinVA said:

Go ahead and file the suit

 

Agree.

 

People don't like to get sued. It often scares them. Might convince her to cooperate with you in getting your stuff back.

 

 

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