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Is it a legal matter if someone does not return a passport, even if they paid for it?

(8 Posts)
LittleMissMerryChristmas Thu 01-Jan-15 22:33:57

Hi

I have stopped contact with my exH's family due to a safe guarding issue but exMIL has got 2 of my DCs passports. I am not in contact with her at all but the social worker we saw (due to the safe guarding issue) has asked her to return the passports at least once and she hasn't.

I want to write to her asking for their return and saying that if I don't receive them by a certain date they will be reported as stolen so that I can get them replaced. Can I do this or as she paid for them are the actually her property?

Thank you.

MsHighwater Thu 01-Jan-15 22:37:57

I can't imagine that paying for a passport confers ownership of it. I think the passport doesn't even belong to its holder, strictly speaking, but to the government (in the form of issuing agency). Contact the issuer (can't remember what they're currently called) for advice?

dickyduckydido Thu 01-Jan-15 22:38:14

Just report them as missing and get new ones (if you can afford it!) The LD ones will become invalid and as a parent you can sign for a new one. Cut your losses....

MsHighwater Thu 01-Jan-15 22:38:43

I can't imagine that paying for a passport confers ownership of it. I think the passport doesn't even belong to its holder, strictly speaking, but to the government (in the form of issuing agency). Contact the issuer (can't remember what they're currently called) for advice?

dickyduckydido Thu 01-Jan-15 22:38:59

Old...

ImperfectAlf Thu 01-Jan-15 22:49:54

Passports are the property of the issuing agency, not the person who pays for them. If the mil doesn't have PR, she can't use them anyway.
Dicky is correct for British passports. Not sure if it is the same for non British ones.

queenofthepirates Thu 01-Jan-15 22:50:47

Technically I believe that legal documents like a passport belong to the state so their are neither yours nor hers. I cannot think of a reason for her to have them so a letter asking her to return them is quite sensible. I doubt it will elicit them unless you give her reason. Perhaps explain that you will be forced to report them as stolen as she is withholding them and it will become a police matter?

LittleMissMerryChristmas Thu 01-Jan-15 23:15:36

Thank you for the replies.

I will contact the passport office tomorrow.

I don't think that there is anything that she can do with them as she is not in contact with my DC and I am the only living person with PR (and one of the DC is her Step GC anyway). The only reason that I can think of her not returning them is as a way of getting back at me for reporting the issue to the school and social services becoming involved. They are very angry with me about that unfortunately and are refusing to believe what my DC have said.

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