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Does he have a legal right to his possessions?

(21 Posts)
Hadalifeonce Sat 02-Jul-16 14:19:29

After an evening out with his friends, my great nephew (18yrs) arrived home, about 10:30pm to find himself locked out of his home. He had to ring the bell several times to get someone to open the door, his step father appeared and told GN that his mother and he have decided that he is no longer living in their house.
Obviously stunned by this unexpected turn of events, he asked if he could collect his things, then he would call his father to collect him. He was told no. He was left with just the clothes he stood in.
There probably is more to the actual relationship, but as far as I'm aware he hasn't done anything major, just been an annoying teenager; this course of action has probably been longed planned, as the next day builders were in doing work in his (now former) bedroom.
Essentially my niece is refusing to give him his possessions, does anyone know what steps he can take to recover them? Apparently she told someone else she has given them to charity!

UselessBitch Sat 02-Jul-16 14:24:06

Oh that poor boy. My parents did this to me at the same age, it was actually the second time they'd thrown me out (first was at fifteen and they then moved house) so I'd only been back a few weeks.

I'm pretty sure that legally he has a right to his possessions and would urge him to contact the non-emergency police, although they may say it's a civil matter they might be prepared to pay the parents a visit.

Are you close to him? He will need support. I didn't have any support and it was a very dark time for me.

Hadalifeonce Sat 02-Jul-16 14:33:50

I live quite a distance away, but my sister (his grandmother) is in regular contact with him and his dad. I suggested he call his mother, to say that he respects their decision not to have him live there, but would like his things back, at the moment he is too upset and scared to call her.
His father did call the non emergency number, as you said they say it is a civil matter and there is nothing they can do.
Do you know of a situation where they have visited?

Hadalifeonce Sat 02-Jul-16 14:35:31

I cannot comprehend this action from any parent, surely it is a parent's duty to help their child find their way?

UselessBitch Sat 02-Jul-16 14:37:04

I don't, unfortunately, but it's something I can imagine our lovely village PCs doing. I suppose it depends on your area and how busy they are.

Could his father call the mother?

UselessBitch Sat 02-Jul-16 14:37:25

Some parents don't deserve the title, unfortunately.

GinAndSonic Sat 02-Jul-16 14:38:25

When my ex refused to give my stuff back I got the police involved. They called him, arranged a time and came with me to prevent a breach of the peace.

Pearlman Sat 02-Jul-16 14:42:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hadalifeonce Sat 02-Jul-16 14:43:58

Unfortunately, my niece cut his father out several years ago, so she won't talk to him. Luckily he persevered with keeping contact with his son, so at least GN has somewhere to live, but his father is having to buy him clothes to wear.
I might suggest to my sister that she advises them to call the police again to ask if they would visit with GN to collect his stuff. The police station is literally jus around the corner to their house.

OurBlanche Sat 02-Jul-16 14:44:55

Well, yes of course he does, they are his possessions, whether he bought them, they were given as gifts or he had had them for years. He has every right to retrieve them.

A call to 101 might help. Could his dad call? Could you?

Having said that, at 17 I came home from work one Tuesday night to find my parents had found me somewhere to live. I thought I lived with them, turned out I lived in a squalid bedsit. I thought I had books, records, record player. I thought my granddad had made me a desk and bench that had all sorts of secret things in, like 8 years worth of diaries! I thought I had jewellery, clothes, motorbike boots and jacket.

Sadly, like so many other things I had 'grown out of' or 'hadn't used in years' during my childhood, it turned out that I had none of those things. I had 2 black bin bags of stuff. DPs spent years telling everyone they paid my first months rent and deposit and gave me pots, pans, cutlery, crockery etc. 1 pan, 1 bowl, 1 plate, 1 cup, 1 knife, fork and spoon... no towels, no toiletries, no Post Office savings book (which had a whole £1.20 in it smile ), no teddy bear, that I had slept with since I was 3... nothing much at all.

When they moved to Spain, 25 years later, they made a big point of returning that teddy bear... I have no idea why they kept it, where they kept it or what I was supposed to say. DSis says they were disappointed with my reaction to it being returned!!!

Your DN will survive. His relationship with his DM may not. But you and his dad and the rest of his family can help fill that gap... I wish I had had family that did that for me. I was able to let go of the 'things' I have never managed to forgive or forget the total abandonment.

Hadalifeonce Sat 02-Jul-16 14:57:40

Oh Blanche, I really feel for you. I can still feel your despair and abandonment.

We know GN will survive, I'm not sure he's that bothered about his DM at the moment, early days, but he would like his possessions.
And Pearlman, no, I don't know everything, but basically he is a OK boy. His mother, on the other hand................. She is NC with her sister, her mother, me, who knows who else. She has built up some kind of horrific childhood in her head and blames us all for it. It wasn't at all horrible, she was loved by us all. And had a terrific childhood with supportive parents, grandparents, I was her favourite auntie (her words), we did loads, just the 2 of us. Don't know where it all went wrong.

Pearlman Sat 02-Jul-16 15:02:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShortBreadEater Sat 02-Jul-16 15:06:31

Don't know where it all went wrong.

Has the cutting contact and terrible childhood started after the poor boy's "step-dad" was on the scene? Might be his influence, isolating her so he has total control.

Poor boy though, only 18 and coming home to that. I hope he gets his stuff back.

OurBlanche Sat 02-Jul-16 15:06:57

I'd disagree, Pearlman, based on my own experience.

I wasn't a terrible teen. I didn't give them any grief. I was quiet, had a job, paid over 1/3 of my wages. I just hit 17 and they were legally able to put me out. They did the same to DSis when she hit 17... though not a cousin, who they kept until she was almost 20. Though I suspect that was that was a charitable act that reflected well on them.

Maryz Sat 02-Jul-16 15:11:08

It really doesn't matter how terrible he is.

Fair enough, if he deserves it, make him move out and live somewhere else. But unless he owes loads of money and they are selling his possessions to repay his loans there is no excuse for not giving him what is his. And even if that is the case they should give him things they can't sell, like his clothes, books, photographs, personal possessions.

It also doesn't matter who paid for things. They were, presumably, gifts, so are still his. His clothes, bedding, posters, pictures, mementos, room decoration; all that should go with him.

Maryz Sat 02-Jul-16 15:12:35

Mine is a moral stance, by the way.

I'm not sure what the legal situation is in the UK. But from my varied watching of Judges Judy and Rinder, gifts remain in the ownership of the receiver, not the giver after the breakdown of a relationship.

I'd involve the police again, formally if necessary. Accuse them of stealing his possessions.

AdultingIsNotWhatIExpected Sat 02-Jul-16 15:16:49

Whether or not theres "another side to the story" is completely irrelevant with regards to his posessions, and the practicalities he now faces of being without any belongings.

It not just about clothes and sentimental things, what about exam transcripts, passports, birth certs etc.

Its not impossibe to start again with nothing, but it's bloody hard

Lynnm63 Sat 02-Jul-16 15:17:10

If she won't give them back, send a list itemising what he wants back. Give 14 days to return then small claims court for the value.

Lynnm63 Sat 02-Jul-16 15:18:44

OP can you give him a hug from all the mums that would rather chop off their right arm with a rusty butter knife than threat their child like this.

Maryz Sat 02-Jul-16 15:24:10

Yes, making a list and sending it to her (do you have a friendly solicitor to send an accompanying letter) would be a good idea. And sooner rather than later to stop her destroying it.

dh lost all his possessions - photographs, school mementos, sports trophies, that type of thing, when his new stepmum moved into the family home when he was 19.

And I never thought about birth cert, passports, bank statements, references, important paperwork. That should all be handed over immediately regardless of what he has/hasn't done.

I do hope it works out for him with his dad.

Hadalifeonce Sat 02-Jul-16 15:32:38

Thank you all for your advice and I am really touched by those of you who have found yourself in a similar situation.

I didn't think about birth certificate and passport either. I will call my sister immediately for her to make contact re those items.

I don't know if the step dad was a contributory factor, my sister, who has desperately tried to maintain contact with her DD for the past 5 years, says that her DD appears to wear the trousers in the relationship. But... who knows what goes on behind closed doors?

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