Stolen Property In Florida
Let’s face it, things get stolen if Florida. It is a terrible fact of life. In Florida, if your property is stolen and then sold to a pawn shop, the pawn shop is legally required to give you back your stolen property. However, you must follow a very specific set of instructions to obtain your property.
Florida Law on Stolen Property That Was Pawned
Florida Statute 539.001 provides a method where you can get your stolen property back. To do so, you must first file a police report with the proper police agency. After filing the police report, you must send a copy of the police report along with a demand that the pawn shop return the stolen property via certified mail return receipt requested to the pawn shop where the property is located.
If the pawn shop does not return your property within ten days of their receipt of your demand letter, you can proceed to file a lawsuit in the appropriate court in Florida to obtain a court order requiring the return of your property.
Should I File a Police Report
This is simple. The answer is yes – if your property was stolen, call the police and file a police report. When you file a police report, the police database will check the pawnbroker’s listings to see if there is a match on the serial or identification number on your watch, laptop, or power tool.
Suing a Pawn Shop
If you find yourself in a scenario where your stolen property is at a pawn shop, you must act quickly. Obviously, if the pawn shop sells the property, practically speaking the property will be gone forever. This means if your apple laptop, playstation, rolex watch, or any other valuable item is pawned and then sold, it will be very difficult to find the buyers and get the property returned. This is why it is so important to begin the process immediately.
How Do I Sue a Pawn Shop?
Lawsuits are complicated. Even “straightforward cases” can be difficult to prove. Even the filing of a lawsuit through Florida’s efiling portal can be cumbersome and complex. This is because the court system uses a combination of case law, statutes, and rules and you must know what law applies in your case. The good news is that the pawnbroker statute allows for an award of attorneys’ fees if you need to hire an attorney to represent you in retrieving your property back. This means that you may not have to pay anything for your attorney, because if you are successful the pawn shop may have to pay for your attorneys’ fees and costs.
Can I Hire an Attorney To Sue a Pawn Shop?
Yes, you can. As discussed above, the pawn shop may even end up having to pay your attorney the fees and costs spent in retrieving your stolen property. However, before calling Dunmire Law to discuss your case, it is very important that you call your local police department’s non-emergency number and file a stolen property report. Make sure that you get a clean, legible copy of the report, then call Dunmire Law to discuss your case further.