Questions tagged [property]

Use this for questions about belongings and possessions. See [real-estate] for questions about the possession of houses and buildings.

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102 votes
5 answers
30k views

Stealing my own property back?

I have a guitar that I let my friend Joe borrow on the consensus that he would return it in a couple of days. Joe is a mutual friend of my ex Bob. Bob stole the guitar from Joe once he found out it ...
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47 votes
3 answers
16k views

In Los Angeles can I defend my own property against looters?

Currently, there is looting being done in Los Angeles by many people who are pretending to protest against the killing of George Floyd (some others are actually protesting and a few people are helping ...
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43 votes
2 answers
10k views

Is it a crime to take my own package from a delivery truck before it has reached my home?

Not that I would ever do this, but I'm curious: if I were to go into a stopped delivery truck and remove from it an item that is addressed to me, would this be a crime? If so what crime would it be? ...
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43 votes
1 answer
13k views

Pokémon Go hot spots and private property

As we all know Pokémon Go is all the rage. There have been reports that police stations are common hot spots for gyms and collections. Churches have also been a common hot spot. I think there is ...
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41 votes
10 answers
17k views

If I'm the CEO and largest shareholder of a public company, would taking anything from my office be considered as a theft?

To summarize it, I'll give an example: I'm Bill Gates. I own Microsoft. On a desk, there's a Microsoft Surface that is branded by my company. I decide to take it home and never bring it back, although ...
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  • 413
35 votes
7 answers
19k views

If someone catches a Pokemon that is on my property, is that theft?

Does something that is virtually located on your property like in Pokemon GO incur any kind of property right for the property owner?
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34 votes
2 answers
7k views

Do the police have to kick someone out the house if the owner demands it?

I phoned the police to kick my in laws out the house after they started to take my furniture when they were only meant to take theirs (splitting up with wife). They came but refused to kick them out ...
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34 votes
2 answers
9k views

What can I do if neighbor is blocking my solar panels intentionally?

I live on a 2.5 acre lot. I installed a ground mount solar array 6 years ago. Then 4 years later my neighbor planted over 39 tall cypress trees which are blocking the sunlight. Is there any law in ...
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33 votes
3 answers
8k views

Can I get reimbursed if police shot the window of my car during a standoff?

My car was parked in the parking lot of a large chain grocery store, upon returning to my car I found the police in a standoff with a suspect with my vehicle right at the center. I asked if I could ...
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  • 475
28 votes
7 answers
7k views

What if a spacecraft lands on my property?

In December 2020 Hayabusa2, a Japanese space mission, returned samples from an asteroid to Earth, landing them in the Australian outback. Now, imagine a scenario where the samples accidentally land on ...
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21 votes
1 answer
4k views

In California, if a baseball lands in my yard, is it legally mine?

Say some neighborhood kid was playing baseball and accidentally hit the ball into my yard. Theoretically, if I own the house or my lease permits, I have the right to control access to my yard and, ...
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21 votes
3 answers
15k views

In the USA, do parents have the right to control their children's possessions?

Let's say a minor (17 or younger) living with his parents gets a job or does chores, and with the money thereby earned, buys a video game console. The parents decide that the console is not ...
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  • 419
20 votes
3 answers
26k views

What can I legally do with abandoned cars I found on property I recently bought?

They were not seen while inspecting the property prior to sale, because it's a large property and mostly the same throughout. We looked at aerial photography, but it appears they were left there after ...
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16 votes
4 answers
3k views

Can possession of an asset be assumed in US civil court?

I'm wondering about what facts can be assumed in a civil court, or in different terms, is civil court more concerned about the exact argument between parties, rather than actual facts? In Bitcoin news,...
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14 votes
3 answers
5k views

What happens if I sell the same physical item to several people?

Follow-up question for Could a contract with ludicrous terms be enforced? At the end of the hypothetical there, they raise the possibility of someone secretly selling the same physical item (a unique ...
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14 votes
5 answers
2k views

What are the legal implications of "finding" money?

What luck! You found $1M in a suitcase while hiking in the wilderness. Because you are a law abiding citizen, you diligently report all your found money to the IRS. No one, including yourself, has any ...
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12 votes
3 answers
8k views

If a stolen item is stolen again, who has the liability?

This is a follow up on a poorly phrased question. Assume a car is the only asset anyone has in this scenario. Person B steals a car from person A by forging the registration in a fraudulent manner. ...
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12 votes
2 answers
1k views

What would happen to the churches (physical buildings), works of art, etc. in case of a new schism?

In the recent past, in the opinion of some theologians, the German catholic church is close to a schism with the Catholic Church. Regardless of whether you agree or not, I'm interested in knowing what ...
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11 votes
2 answers
9k views

Are there any laws against adding a second lock to a bicycle that isn't yours? [duplicate]

Imagine placing your bike in a bicycle parking rack and using your own cable lock to protect it from being stolen. What if someone came and added another cable lock that you don't own the key to or ...
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10 votes
2 answers
963 views

What happens to debts when someone dies?

How are debts and loans recovered by the lenders after a borrower passes away? A debt can be as small as 100 bucks for the credit card bill. It can be as big as millions of bucks for mortgage (or ...
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9 votes
3 answers
3k views

Who can stop a member of the public from peacefully protesting a private club who rents their space?

Assume a private club located in a shopping plaza in Austin, Texas and they rent their space from the plaza's owner. Also assume a member of the public, let's call him Larry, intends to stand outside, ...
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9 votes
3 answers
1k views

How much ocean does a person with a beachhouse own and what can he do with it?

Assume a person owns a beach house in California. How far into the ocean does this person own as a landowner? Does the person own all coral reef, rocks and other things in the ocean in his owner ...
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  • 514
9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Can a person hack bitcoin private keys and legally claim the bitcoins for himself?

First, some background knowledge — bitcoins are a form of cryptocurrency that can be stored in "addresses". Each bitcoin address is linked to a specific private key. To access bitcoins in a specific ...
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  • 111
9 votes
1 answer
885 views

Legal standing as a house-sitter during a bailiff visit

Let's suppose someone is house-sitting for an associate, and they are away on holiday. Then some enforcement agents come to settle a debt, claiming to be entitled to seize any possessions at the ...
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  • 817
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

In the USA, may parents prevent their children from receiving gifts or acquiring owned property?

This a follow-up question to In the USA, do parents have the right to control their children's possessions?, The answer to the other question appears to establish that (in general, or at least in ...
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  • 419
8 votes
1 answer
11k views

Is it illegal to take home a lost phone?

I experienced a common scenario today: I was walking along and found someone's lost phone on the ground. It was out of battery, so what I wanted to do was take it home, charge it, and then see if we ...
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  • 183
8 votes
3 answers
7k views

Is it legal to live in the woods in the USA?

Can one chop down trees, build a cabin, and just park there? The question is about living on land that is not owned by a private individual in the USA, and is not designated as a state park or ...
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  • 181
8 votes
1 answer
457 views

Can son/wife stop an addict from selling family property in India?

If a person (not a senior citizen) is addicted and trying to sell off his farming land (which has been inherited from his grandfather and later through his father) without the consent his wife and ...
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  • 181
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it legal to live on commercial property?

I live in Grande Prairie, Alberta, and I noticed that some commercial properties in town are very affordable. I don't plan on starting a business nor do I plan on trying within this year. I did try ...
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8 votes
0 answers
88 views

From where do the non-physical ownership rights over the HeLa cell line derive?

The HeLa cell line is the first studied immortal cell line. It was taken from a tumor in Henrietta Lacks without her knowledge, consent or property transfer agreement. It has developed into an ...
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7 votes
3 answers
6k views

Is it legal to put a billboard on residential property?

A billboard is put on top of a person's roof or on his vacant land. It is zoned residential. This person lives on a main road and the billboard is visible to cars travelling on it. He hasn't received ...
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  • 514
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Getting benefit from someone else's property

In a situation where one party receives incidental benefit from another party's efforts, if the other party suddenly changes course and causes the first one a harm, are there common laws or policies ...
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7 votes
1 answer
319 views

What is the legality of an individual of dismantling very clearly abandoned bikes locked to fixtures and fences in a public area?

I live in New York City. Brooklyn to be exact. And while this city is far from bike friendly, there are still a lot of bikes here. Including many bikes that are clearly abandoned and utter garbage in ...
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7 votes
1 answer
443 views

Do you have to evict someone who was staying with you without contract or lease, but left without warning?

Hypothetical Scenario: A 19 year old "friend of a friend of a friend" type situation that someone was trying to help out. He was living in a rundown trailer a few towns away so a nice family ...
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7 votes
1 answer
448 views

What are possible motives for avoiding insurance in an auto accident?

My parked car was involved in a hit and run accident outside of my house. Luckily, one of my neighbors saw the incident happen and the other driver ended up getting caught and cited by the police for ...
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  • 141
7 votes
0 answers
465 views

In France, can you lock out a squatter the way they locked you out?

This is specific to France (and maybe other countries, but I doubt that there is any other with such a surrealistic legislation like ours) In France, when someone breaks in to your house and stays ...
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  • 1,727
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

Right to your own photo at the opticians

At the opticians, such as Boots, they use photographic technology to capture an image of your eye. Given that the image in reality is my property as it's my eye they're taking a photo of - can I ...
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  • 161
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

If the seller of the house leaves their belongings inside, do they automatically become the buyer's possession when the transaction is complete?

I've had a peculiar situation recently while buying a house in Washington: During the initial viewing I've noticed that the garage is full of boxes with various items After signing the purchase ...
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  • 3,166
6 votes
1 answer
594 views

my landlord won't let me in on the day my tenancy begins, is this legal?

My tenancy begins on July 1st, however as this is a Sunday my letting agent will not give me the keys on this day. I really need to move my stuff in on July 1st, can I claim that not allowing me to ...
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6 votes
1 answer
780 views

What can I do about this tree?

I live in Chesapeake, Virginia and I haven't been able to find a reference as to what my legal options are when it comes to a neighbor's tree and my yard. I could only find a "general rule" for ...
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  • 698
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

Can a store sell merchandise I've left in the store?

If I purchase merchandise in a physical store, and then (accidentally or not) leave the merchandise at the store after I've paid for it, is the store allowed to resell that merchandise to another ...
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6 votes
2 answers
361 views

Did I forfeit the right to my property?

There are 2 parcels of land purchased by different but (family) related parties at the same time. One of the properties (A) contained a well; the other (B) contained the pumps and equipment required ...
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  • 161
6 votes
3 answers
249 views

What do you own when you buy an NFT?

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique smart contract stored on a blockchain that can be created by anyone and then transferred to others with a record of the transfer being recorded on the blockchain....
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  • 157k
6 votes
2 answers
9k views

Is it legal to "shoot down" a drone on your property in the US?

18 U.S.C 32 states ... to include destruction of any aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States or any civil aircraft used, operated or employed in interstate, overseas, or ...
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  • 163
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

How long can the police hold a car that they're using for evidence?

My friend is going through the following in California: She purchased a car roughly three years ago and uses it for everyday tasks. The police towed her car and told her that it was possibly used in ...
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6 votes
2 answers
743 views

Establishing Ownership of a Sink Drain In Wall - Condo in California

I wanted some help on one particular part of a "case" I'm putting together to present to my HOA. Long story short, I had a leak in my wall from a drain line from my kitchen sink. It damaged the unit ...
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  • 63
6 votes
1 answer
711 views

Do milk crates have registered owners?

Is there an actual milk crate registration system? What is the law by which use by other than the registered owner is punishable? Is there an index I can use to see who these milk crates are ...
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  • 8,292
6 votes
1 answer
155 views

What happens if I buy a stormwater basin from a property tax auction?

I've recently been reviewing property that is available either at auction or for immediately for purchase from the various counties in the state of TExas. Most of them are simply what you would expect,...
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5 votes
2 answers
3k views

I abandoned my bicycle in the parking of the apartment I was living (Houston, Texas), what will happen?

I was in Texas(Houston) and lived at a place where my name isnt on the lease. I had to rush a few places and go back home and my bicycle remained locked to a small corner in the parking spot. My ...
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5 votes
1 answer
182 views

Does the federal government have authority to impose tax laws at the state level?

I was reading IRS Stops Attempt To Bypass Trump Tax Law, MD Lawsuit Continues. The article states: ... The IRS said Tuesday that states cannot bypass a $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) ...
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