115 votes

Stealing my own property back?

No. This would not be illegal. You are not trespassing or breaking and entering since you have permission to be on the premises, and you are the rightful owner of the guitar so you are not depriving ...
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  • 129k
83 votes
Accepted

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

Yes, it's illegal You are missing something terribly important: The package might not be your property [yet]. In any way, it is not in your possession, while it is in the hands of the postal service! ...
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  • 13.1k
68 votes
Accepted

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

Yes. Let's assume this anecdote takes place while Gates was CEO. Bill Gates doesn't own all of Microsoft, and as an officer of the company, he owes a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of ...
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  • 9,536
61 votes

What if a spacecraft lands on my property?

You have to give them back You don’t own other peoples stuff just because it’s on your property. However, you may be entitled to salvage rights - that is, payment for recovery of the vessel.
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  • 147k
52 votes

Stealing my own property back?

Ohwilleke's answer is good, but there is a further point to consider. You say that Bob is your ex. Are there grounds for him thinking that this guitar was a joint purchase while you were a couple, ...
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  • 1,696
49 votes
Accepted

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

If you are arrested for assault, you have available to you the defense of the right to defend real or personal property: you "may use reasonable force to protect that property from imminent harm. ...
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  • 157k
49 votes

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

Yes Even if the CEO is the 100% owner of a private company. Bill Gates and Microsoft are different people: Bill’s stuff is not Microsoft’s stuff and vice versa. If Bill takes Microsoft’s stuff without ...
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  • 147k
41 votes
Accepted

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

There is no legal obligation of the police or any of its officers to reimburse you. It comes within a police powers exception to the 5th Amendment obligation to provide compensation for takings. ...
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  • 129k
37 votes
Accepted

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

You cannot pass on better title than you have The fraudster (B) in this scenario does not have good title in the car and so the thief (C) doesn't either: 1) because they are a thief and 2) because ...
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  • 147k
36 votes
Accepted

Pokémon Go hot spots and private property

What is the legality of someone putting a virtual hot spot on your property without permission? I know we are in uncharted territory but how would this compare to setting up a contest that would ...
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  • 11.6k
32 votes

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

I gather that you either a) don't want the bike or b) are physically unable to retrieve it. You are acting like a spectator here. You ARE involved. By doing nothing, you are creating trouble for ...
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31 votes
Accepted

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

This is a general common law answer; specifics in California may differ. Yes, they are committing the tort of trespass and you could sue them for whatever damage they did to your property; probably ...
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  • 147k
31 votes

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

If the parties agree the sky is green then that is taken as fact by the court common-law Common law courts are adversarial and exist to resolve the dispute between the parties. That may involve them ...
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  • 147k
26 votes
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What can I legally do with abandoned cars I found on property I recently bought?

There are two very important points you should keep in mind here: You are not under any obligation whatsoever to investigate the owner of a vehicle parked on your property. You have full rights to ...
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  • 4,175
26 votes

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

Maryland has no law requiring a neighbor to not plant / trim trees that might shade a solar panel (on the ground or on the roof). There are laws against deeds, declarations, covenants, contracts etc. (...
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  • 157k
26 votes

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

No. At least, not technically. Theft is taking without consent of the owner. The CEO is authorized to act on behalf of the company, and thus can give themself permission to take the computer. Even if ...
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23 votes

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

Legally, yes. Under Penal Code 198.5, California follows the Castle doctrine, meaning there is no duty to retreat if a resident confronts an intruder inside the home. Residents are permitted to use ...
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  • 347
22 votes
Accepted

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

What is the name of the crime and/or tort I have committed? You are guilty of the crime of fraud, the crime of theft of the money and the item (I can't point you to the precise statute). You have ...
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  • 129k
22 votes

Right to your own photo at the opticians

Copyright in a photo belongs to the photographer, not to the subject. A picture of S (the subject) is not S's property in any sense, unless the photographer has given or sold it to S. If the photo was ...
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  • 89.3k
20 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to put a billboard on residential property?

Laws regarding billboards and advertising are very local in nature and are typically handled under city/county zoning ordinances. Start with calling your local county zoning office. They will tell you ...
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  • 17.5k
19 votes

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

I highly recommend having a quick chat with your auto insurance agent. The insurance company has seen almost every situation you can imagine - and many you couldn't - and tend to be experts in ...
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  • 794
18 votes

What if a spacecraft lands on my property?

Is that person legally obligated to give back the samples? If the samples are kept then there may be an offence of theft by finding The finder of lost property acquires a possessory right by taking ...
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  • 20.5k
18 votes
Accepted

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

Precedents And General Considerations There are cases of similar things happening in Protestant churches and it ends up being quite case by case fact specific with details of how title is held to ...
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  • 129k
17 votes
Accepted

What happens to debts when someone dies?

In Civil law jurisdictions, the heir of a deceased person will generally inherit all the possessions, rights and obligations - this may include debts. So if a borrower passes away, the lender will ...
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  • 6,363
16 votes

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

If the ex-wife had a legal right to occupy the house, then the ex-wife also had the legal right to invite in others. Removing the wife’s right to occupy the house would be part of the judge’s divorce ...
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15 votes
Accepted

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

The fundamental question is whether children can own property: they clearly can. See Cyclopedia of Law and Procedure (I improved the link so it can be more easily read). As a general rule any ...
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  • 157k
15 votes

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

I am not a lawyer. I do not fully know of the current case law or climate of this type of law in Maryland. The cause of action you are looking for is private nuisance. “Section 821D of the ...
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  • 3,228
15 votes
Accepted

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

In the UK it is an offence to cause a computer to gain unauthorised access to any program or data held in any computer (s1 Computer Misuse Act 1990). It seems likely that other European jurisdictions ...
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  • 4,508

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