116 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 ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 213k
85 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! ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 39.3k
71 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 ...
Ryan M's user avatar
  • 10.3k
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.
Dale M's user avatar
  • 208k
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, ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 2,711
50 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 ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 208k
47 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. ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
45 votes

A Swiss watch company seized my watch, saying it was stolen. I bought it 10 years ago. Is that legal?

switzerland "Gutgläubiger Erwerb gestohlener Dinge" (buying of stolen goods in good faith) is a big topic in law. Different jurisdictions handle it differently, but most European (civil law) ...
PMF's user avatar
  • 5,573
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. ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 213k
41 votes

Is it legal to leave signs falsely indicating that one's property has been booby-trapped?

Even if it isn't a crime, it might give rise to civil liability in various ways. For example, it might invalidate your homeowner's insurance coverage if the sign caused the fire department to delay ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 213k
37 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 ...
jimsug's user avatar
  • 12.1k
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 ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 208k
37 votes
Accepted

Is it legal for a train company to create an art gallery using photographs of the graffiti on their locomotives and train cars?

Copyright law doesn't say the art isn't copyrighted if it was made unlawfully. It seems the art can be copyrighted and the act of making it can be a criminal offence. I'm not aware of any such ...
Lag's user avatar
  • 16.8k
36 votes
Accepted

What law governs shopping carts?

Normal property law When Aldi came to australia, they introduced their coin-in-the-slot model. The previous norm was that the trolleys were just available and people returned them. Some other chains ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 208k
36 votes

Can my siblings charge me retroactive rent on a house we all own?

No As an owner, you have no obligation to pay rent to other owners. Notwithstanding, even if you were not an owner, rent cannot be levied retrospectively. That is, even if you were someone totally ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 208k
35 votes

A Swiss watch company seized my watch, saying it was stolen. I bought it 10 years ago. Is that legal?

You describe a case with two or possibly three affected jurisdictions, Poland, Germany, and Switzerland. First, you can of course demand that the Swiss company should give you documentation about the ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 17.6k
33 votes
Accepted

Baseball caught: Ownership? Can one leave?

See Popov v. Hayashi. The person who caught the ball, or who first obtained possession of the ball, becomes the owner. Prior to the time the ball was hit, it was possessed and owned by Major League ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 54.6k
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 ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
31 votes

Is it legal for a train company to create an art gallery using photographs of the graffiti on their locomotives and train cars?

No You are conflating two different ownership concepts: the art in which the copyright exists, and the artwork that is the expression of the art (my terminology). The artist owns the art, the train ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 208k
30 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 ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 208k
29 votes

What is the status (and value) of the day’s unsold newspapers being put out for collection by the paper boy?

Paper put out for waste collection is owned by the waste disposal service Abdul's News & Wine contracts with the city's waste disposal company. Under that contract, he may give his waste to the ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 39.3k
28 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 ...
Acccumulation's user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

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 ...
animuson's user avatar
  • 4,295
27 votes

What are the minimum required legal obligations for US citizens?

Just because they don't use cash, doesn't mean they don't have income. Even if they have a barter economy, barter income is taxable. If Ebenezer gives Zachariah a dozen chickens to build a cowshed, ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
27 votes

Baseball caught: Ownership? Can one leave?

Who owned the ball? Was it actually the woman's? My own legal assessment leans to "no" because no transfer of ownership was intended and the ball was probably not "abandoned". On ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
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. (...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
25 votes

What are the minimum required legal obligations for US citizens?

This might be too broad to answer in the Stack Exchange format, but I'll give it a start, making this answer a community wiki for anyone to add on to. Obviously there's a long list of criminal ...
24 votes

Oregon property disclosure law: buyer discovers cracking foundation that seller did not disclose - 20 months after closing

Do I have recourse against seller? Is the seller liable or obligated to disclose this and if so what are my options? Probably not. The general rule is that you accept any condition which could be ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 213k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible