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How long until someone else's stuff legally becomes mine?


Elemenope
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The drums are not "yours" because you are only a bailee of the property. Without going too far in depth, you voluntarily accepted possession of the drums for an indefinite term. This is the classic definition of a legal "bailment." Under a voluntary bailment, you (as bailee) may be held liable for intentional or grossly negligent acts concerning the drums. This means that you are not entitled to sell the drums, as a sale would be intentional.


Further, the drums are not abandoned. Abandonment is a legal term of art where a property owner 1) intentionally leaves property and 2) does not intend to reclaim it. You don't have a statutory right to dispose of the property, and don't be misled by the folks that say 30 days. You typically only have a timeline for disposal if you and your drummer agreed to one (i.e., a contract). Based on your original post, it looks like your drummer intends to reclaim the drums, even if he is lazy about it. This means that you still have a legal obligation to care for the drums.


Bottom line, if you sell the drums, your drummer could sue you in small claims court for the proceeds. I'd suggest you track this guy down and give the drums back. If it is a total pain in the ass to do it, charge the guy for delivery.


Source: I play a lawyer on tv.

 

Ownership vs. possession

 

Still kind of a shitty, outdated law.

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i read Life by keef a while back, and he told a story about a car they had stuffed all of the door panels with drugs and that it got impounded in alabama and presumably sold off. i always wondered if the eventual owner knew about/got caught with them, or if they are sitll rolling aorund or in a junk yard somewhere in alabama.

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I kept a guys drums at my place for something like 8 months. Called the cat a few times and he just never seemed to be able to get his ass in gear to pick his shit up. When I was getting ready to move I gave him a call which he didn't respond to so I put his drums out on the curb. They sat out there on moving day for about 20 minutes before some kid in an old minivan saw them. He seemed pleased to get an 8 piece kit w/ cymbals and stands for nothing.

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I have no idea where the guy lives or anything. If I really had a choice I would just pack them up and sit them on his back porch or something. I am not trying to be an asshole about the whole situation. But I just don't have room for them. I've been calling/texting/facebooking him about every other day for 2 weeks now asking him to come and get them and he hasn't even responded. I just don't want to start threatening this and that without grounds to stand on.

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Assuming the guy really isn't coming for them, just start keeping them in your front garden. They're not yours to sell, fly tipping them is illegal, and you can't dispose of someone else's stuff either, but if they're on your property you have a right to move them. And hey, if someone comes and steals them, well then there you go. The owner of the drums should have taken better care of them. It was nothing to do with you.

 

Or you could take them to him, if you can do that. I'm guessing this guy doesn't have room at home for his drums and wants free storage.

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Call a layer or the police and get the real answer. I don't play a lawyer on TV and didn't stay at a Holiday Inn, but I'm thinking it's probably something like you need to post something publicly like in the newspaper and give him 30 days to respond, then you can get rid of them, but that's a guess on my part.

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I have a guitar in my possession, that was my first actual guitar teching job. I dont really consider it mine, in great part because its a total piece of shit. Somehow, someone put enough current through the electronics that it melted the cladding off all the wires, burned out all the pots and destroyed the insulation on the coils of the pickups. I replaced it all, and asked him to pick it up. Again, and again and again and again.

 

That was, oh, 5 years ago.

 

Mine now. I suppose. Stupid piece of shit guitar.

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what ever happened to the phrase "possesion is 9/10ths of the law??"

 

 

say you sell the drums and this asshat takes you to court; your word against his right? who wins? a homeowner with a job vs a flakey drummer who supposedly leaves stuff at random peoples houses?

 

i am all for being a nice person and trying to do the right thing but when that doesnt work you shouldnt bend over backwards for people that dont even respect you or seem to even care.

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The drummer I jam with jammed with a guy from his work once. Guy brought his Silverface Bassman and Carvin 4x12 over to our jam space. 4 1/2 years later, it's still there and the guy is MIA. We just keep it around in case one of our amps goes south so we can still jam
:lol:

 

That is where I left it. I lost your phone number and tried to call several hundred times!!! :-0 Cheers, Lucius

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As far as legal proceedings go, I had a similiar setting in which some flakey (see: Shitty) guitarist came over for 1 jam session, failed miserably with his Squire strat and SS Princeton '65 (amp was hard wired for an external cab, ie: clips to speaker driver instead of 1/4" out) and left them there.

 

I, as you did, called, texted, emailed, etc. several times until finally I gave him an ultimatum: You have two weeks to collect your items, if not collected by (insert day) then it becomes my property and I will sell them. He said "Okay, I'll come over this weekend and get them". Bam, verbal contract. He flaked out that weekend, said he'd be there the next, and then still didnt show up that weekend either. I think I made $175 off selling that shit, after the 2 years he left it at my house.

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I'm pretty sure there are different laws in each country and state but over here I think just keeping the stuff and starting to claim it's yours would be considered as stealing.

 

If you keep the stuff, consider it being on "loan". If you want/must to get rid of the thing then people either care of their stuff so much that they leave you some valid contact information so you can contact them and inform them that you're about to get rid of their stuff that's on your property ...or they don't, in which case it shouldn't be your issue.

 

Needless to say, I think it's reasonable to expect that a person could be contacted in few days, maximum few weeks. For example, someone could not be contacted because of being hospitalised or something similar but that condition shouldn't last excessively long. And if it does, the person should have some caretakers handling his issues. So if the person tries to sue you becaise you got rid of his stuff he will have no case because his own actions and neglenctance caused him to loose the items. It's not like you didn't try to contact him, right.

 

But no, you can't just keep the stuff and start claiming its yours after some period of time. ...unless the law in place where you live actually says so.

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I, as you did, called, texted, emailed, etc. several times until finally I gave him an ultimatum: You have two weeks to collect your items, if not collected by (insert day) then it becomes my property and I will sell them. He said "Okay, I'll come over this weekend and get them". Bam, verbal contract. He flaked out that weekend, said he'd be there the next, and then still didnt show up that weekend either. I think I made $175 off selling that shit, after the 2 years he left it at my house.

 

THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!! WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

/thread

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