Knoxville Actions to Recover Personal Property/Immediate Writs of Possession
Though you may be tempted to seize property stolen from you, disputes over personal property need to go through the legal system in Tennessee. Personal property is any physical, tangible item that can be moved. Think cars, computers, artwork, or building materials. It also includes intangible property such as stock and bonds. In short, personal property is anything other than real estate or intellectual property.
If you have a dispute involving personal property, contact Atkins Brezina, PLLC today. Our Knoxville attorney can carefully review the facts and seek appropriate legal action.
When Money Damages Are Not Enough
The typical resolution to most legal disputes involve one side paying money to the other. Money damages are an appropriate remedy for many property disputes—but not all.
For example, if your property is unique or hard-to-find, then you might want possession of that unique item. The same is true of disputes regarding pets, with the law viewing animals as personal property. A lump sum of money can’t make up for losing your beloved cat or dog; instead, you want possession. When money is not enough, you need to institute an action to recover your personal property.
Initiating a Lawsuit
We can file a petition with the correct court to seek possession of property. This document should identify the property in dispute and provide legal grounds for why you are entitled to it. You must have a valid claim to possession—for example, you own the item but let someone borrow it.
We can then serve notice and a summons on the person depriving you of your property, notifying them of the date and time they must show up to court. Without proper service of process, a judge will decline to hear the dispute, so this is another reason to hire an attorney. Typically, we strive to serve these documents personally on the defendant by having a process server hand him a copy.
Unfortunately, many people would like to use self-help by picking up the property themselves. But doing so only exposes you to prosecution for committing a crime, like theft or trespass. A police officer is unlikely to help you obtain the property if there is an ownership dispute. It is up to the court to decide proper ownership.
When You Need a Writ of Immediate Possession
Sometimes time is of the essence. The defendant could possibly damage or dispose of the property, or they could move the property out of Tennessee, which would threaten a court’s jurisdiction to resolve the dispute. We can seek a writ of immediate possession from the court.
Once issued, the writ instructs the sheriff to get the property, using force if necessary. The sheriff should then turn the item over to you.
Contact Atkins Brezina, PLLC for a Confidential Consultation
Our law firm has brought many actions to recover personal property and can get started on your case if you reach out today. Contact us to schedule a case evaluation to learn more about what to expect in your case.