#1
Hi, im in a bit of a perdiciment. Heres the deal. My room mate in college (X-roommate , he dropped out) was a drug addicted asshole. He ended up stealing my ipod, xbox360, games, controllers, BOOKS, and everything that new, is worth up to 600 dollars. A few months later, I talk to a friend who told me he witnessed my room mate pawn a video game that was definatly mine. The assumption is that he stole the rest of my stuff.

I messaged my old room mate, who is apparently on probation and in rehab currently, asking him to fess up and admit to stealing my stuff, I get a responce from his girlfriend saying she'll pay anything if I dont press charges. I tell her that I will accept $400 and I wont press charges. Apparently my room mate admited to her that he stole some stuff from me, but didint go into specifics.

My question is, if I accept the 400 dollars, am I setting myself up to get in trouble with some legal technicality trap, and ****ing myself in the ass, or does it sound pretty legit? ADVICE PLEASE.
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#2
I don't think they can really press charges on you for taking the money
I'm pretty sure you'd be fine with that.
#3
Screw $400. Get the full $600.

EDIT: And no, I don't think you can get charged for that. I mean, he did admit stealing stuff from ya.
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#6
doesn't sound the most legally tight way about it, but it's not like they have anything to hold over you to screw you over
i'd just take the money and forget about it all

edit: out of court settlement as said above
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Last edited by justinb904 at Jan 23, 2009,
#7
Sounds legit. If you agree to settle things out of court thats completely ok, just don't expect to be able to pursue it in the future unless you have a helluva lawyer.

Also, draft up a short contract and have her sign it for documentation:

I, (yourname) on whatever date accepted $400 dollars from (her name) on the behalf of (assholesname), as compensation for good stolen from me by (assholes name). Have her sign and date it and you have legal documentation that he admitted to the theft.

Tweakers suck bro, tough luck.
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#8
cut your losses and take the 400. your oppertunity cost of pressing charges will leave you with about 400 after it all. your roomate sounds like a total dousch but we all seem to have roomates like that once in a while
#9
Scare the crap out of him as much as possible with legal action in order the get the $600.00 out of court. I have a feeling you're gonna have to kiss it all goodbye. I've had roommates like that too. If he is an addict, even an ass beating isn't gonna help.
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#10
You won't get in trouble. It's your stuff, so if you don't press charges it's like it never happened.

Your a cool dude for accepting the 400 dollars instead of getting the full 600. Sounds like he is trying to get back on the right track with rehab.
#11
Quote by gizmodious
Sounds legit. If you agree to settle things out of court thats completely ok, just don't expect to be able to pursue it in the future unless you have a helluva lawyer.

Also, draft up a short contract and have her sign it for documentation:

I, (yourname) on whatever date accepted $400 dollars from (her name) on the behalf of (assholesname), as compensation for good stolen from me by (assholes name). Have her sign and date it and you have legal documentation that he admitted to the theft.

Tweakers suck bro, tough luck.


do this
#12
Quote by gizmodious
Sounds legit. If you agree to settle things out of court thats completely ok, just don't expect to be able to pursue it in the future unless you have a helluva lawyer.

Also, draft up a short contract and have her sign it for documentation:

I, (yourname) on whatever date accepted $400 dollars from (her name) on the behalf of (assholesname), as compensation for good stolen from me by (assholes name). Have her sign and date it and you have legal documentation that he admitted to the theft.

Tweakers suck bro, tough luck.


Sounds like a damn fine plan. Also, recommend you get a witness or two as well to sign it. No-one special, just a couple of your friends who you can trust and will be discreet about the matter.
#13
Screw that, sue the guy and take all of your money back. Call her up, record the phone call with him/her admitting to stealing the stuff.

Don't settle out of court.
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#14
Quote by Wulphy
Screw that, sue the guy and take all of your money back. Call her up, record the phone call with him/her admitting to stealing the stuff.

Don't settle out of court.


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#16
The best thing to do is accept the $400 and not bother going to court. After fees, you'll end up with about that $400 anyway, but it'll take you forever to get and will take a lot of annoying crap and paper work to go through.
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#17
You can't record without consent of other person.
You can take the 400$ and its settled nothing illegal about that.

I was in same situation. When I recorded the convo I got counter-sued because I didn't have her consent on the recording FYI.
#18
Quote by Wulphy
Screw that, sue the guy and take all of your money back. Call her up, record the phone call with him/her admitting to stealing the stuff.

Don't settle out of court.


not to mention, he has a purple MG
= P

i'd go with the out of court settlement.
Cuz suing him would be a dick move.
#19
Quote by gizmodious
Sounds legit. If you agree to settle things out of court thats completely ok, just don't expect to be able to pursue it in the future unless you have a helluva lawyer.

Also, draft up a short contract and have her sign it for documentation:

I, (yourname) on whatever date accepted $400 dollars from (her name) on the behalf of (assholesname), as compensation for good stolen from me by (assholes name). Have her sign and date it and you have legal documentation that he admitted to the theft.

Tweakers suck bro, tough luck.



No, because then she can sue him for not having a lawyer present.
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#21
As to the civil action (between you and him), what you describe is very close to a settlement, like many here have said. The "bargain" in this scenario is, in theory, that you are selling him your rights to bring suit against him for $400. He pays less than what the full amount might be, but your incentive to accept less than the total amount of damages is that you don't have to grapple with the uncertainties and expenses of litigation.

This kind of thing is fine for civil trials, and if you decide to draft a contract to formalize the transaction, that's fine and, provided you're both adults (which I deduce you are, since you were college roommates), you can both sign in your own capacities. No witnesses or notaries are needed, but they do strengthen your case should any disagreement resulting therefrom arise.

If, however, he has been involuntarily committed to rehab, his ability to consent (his rights to sign a contract in his own capacity) may be suspended. In such a case, you can do this transaction with his girlfriend. That is, in theory, she will have bought your rights to file suit against him for his theft (which, in this civil action lingo, is called 'conversion'). This also means, in theory, that once he gets out of rehab, his girlfriend could file suit against him for his tort against you! (Note that most courts would dismiss this suit on accountability, even though the theory is accurate)

As to the possible criminal trial he faces, theft of a movable valuing over $100 is a felony. If you were to report him to the authorities, they would prosecute him for felony theft. Why does this matter to you? There's a doctrine called "Compounding a Felony," which states that accepting money to not report a crime (very similar to a bribe) of which you know, thus have a legal duty to report, implicates you in your own criminal trial for Compounding a Felony. I don't remember at the moment if this itself is a felony or misdemeanor. This pitfall can be avoided easily, albeit unethically, by not reporting the crime and making sure no-one else does.

So, by taking the money, you are settling up between you and him (the civil action), but are putting yourself in potential danger as a criminal matter. Let me know if you have any more questions.


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#22
Quote by Weeping_Demon7
No, because then she can sue him for not having a lawyer present.


You could just inform her verbally that she had the option of having an attorney present. This will hold up in my state (california) becuase a verbal contract is binding under state law. Check you states standing on this.
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#23
Quote by vampiric
As to the civil action (between you and him), what you describe is very close to a settlement, like many here have said. The "bargain" in this scenario is, in theory, that you are selling him your rights to bring suit against him for $400. He pays less than what the full amount might be, but your incentive to accept less than the total amount of damages is that you don't have to grapple with the uncertainties and expenses of litigation.

This kind of thing is fine for civil trials, and if you decide to draft a contract to formalize the transaction, that's fine and, provided you're both adults (which I deduce you are, since you were college roommates), you can both sign in your own capacities. No witnesses or notaries are needed, but they do strengthen your case should any disagreement resulting therefrom arise.

If, however, he has been involuntarily committed to rehab, his ability to consent (his rights to sign a contract in his own capacity) may be suspended. In such a case, you can do this transaction with his girlfriend. That is, in theory, she will have bought your rights to file suit against him for his theft (which, in this civil action lingo, is called 'conversion'). This also means, in theory, that once he gets out of rehab, his girlfriend could file suit against him for his tort against you! (Note that most courts would dismiss this suit on accountability, even though the theory is accurate)

As to the possible criminal trial he faces, theft of a movable valuing over $100 is a felony. If you were to report him to the authorities, they would prosecute him for felony theft. Why does this matter to you? There's a doctrine called "Compounding a Felony," which states that accepting money to not report a crime (very similar to a bribe) of which you know, thus have a legal duty to report, implicates you in your own criminal trial for Compounding a Felony. I don't remember at the moment if this itself is a felony or misdemeanor. This pitfall can be avoided easily, albeit unethically, by not reporting the crime and making sure no-one else does.

So, by taking the money, you are settling up between you and him (the civil action), but are putting yourself in potential danger as a criminal matter. Let me know if you have any more questions.


tl;dr: do a barrel roll.


Completely forgot the 'compounding a felony' clause. Nice catch. Technically he can still report the incident but not press charges and be legally clear of this. Very nice catch, I must admit I'm impressed!
"You can drink an ugly chick hot, but you can’t drink a fat chick skinny."

Fender: HSS Stratocaster

Modulus: 1991 Q5

Peavey:158BASS
Marshall: MG30FDX
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#25
Quote by archangels666
Well, I'm not qualified in law by any means, but I believe this is what's called "settling out of court."


This. Don't worry about court. You'll have to hire a legal consult (lawyer), and it'd be a waste of time. Just settle for the $400, and nothing will happen.

Edit - I wouldn't worry too much about the potential criminal charges simply because there's no proof of him ever taking anything, no witnesses to the crime scene, etc. Besides, if you don't report him for theft, no one really will.

Edit 2 - Essentially, this is a case of hearsay. First off, he didn't even confess to you, but to a person that can easily deny having ever said it, and second there were no other witnesses to said confession. Point being that in a court of law, there's no way this case could ever be proven beyond reasonable doubt if he pleaded not-guilty. I wouldn't worry about it.
Last edited by Jbar at Jan 23, 2009,
#26
bump any more suggestions I wrote up this document for her to sign.:


This payment of $400 is for the items that Conner Wesley Bresnahan stole from me (Daniel Ross) during the span of September to November of 2008.


Signatures:


______________________ Date _____________


______________________ Date _____________


Co-signer/Witness signature:


_______________________ Date _____________
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#27
The only thing I can see is if they tried to slant it as embezzlement. Probably not.
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#28
I just want my money. ****ing sucks. What are the odds someone will get me with Compounding a Felony
it needs more cowbell!

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Quote by lobster624
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#29
What are the odds of your being charged with Compounding a Felony? Low, but it is a possibility tangible enough to warrant mentioning. However, if the case against him won't stand (that is, if the prosecution cannot convict him of the theft), then, as a matter of law, there has been no felony which you could, by your actions, compound. Additionally, there is something to be said about prosecutorial discretion; the criminal trial against your roommate is weak, so it's not likely the state (PA is a commonwealth, isn't it? No difference here except for the name) would spend its money on such an unlikely gambit.

Perhaps your document could simply state that you agree to sell your roommate those things in consideration of (or "for the sum of") $400, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged. Any claims of yours as to the ownership of those things are renounced, and the roommate is the rightful owner of them. This way, it's done just as if you'd sold the items in question to him in good faith, and the last clause, about any claims of yours as to the ownership, indicates that you agree not to later assert that you own those things (i.e., not to sue him or report him to authorities for stealing them).
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