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How long do I have to hold someones stuff left in my possession on my property, before I can sell or dispose of it ?

Houston, TX |

My brother-in-law Left his Van in my driveway, and Music equipment & computers in my Garage when he was picked up at my house and was put under a mental warrant 2 weeks ago. he was kept 10 days. due to threat to life etc. we refused to let him come and get his stuff. Houston, Tx Police officers had advised us to make him get a court order to get it.
He has just fled to (we think) Maine. Also if he files on us would he have to do so in Texas?

Also he never lived with us this is just where they caught up with him

Attorney Answers 1


  1. Generally, if you refused to give someone property that belongs to him and that you have no right over, you may be liable for conversion. Your brother-in-law may be entitled to sue you for the fair market value of the the property if you sell or dispose of it. You probably have no right to sell or dispose of it unless you give him an opportunity to get the property back and he doesn't come get the items within a reasonable amount of time. You may want to see if there is a mutual friend or family member who is willing to store the items temporarily until the brother-in-law can pick them up.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice.