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My son committed suicide on Dec. 29th this past year and detectives confiscated a journal of his that they said they cannot retu

Chicago, IL |

My son committed suicide on Dec. 29th this past year and detectives confiscated a journal of his that they said they cannot return to us. I want to know if they can do that? There was no faul play and there is no further investigation.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. This does not really inquire into rights regarding a wrongful death lawsuit. Without foul play and without any outside cause contributing to the suicide, there would probably be no wrongful death claim available.
    As to the journal, I see no reason the detectives should be able to withhold the personal property of your son without good cause.
    I am sorry to hear of your loss.
    I do believe you would be well served to see an attorney local to the area your son died, and inquire into these issues and the strict time limits that apply to claims. You should do so immediately.
    Best of luck to you.


  2. Generally, police must return all property to the owner that was seized during an investigation unless it is considered contraband. Obviously, seized property can be held during an investigation or held to be used during a criminal court proceeding even if it is not considered contraband. In your case, it seems that there is no investigation and the case is closed. If this is true, then you are entitled to the return of the property, especially if you are the representative of the estate, if any. Most states have a statute or rule that requires the return of such property. I have used it successfully to have seized property returned in the past. Contact an attorney or go on-line and research the issue in your particular state. Good luck and I am sorry for your terrible loss.


  3. I cannot imagine your loss.

    Before you spend any money on an attorney, write a letter to the detective who refused to return the journal, demanding its return. Copy the Chief of Police and send both letters by certified mail. I suspect your son's journal will be released in short order. Good luck.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Links: ccandiano@themargolisfirm.com http://www.themargolisfirm.com

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