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Are resources available for persons with disabilities who are victim of crime?

Fitchburg, MA |

A former friend intended to exploit my disability by committing credit card fraud/identity theft. She plead guilty in District Court for these charges. I had to wait in criminal court from 8am-2pm for her hearing, as she has also stolen property from me as well. I had a hearing with her and the Clerk Magistrate following the Private Criminal Complaint I submitted regarding the theft + was required to attend. The Clerk Magistrate gave her one week to return the property; I was ordered to go to the District Court at the convenience of her schedule to have my property returned. She failed to produce the property as promised, and the Clerk gave her another week to send a check via certified mail for the vale of the property. She failed again. I have to go into court yet again + I am disabled.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer
Posted

People have complained for many years that the court system favors the criminal and revictimizes the victim of a crime. How many chances will your former friend be given by the court? I have no idea, but it sounds like the Clerk is trying to make you whole by returning your property or getting financial restitution for you. I'm not sure how your disability is a factor in this scenario, but I agree that contacting the victim advocate is a good next step. Good luck!

Gary S. Sinclair is an attorney licensed to practice in Massachusetts. If you wish to contact me or any other attorney on AVVO, just click on the attorney's name and you will find contact information. All of my answers are based on Massachusetts law or a simple reading of the law in your jurisdiction. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to your question. The information provided should NOT be relied upon for making legal decisions. You will be best served by hiring an attorney in your area who specializes in the field of law pertinent to your question.

Posted

Talk to a victim advocate in the local prosecutor's office about this.

I am unfamiliar with the phrase "Private Criminal Complaint." Was she not charged with a crime by the prosecutor?

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for you response! I will be in contact with the DA Victim's Advocate. I had to pay the District Court to file a "Criminal Complaint" for stolen property and later an employee at the Clerk's Office referred to it as a "Private Criminal Complaint". I am still uncertain as to why I had to pay to report stolen property / have an investigation initiated.

Asker

Posted

re: charged w/ crime by prosecutor: she was charged with the fraud/identity theft against me, though I was told by the Clerk's office that I will soon be receiving a "postcard" with info regarding the date/time of the individual's trial in criminal court for theft against me. I was told that I would have to return to the court to sign a document -- I'm truly hoping that I do not have to attend the trial, as I am disabled. I would like to sue this individual for additional civil matters (minimum $1,000) as recommended by the Clerk Magistrate, but her noncompliance thus far makes the situation seem hopeless.