In Dec. 2011, I found out that my younger brother stole $17,700 from me. I did not pursue charges only because I wanted to protect my parents. At the time he and I signed a contract stating he would pay me back. Now he has become verbally abusive and won't pay me anything. What are my options?
He has actually committed felony theft against you and you can bring the case to the District Attorney or your local law enforcement agency to charge him with a class 4 felony theft. Restitution will be ordered in that case and you will be able to recovered through the court system and probation. Additionally, restitution is not dischargeable in bankruptcy like a civil suit would be. Finally, tax payers pay for the DA to prosecute your brother instead of having you pay an attorney a lot of attorney fees. If you only discovered it in December 2011, then the DA would have 3 years from that date to file felony charges, even if the theft was committed before then (assuming you were not capable of discovering it before then. Best of luck
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Bring him to court. File a complaint against him and you will likely (from what you say) win....of course, a lawyer will be helpful.
I wouldn't bother, though unless 1) you thought you could actually collect the money when and if you do win a judgment against him and 2) you are prepared for the hard feelings between you guys that will likely last quite a long time.
As discussed by my colleague, your option is to sue for the amount due. You will have to file in district court given the amount at issue. My colleague also accurately noted the other things to consider. Finally, and this would be the hardest option to consider, if he actually did steal this money he can still be charged with that crime. I don't think the statute of limitations has not run.
You really should speak with an attorney to discuss the issues and options.
This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice regarding your question and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
You may find the police will want to treat this as a civil matter since he has agreed to pay you back, but it would be worth the effort in checking. In any event, you can sue him district court and seek a judgment. That debt may be dischargeable in bankruptcy, so it would be important that you preserve the evidence of the original theft in case you want to contest the dischargeability of the debt in bankruptcy. Good luck!
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