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What is civil theft?

Spokane, WA |
Attorney answers 1


I'm going to assume someone has taken personal property from you. If that is the case, in Washington, "civil theft" is known as "conversion." It simply means someone has taken property of yours and you want monetary compensation. It is very similar to any other civil action, meaning you have to sue, prove your case, get a judgment and then collect. If the amount is small enough, you can pursue this yourself in small claims court where attorneys are not allowed to represent clients. You would be wise to consider whether you can ever collect from the person who took the property. Do they have real estate? Do they have a job? Are other creditors ahead of you? Will they go bankrupt and discharge your judgment against them? Any general practice attorney or civil litigation attorney should be able to help you.

Attorney involvement with these kind of cases are fairly rare because there is probably no bases for claiming attorney fees. If the amount you're seeking is under $10,000.00 there is a statute that makes collection of some of your fees possible but on a practical basis it is somewhat of a gamble. It would be interesting to know what exactly has occurred. - Glenn