Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney with Schroeder Law LLC in Ottawa. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at [email protected] or at (419) 523-5523. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.
Even when items are relatively easily accessible, if someone takes the items, it’s their responsibility to return them. While it’s smart to secure items and lock them up, it’s not always legally necessary in order to retain the ownership of those items. With personal property, the question is whether the owner of the item “asked” for the item to be taken.
Upon recently entering a local courthouse, I encountered two large pallets of paper being stored in the entranceway. The pallets of paper were just setting there, unguarded and easily accessible. Anyone could physically swipe a couple reams of paper upon his or her departure from the courthouse.
Similarly, adjacent to a railroad in Ottawa, thousands of dollars of railroad supplies, presumably owned by the railroad, are stored in an open shed that does not have a door, much less a lock. Someone could physically load up some of those items and leave.
Read more about the circumstances which would define that an owner of property is “asking for” it to be taken in Lee’s article in the Lima News here: Legal-Ease: Was I robbed, or did I ask for it to be taken?
Source: LimaOhio.com, “Legal-Ease: Was I robbed, or did I ask for it to be taken?” by Lee R. Schroeder, July 16, 2016