How do I get my dog back from my ex-girlfriend?Q:
I had a dog given to me 4 years ago, I had the dog licensed, 2 1/2 years later moved in to my girlfriend's house, after a year and a half relationship it did not work and I left. Moving my stuff from her house when I was gone she took the dog to a friend's house and now says she's attached to the dog and won't give her back to me. I was told by a cop that I had to go to small claims court, she refuses to let me see the dog. What's my best course of action?A:
When animals are wrongfully retained and the police will not get involved (and they often do not get involved in animal custody disputes), an action in replevin can be the most effective way to proceed. Essentially, replevin is an action to recover property that is unlawfully withheld. While you were the “owner” of the dog when you first acquired the dog, courts may consider if you subsequently gave the dog to your ex-girlfriend. Courts may consider why you left the dog with her when you moved your “stuff” from the house (unless the dog was not at the house at that time). You need to check with your local courts to determine which court in your area will entertain this kind of lawsuit. Some states, but certainly not all, allow replevin actions to be brought in small claims courts. If the action cannot be brought in small claims court, the process can be more complicated. Consult with an attorney in your area. Also, consider what is in the best interests of the dog.
Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
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