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How to retrieve property withheld by former employee?

Discussion in 'Civil Court, Procedure & Litigation' started by zionstudios, Nov 27, 2019.

  1. zionstudios

    zionstudios Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    California
    We are a very small company that had an assistant who worked from her home. She was using a company computer (Mac Mini) that we loaned her.

    We found out she was lying about her work hours and some other things so we let her go.

    She's not returning any phone calls, emails, or texts. We're trying to get our computer back.

    What's the best legal course of action? Showing up at her apartment? Small claims? Asking a police officer to accompany us to her house? Send an email threatening legal action?

    She clearly has no interest in communicating with us and has our property.

    What can we do?
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You can do any of those things...but, depending on the value of the computer, it might make more business sense to just let it go.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Showing up at the door with police to keep the peace might be the best option, but there is no guarantee she would even open the door. I know I certainly wouldn't. Their presence could persuade cooperation, and standing at the door is harder to ignore than a letter in the mail.
    If that doesn't work I agree it may make more sense financially to just write it off.
     
  4. zionstudios

    zionstudios Law Topic Starter New Member

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    We're hiring a new assistant and this is the computer we use. I guess we could buy another one but nobody likes spending money. We're a SMALL business....and it's the principle of the thievery that is getting my goad.

    I guess I can send her an invoice for the value of the computer/monitor/mouse/keyboard?
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Good refurbished Mac Mini's can be had for ~$500. I get that it's the principle of it...but isn't the principle reason for having your business to make a profit? If you spend/expend more than $500 worth of time, energy, or other resources in order to recover the computer, then it simply doesn't make sense from a business perspective.
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You mean goat.

    She stole it. Call the police and report the theft (conversion - whatever). You have documentation of company ownership, right?

    Use the cost for a new replacement on the police report. Then it's likely to be felony level.

    From now on, nobody works from home and nobody takes equipment out of the office.
     
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  7. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    If she won't voluntarily return the computer, then suing is your only recourse (unless you're in a city where the cops have so little to do that they'll accompany you to her home and try to convince her to return it). We obviously have no way of predicting what might happen if you show up at this person's door without a police escort.
     
  8. zionstudios

    zionstudios Law Topic Starter New Member

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    No, I mean "goad".

    GOAD:
    noun
    a stick with a pointed or electrically charged end, for driving cattle, oxen, etc.; prod.
    anything that pricks or wounds like such a stick.
    something that encourages, urges, or drives; a stimulus.
    verb (used with object)
    to prick or drive with, or as if with, a goad; prod; incite.
     
  9. zionstudios

    zionstudios Law Topic Starter New Member

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    After 7 days and a threat of pressing charges, 2 hours before the deadline I gave her, she emailed me back and then set the computer outside her door for me to pick it up.

    I got it back. But not after her 4-page rant email....which I didn't read.
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You chose to act wisely.

    You have that which you sought, and it was returned to you without harm.

    Never worry about anything people that harm you, or dislike you have to say.

    You chose wisely by ignoring words.

    You are under no obligation to do anything others demand you to do.

    You are wise to ignore the ones who do (or wish to do you) harm.
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad it worked out so well for you. Congratulations.
    I would suggest that you wipe the drive and start fresh. Who knows what type of software she may have installed...
     
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  12. shadowbunny

    shadowbunny Member

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    You just sent me down a delightful rabbit-hole with this. Interestingly enough, there's some "controversy" in the word-nerd realm about which came first, the use of goat or goad in this particular phrase. I've always heard "gets my goat," but apparently just as many people use "gets my goad".

    Regardless, I'm glad you got your Mac back. Better luck with your replacement hire.
     
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  13. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    No, to "goad" someone is to poke at them until they respond. It's a different phrase than "gets my goat"
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
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  14. shadowbunny

    shadowbunny Member

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    Hence the "controversy". Here's an interesting* discussion about it: Eggcorn Forum / "gets my goad" for "gets my goat"

    *interesting only to word-nerds such as me.
     
  15. shadowbunny

    shadowbunny Member

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    Hence the "controversy". Here's an interesting* discussion about it: Eggcorn Forum / "gets my goad" for "gets my goat"

    *interesting only to word-nerds such as me.
     
  16. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    I've always heard it as 'gets my goat'.
     

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