I have a question about what constitutes abandoned property in Massachusetts. - History: I am the oldest of three siblings - we're all over 45 - who were raised in a home where emotional, physical abuse & co-dependency was a norm. My younger siblings have always been extremely close with my parents (one has mental health issues & the other - who lives with my parents - struggles with alcoholism), I left their home at sixteen & quickly found the need to set clear boundaries with my parents. As a result, I have limited contact with them (occasional holidays in years past, monthly phone calls, birthday cards.) The boundaries I established allowed my three children (now adults in their 20's) to have a relationship with their grandparents which one of the three maintains (they others have chosen no contact.) Moving forward... Nine months ago (May 2016), my child who maintains contact with his grandparents graduated college & moved from his city apartment to my home. Due to lack of space, my son asked his grandparents if he could store a mattress ($1500.00 Tempur-Pedic with boxspring & frame), a desk of great sentimental value (belonged to my late husband/sons father) and four boxes of personal items for 6 mos. to a year in their basement (they have a large basement which they had offered him in the past as storage space.) They had a verbal agreement that the items would be removed within 12 mos. In Oct. 2016, while on a business trip, I made arrangements to meet them & remove the four boxes, I explained I wouldn't be in the area for a while but I or their grandson would have the mattress & desk gone before spring, I was told "no rush." In late November my father called telling us he wanted the items removed as they were "in the way." When I asked him how soon he replied as soon as possible. I explained how our location, weather, money, travel time & the holiday prevented us from coming within the next month & asked if it could wait until the New Year. He agreed & we set a late January date for pick-up. Due to weather, travel plans had to be cancelled. We phoned my father, explained the situation & made arrangements with my brother to move the items to a location in the basement that my father designated as "not in the way" and scheduled a date in February to get the them. When I phoned the night before the day of pick-up to confirm plans, my parents told me they no longer had the items - "you abandoned them so we gave them away." When I asked why they would do that their reply was "we told you to come get them, they've been here forever and you weren't going to take them so we found someone who would." I was then told the items were given to my brothers "friend" for her families vacation home. When I spoke to my brother, he confirmed this, stated my father wanted them gone so they gave them away. No call, no nothing. I wouldn't have known had I not called the day before I was to arrive. I told them we wanted - needed the items back, especially the desk, asked for this "friends" contact info. and was denied. It's not within my sons or my means to purchase another mattress & the desk has a great deal of sentimental value. All our attempts at trying to reason with them have failed. Our question: Are these items considered abandoned property? Can they legally do this - just give his things away? Also, what options do we have, if any, to get the items back? *My parents are elderly but have no cognitive "issues" and are high functioning for their age so this is not a case of confusion.
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Friday, March 3, 2017 - 19:04 | Author: Donna0616 | Comments (0)