If I unknowingly bought stolen property, can the original owner file a civil lawsuit against me?

Question Details:I unknowingly bought stolen photography equipment from an artist and sold some of it on craigslist. After some days, a PI came to my house and told me that the equipment was stolen from a rental company. I went to the cops and they confiscated some of the equipment. I was left with just one equipment out of the rest. Now, the PI is asking me to return all of the equipment back to the original owner or face a civil lawsuit. How can I protect myself from losing more money/equipment? I have not received any notice from the court or the cops asking me to return anything. Can they even file a suit?

Asked 2 years ago under Criminal Defense | 1257 Views | More Legal Topics

Are you an attorney? Sign up to answer this question.
Kevin Bessant | Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates Answered 2 years ago This Detroit, MI attorney is licensed in Michigan

You more than likely will not be charged with receiving and concealing stolen property as there was no knowledge on your part that the items were stolen. Likewise, it will be quite difficult in a civil suit to show that you had any intent to defraud the original owner in your purchase of the items from a third party, thus a civil suit in this matter is unlikely as well. This does not mean that the original owner can not file a civil suit, but it means that his/her suit does not have a strong legal leg to stand on.

Attorney Quick Finder

Top Ranking Attorneys

  • Anne Brady 917 Answers | Points 45830 Platinum Contributor
  • Kevin Bessant 741 Answers | Points 37030 Platinum Contributor
  • Hong Shen 568 Answers | Points 28400 Platinum Contributor
  • Catherine Blackburn 566 Answers | Points 27770 Platinum Contributor
  • Victor Waid 522 Answers | Points 26060 Platinum Contributor
  • Tricia Dwyer 480 Answers | Points 22150 Gold Contributor