A serious real life situation where i need advice

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by PastorofMuppets, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Hello,

    Here is the situation which I will explain accurately without changing anything into my favor. I need your opinions here, according to the law.

    A year and a half ago a band that I was a part of broke up. We were working musicians playing covers. The band ended and parted ways in March of 2007.

    The lead singer in the band furnished the PA system with all the mics stands speakers etc. The rehearsals always took place in my garage, and when the band broke up two microphones were left there. The lead singer who I believed owned all the equipment pretty much left the state and had gotten divorced and was quite difficult to contact.

    I tried multiple time to contact him and tell him that I have his microphones at my house. I tried phone,email, voicemail, texting, myspace, all to know avail. I know other people who talked to him. I know his numbers didnt change. He just didnt return my calls or seem interested at all. So I gave up trying to contact him.

    Fast forward today. A music store, where I know every employee, contacted me and tells me that they heard that I was planning on returning the mics to them because they were not paid for and they needed to close his account.

    I do not feel like I should have to return these mics to this store. I know these people quite well and IMO they will just write off the price of the mics anyway and throw them in a box somewhere. They can not be sold as new and they can not be returned to the manufacturer. In the end they will never benefit anyone if they are returned. Plus its been a year and a half and I feel like whats been in my possession for that long should become mine. My garage is not a storage facility for deadbeats gear.

    I on the other hand actually use them for myself. If they would have asked me a year and a half ago for them, I would have returned them no questions asked. I have a good moral compass and would not want to be labeled a thief.

    I replied to the email by saying that, the mics have been mine for 1.5 years and no one ever tried to get them. I said possession is 9/10ths of the law and I would be keeping them.

    here is his reply after I said that:


    Here's the deal... the mics have NOT been paid for. We made a deal with Easy to make payments on the mics until they were paid off. He didn't hold up his end of the deal so we need the microphones back as soon as possible. This is a big deal to the store- that is why I'm contacting you now about it. We've tried to get the money from Easy countless times to no avail. Our last resort is to get the goods back in our possession where they belong. You can either cooperate with us and return them to the rightful owner, or you can explain the situation to the authorities when they arrive at your door.

    Thank you

    I would like to know if there is any chance that I could get into any legal trouble over this. As far as I am concerned, they have no arrangement with me, nor do I have any contract for repayment. If they want to recoup their money they need to pursue legal action against the former singer "easy".

    Please share your opinions
    I appreciate it

    sorry for the length of this letter but it was important to get all the facts straight here.

    others have suggested that they could report the mics as stolen by easy and that they know where they are and i will in a sense be in possession of stolen property.

    I content that the first action should be to sue Easy for the money he owes them, and to go about recouping their loss that way.

    please give me your thoughts
  2. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    They've made no arrangement with you, because you don't own the mic's. Morally they belong to the store. You haven't made any arrangements with anyone, so you don't have any rights to them.

    However in practise the guy left them behind, and I'd be tempted to be straight with the store, and ask them what it would take for you to make up the payments. Chances are you can drop them a few $, and legally take ownership (as Easy has defaulted on payments), and get some cheap mics with a clear conscience,

  3. ForestThump


    Jun 15, 2005
    It seems like you have gotten a free rental on a couple of mikes for a year and a half. What are those mikes worth in the condition they are in?
    Maybe you can cut a deal and buy them off the store.
    A lawyer wil probablyl cost you more in time and money than the mikes themselves. Plus if this is a shop that you wish to be on good terms with it might be a wise move to, well, be on good terms with them.
  4. ()smoke()


    Feb 25, 2006
    i'd just tell the store to come pick them up...but wouldn't spend my time delivering them to the store...the deal with the 'authorities' is that even if you are ultimately found by a judge to have done no wrong in refusing to relinquish the goods, you still have to deal with the hassle of the situation if they try to charge you for something like possession of stolen property...and since you admitted possession and understand the situation of the nonpayment, you can't claim ignorance if you get hassled
  5. thesteve


    May 28, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    +1 to the advice so far.

    it's not worth the hassle for 2 mics. Unless they're something special they probably have a used market value of no more than $120 anyway. I would talk to the store about how much is left on paying them off if you want to keep them. Better than buying them new later on, right?
  6. EBodious


    Aug 2, 2006
    ok, i am no legal eagle. but it seems to me that if easy made a deal for the mics, took possession, and then failed to pay, then they are "stolen." i can't imagine a decent cop throwing you in jail over this, but i can imagine them talking you into giving them back. i don't know the applicable laws involved, so instead i will speak from my idea of common sense.

    you know everyone in this music store? do you value your relationship with the store? i think you are killing that relationship. i don't know if it is big chain or a local mom & pop, but i work for a small local retail business and we need every penny we get. having an outstanding account for a year and half would be bookkeeping and financial burden, and i would hope that if it were our store, we could convince you to give us a break. in other words, i think there are ways you could "get away" with keeping the mics for free, though it would bend your "moral compass." since you have the mics i think you have the control. how you handle this will determine your connection to the store and to the those people who work there (are they members of your community?). do you mind screwing them?

    i think that being honest and respectful with them (though i don't know if it is too late for that) could get you the mics at a real good deal. i think if you give them back, you got free mics for a year and a half (and that's not too bad). i don't think you can fairly call them yours just cause they were left at your place, but now you know why easy wasn't coming back for them.

    those are my best thoughts
    good luck
  7. mkrtu9


    Mar 2, 2006
    I believe this is civil and not criminal. They made an arrangement with Easy for payment and he defaulted. Therefore they need to take civil action with Easy. However, since you have the property which is not rightfully yours a judge could order the property to be returned. More than likely they would not take this to any type of civil litigation since it would cost more than the mics. Morally I disagree with keeping property that is not rightfully yours though. Hate to burst your bubble, but if I were you I would take steps in trying to purchase the mics at a discounted rate. Especially since you shop there frequently. No need to cause hard feelings.

    Good luck
  8. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    Why ruin your relationship with the folks at the store over this? Give them their mics back and remain on good terms.
  9. i am not damaging any thing yet

    i replied to the person and told him that
    i would pay 100 bucks for the pair of mics

    he replied to me that there are no deals to be made and that i could buy them for 230 dollars which is the new price

    i said to reconsider and that the used value is only about 100

    if not then you can come to my house and get them
    i will not deliver them
  10. Just return the mikes to the store.
  11. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    Easy sounds sleazy.
    Give the mics back.
    Out of sight out of mind.
  12. i agree that the mic's are not yours... try to buy them or give them back.
  13. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    Why don't you just figure out the depreciation value on the mics and offer them that amount. I'm sure they are not wanting to take a loss on the mics and if it's not much cash, I would just make the deal and give them something in good faith. Yes, I know that you did not make the initial deal and they have been in your possesion for the last year and a half but you opened this can of worms when you verified that you actually have the mics. You could have easily told them that the other cat took them but you wanted to be honest - which is great - but now you have to follow through.

    Edit after reading post #9: If they are not willing to budge on the price take the mics back. Unless the store is more than 10 miles away just do the right thing and return them...Good vibes will come your way.
  14. mkrtu9


    Mar 2, 2006
    sounds like they are being a$$es about it. I would remind them that you will be going else where to buy mics since you are trying to be cooperative and they are not willing to deal.
  15. he wouldnt bargain
    with me at all.

    he said if i want them i could pay 230 (full retail price)
    i have never paid full retail price for anything at that store or any other.

    I said he could come to my house and get them himself
    I will not deliver them
    and there are plenty of other stores

    i offered 100 for the pair which was very fair
    these mics are used and well used
    we gigged 40 weeks in a row
  16. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    Do you really think it's woth it to get into a pissing match with the store over 2 mics???

    You guys must have a lot of time on your hands.
  17. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    The guy is obviously pissed and taking it out on you. Not the best way to deal with it on his end but such is life.

    You can be the guy who makes it right or the guy who perpetuates the issue...make the choice.

  18. choice made they get them back but im no delivery boy
    i think they might have to get them from my other house 1 hour a way now.
  19. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    Case closed.
  20. BTW the store is at least a 30-45 minute drive away
    depending on traffic
    so they will be picking them up if they want them