City and Borough of Juneau
155 S. Seward Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
tel. 907-586-5240
fax 907-586-5385

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Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"

Q. What can I do if my spouse took my car from me? Both of our names are on the registration can I just go and pick it up? What if he refuses to give me the keys?

Dear Juneau Resident,

If you have both been using the car, regardless of who is on the registration, you can both continue using the car without running afoul of criminal statutes. You can pick the car up but JPD is not going to make him give up keys to you. Basically, criminal enforcement doesn't have a dog in this fight because neither of you has grounds to report the other stole the car.

This type of situation happens frequently when spouses/significant others aren't getting along and often there is a call to JPD. The situation can get very messy and generally JPD recommends a couple with this issue find a third party they both trust, or go to lawyers if necessary, to try and come up with an agreement about who gets what. If the couple gets divorced or gets a dissolution, property is addressed in that context but sometimes there is a long period before the legal split happens.

Sharing property, including a residence, with another person is one of those things that can be easy to start and difficult to end. You are in good company, lots of us have gotten a 'life lesson' in this area at some point in our lives. I can guarantee you will emerge from this stronger and wiser.


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