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mike coffey (daddy)
Username: daddy

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 6:07 am:   Edit Post

Hi, I have an interesting situation I was hoping top get some advice on. Way back in 1995 I was playing bass in a band and bartending. I got to talking with a customer one day and he said he had been a bass player and he had a bass he would like me to check out. He left the bar and returned with a 1986 distillate which he said I could borrow indefinetely. I gave him my phone number and told him to let me know when he wanted it back. The next time I saw him was months later and once again I gave him my phone number and told him to let me know when he wanted the base back. Fast forward about seven months as I try to locate him because I am moving. No luck. Now it is almost eight years later and I have never heard from him. I have been babysitting his bass all this time but wonder if he is even still alive as this was a hard drinking bar I worked in and he was a hard drinking customer. It pains me to get rid of his bass but the fact remains that I have made every effort to get it back to him and would like to get it into someones hands that would play it. I checked with alembic and he never registered the bass. Does anyone know the legal implications for me it I try to sell the bass? Any help wold be greatly appreciated.
Paul Lindemans (palembic)
Username: palembic

Post Number: 64
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 7:00 am:   Edit Post

Hallo Mike,

I'm the first so let me welcome you (other more appropriate people will do that after me).
Jeeeeez - what a story.
It inspires me for a kind of road-movie (I'm in film business/communication).
I have no idea what to do. I know one thing: the law is on this point different I guess in EU then in US. I believe (I check it out with someone later) that after 10 years (I think) and nothing heard from the legal owner it comes to you. So you could sell it but it accept the feel of awkwardess to that thing.
I know thing for sure: starting some research from this side is a good thing.
The thing you could research too is if the bass was maybe stolen. Then you'll need to put a picture also on this board.
Wish you luck.


PS: I suppose you don't play anymore?
Paul Ellsworth (elzie)
Username: elzie

Post Number: 20
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 7:27 am:   Edit Post

I believe the rule of thumb in most states is that someone has two years to ask for something back. I am not an attorney, but I would think you are on safe ground if you were to sell it.

However, if I were in your situation, I would take out an ad for a few weeks in a local paper of the last known address of the original owner. That would be the right thing to do. Also save any receipts of this just in case we see you on Judge Judy some day :-)


Paul Lindemans (palembic)
Username: palembic

Post Number: 65
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 7:41 am:   Edit Post

Hello Mike 2,

yes, here I am again.
I just made a quick phone call to my daughter who is a law-atudent for about four years now and she came up with the following stuff:
1: try to contact a US-lawyers club similar to this one (but for lawyers) and put the question there. She thinks you'll have your answer very quick. There may be even an Alembic-playing lawyer (hey I'm a communication dude so that must be possible).
2: you combine 3 things: you are in "good faith", you really tried to contact him, and you have the bass in your posession. She said that (normally) you become the legal owner of the guitar after 10 years. Beware: this period could be longer in the US, but :see 1.
3: the difference between "lending" the bass to you and actually "giving" it to you is on this moment not relevant anymore.
4: there could be a problem if the bass once was stolen. But even then she think that on this moment that fact is "aged" (sorry for my english but thiese legal terms are not really what I'm used to).
5: considering all this you can sell the bass without legal problems (that's what she thinks but still see 1). If you feel not well with that idea and you don't need the money for it you can pass it on to someone who can really use that bass, simply as a gift. That is personal and not for me to advise you on because the greediness will come up for shure. Keep that personal.
So... that's my story!
You're a honest man... It was a pleasure to being of some maybe help.

mike coffey (daddy)
Username: daddy

Post Number: 2
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 5:01 pm:   Edit Post

I really appreciate everyones feedback. I gave up being a pro musicican to be an elementary music teacher, and this bass is a little more than I need. Although a little bit given to adult beverages, the owner seemed pretty honest so I don't think it is stolen. I checked the alembic stolen page and it wasn't listed, and talked to a rep who told me the bass was never registered. I'll try locating one of those lawyer clubs and will be anxious to see if anyone else on the board has insights. Thanks.
WIJ (rpnfbywij)
Username: rpnfbywij

Post Number: 3
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 1:57 pm:   Edit Post

for how much were you thinking of selling this bass?

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