Can I take legal action against a IT guy that stole my photos and refuses to give it back?

A year ago my PC broke and the hard drive crashed. I lost everything. But then my dad paid one of his "friends" who fixes computers to help out. This guy did manage to get me a new hard drive and installed it and everything BUT part of the deal was that he will put my photos that he managed to recover on a disc or usb and give it to me. It's a YEAR later and I still don't have it. I contacted him 2 months ago and he basically admitted to having it and kept making up BS excuses for why he hasn't been able to give it. He made arrangements and said he'll give it and wasn't aware that I haven't received it but he has yet to reply to me saying when I'll actually get it back now. I'm REALLY frustrated. Asking my dad doesn't help shit as he doesn't do anything.

I know my university offers free legal aid so I want to know if i can press some kind of charges to get them back. I don't have proof that we paid him to do it though unfortunately as it was a year ago BUT I do have proof of him saying he thought I had the photos already and that he'll give them to me and of him making supposed arrangements for it. I have all that on email.

These photos are literally all my memories from 13-18. I really feel sad at the idea of never seeing them again :(

Updates:
I'm getting my photos this weekend.

Thank you everyone.
I have my photos now, thanks all.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • When it comes to drive failure there is literally a 1 - 2% chance of recovery by a standard IT person. I have been working in Enterprise class IT for 10 years and its really hard for someone like me to do it. His best bet if he couldn't recover is to send it off to a company that specializes in it, that having been said that sort of thing costs per minute. The average cost depending on size, say 2 GB of photos would be close to around 3 - 5 thousand dollars. My own rate for doing any kind of data recovery is 1200 an hour.

    Hopefully you are getting a picture here. He probably couldn't do it. If the drive its self was failed that is.

    As for the legal action part. If there was no written contract that was witnessed, and depending on your state notarized, you have literally no legal leg to stand on. i am really sorry for your loss, but you are likely never going to be able to get them back.. This is why i always recommend to my customers to back up your data frequently.

    Again i am sorry.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • he probably couldnt save them thats why you really need to rethink your shit when you have the only copy of something on your computer instead in a physical form or on a flash drive

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    • let it go don't even think about taking it to trial without proper evidence you will lose also be a little more considerate okay is the fucking digital age if he wanted to he could of easily made copies for himself

What Guys Said 17

  • Certainly talk to the people at your school who give legal aid. I think you have a valid claim. What this guy is doing is a case of "conversion." He has converted to his own possession something that is rightfully yours, and he wouldn't have a lien against your property (your photos) because he's been paid in full.

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    • Oh, and he's also in breach of the contract between you two. A contract doesn't have to be written in order for it to be enforceable.

    • Thank you! Yeah you're right. I didn't think of it like that. It helps a lot, thanks.

  • Yes, you can !

    I am no expert on South African law, but since you are in the photos and due to the fact that they are your property as well, he violates your "copyright " of your photos.

    This IT guy might have a screw lose for keeping a teenage girl's personal photos as a "souvenir" !

    I'd really do it, given how long he has not reacted to anything or has allegedly "forgotten" about returning the, to you - He could even get in trouble for child pornography !

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    • Thank you!! You are right. I can always try to label him as a creepy guy who tried to steal a child's photos as there are pictures of me as a child. Why anyone would want that is really... strange.

    • You can't claim copyright unless you actually had the images copyrighted. Even then it is not illegal to possess cop righted material, it's illegal to disseminate copyrighted materials.

  • Hey Lee, I think you should tell him just the last sentence you have in this sentence. Ask if he can upload the photos to google drive or something at least, if he cannot give it back to you in person. (Do you know if he recovered it already?)

    Another thing that I can imagine is that he couldn't actually recover anything and he perhaps doesn't want to feel shamed for not being able to cope with the task.

    To answer your question, I am not aware of any legal ways to help this situation. Law varies across countries. Perhaps you shall contact a local who knows more on what you can do at this point.

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  • If he had stolen them, he could have given you a copy and you'd never have known it.
    It looks more like they got destroyed in the HD crash and he was unable to get them back for you.

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    • If you stillhave the crashed HDD , you could let another IT guy have a try at it.

    • He kept it :( I don't have it. I really hope it's not the case. :(

    • again how do you know he has them 100% how do you know because counter sues being arrested over false charges and the fact that you don't have evidence will support his claim 100x over compared to you. the judge will look at you an say do you have any records of him saying this on paper or on video or anything if he says he couldn't save your pictures there trials done

  • Unlikely as he will most likely have limited liability insurance which protects him.

    This is really sad :( Do you not have lots of photos on facebook? You can't do much about this now, but you're grown up so hopefully you're strong enough to come through this.

    I'm sorry I can't be much help. The only other thing you can do is take the old hard drive to a specialist and see if they can extract the data

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    • I doubt he has insurance for that in all honesty. He's really not a professional guy by any means. I didn't have FB for a long time so I don't have many of the photos on there :( It really sucks. All my prom photos, birthday photos, family holidays... gone.

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    • I'd love to date someone so beautiful, there's something about you that makes you look very fulfilled

      What do you do for a living, are you a student at university still?

    • Oh why thank you! I hope that I'm fulfilled. I feel that way ! I'm a postgrad student :)

  • ... so if your university offers free legal aid then... ask them.
    typical pisces lol.
    So take legal action, threaten him with that action and move on when he gives you the photos/////

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    • What you mean by typical pisces lol

      I don't want to go there and waste people's time if there's no feasibility in pursuing action. Was just hoping to get some extra advice or tips.. anything.

      Thanks!

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    • I'm not ditzy.. I'm just considerate and don't want to waste people's time. This is also a platform to share advice and that was what I was seeking.

    • lol I'm a Pisces too and i was just trynna start some conversation
      You have to understand that people don't think that you are wasting their time. He is in possession of y-o-u-r property. There is only so much us GAG'ers can do with this information. Talking and getting a consultation is your first step, that's what i did when some one scratched up my car and i had to make them fix it. People are happy to help, not the other way around miss.

  • Maybe he lost them and is embarrassed to admit it.

    You should always backup stuff like that regularly.

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    • Yeah I know. But I don't have external HD's or even had a USB til a while ago so I didn't know my options back then.

  • your dad might not have paid him.

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  • Definitely talk to the police about this, I feel that u can prosecute him.

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    • Thanks! Police is my second option if the lawyers can't help me.

    • what the fuck will she do the police dont have evidence the trial would lose and she also waited a year to do anything so that wouldn't help her at all.

  • Since its a friend of your dad's can't you just go up to his place and say hey can i have or offer to come there and get it. Do you really think just busy or lying about having it or he's got some other plans with it (use your imagination).

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    • My dad is a very complicated man and basically lies to me over and over again saying he will go to him but he doesn't. He's not going to be of any help and won't drive me there or anything, that I can assure you. He'll rather come up with a BS excuse and say he will get it. I have no idea what a man will want to do with a young girl's photos. It has all my childhood photos.

    • lol what will a young do with a young's girls photos... use you imagination if you need a hit check if your dads friend is a pedo

  • you should've make the pictures part of the deals
    you should not pay him before you get the pictures

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  • Always back up shit you don't want to lose on a USB drive, And always delete sensitive photos before handing over your personal pc for repairs.

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    • I wouldn't call it "sensitive" Photos. It's just normal photos taken between ages 13-18.

    • Sensitive meaning anything you don't want to lose or get stolen, As well as ones you don't want just anybody seeing.

  • yea you can

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  • Well... You could ask in the university if they can help you

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    • Yeah I know, but I was wondering if I actually can take action. Just out of interests sake as I'm trying to consider my options.

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  • Are you fucking serious. He likes u.

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  • You can absolutely take him to court.

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    • on what terms he said he'd do it but he didnt? or the fact its a digital age an he could of easily given her copies an kept copies to there is no flat evidence to support her claim

    • @GnarCute on the grounds that you can take anyone to court, no matter how frivolous it seems.

  • Yes.

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What Girls Said 1

  • You can press charges.

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    • on what terms what proof does she have that he has them huh. unless there is evidence she will lose the trial.

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