Nassau County Sheriff's Office

An Accredited Florida Law Enforcement Agency

Non-Emergency Lines: (904) 225-5174 | (904) 548-4009 | toll free (855) 725-2630

Recovering Pawned/Stolen Property

Guide to Rights and Remedies of the Florida State Pawnbroking Act

Florida Courts have ruled that law enforcement may no longer recover stolen property from pawnshops or secondhand dealers and return it to a victim of a crime without providing the broker an opportunity of a hearing.

If you have been a victim of stolen or misappropriated property that has been located in a pawnshop or with a secondhand dealer, you may be able to recover your property by filing suit, at no cost to you, in Civil court.

For property held by a pawnbroker pursuant to F.S. 539.001 (15)(a):

  • Report theft of property to law enforcement and obtain a copy of the report.
  • If you reported the theft to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, you may obtain a copy of the report from our Records Section.
  • You must provide the pawnbroker with a Notice of Claim to the property by certified mail, return receipt requested, or in person. If provided in person you must obtain the signed receipt from the pawnbroker.
  • The Notice of Claim to the pawnbroker must contain a complete and accurate description of the property and be accompanied with a copy of the report made to law enforcement regarding the misappropriation of the property.
  • If you and the pawnbroker do not resolve the matter within ten (10) days after the pawnbroker receives the notice, you may petition the Court to order the return of the property. The property must be held by the pawnbroker until the matter is resolved by the Court.
  • Complete the Petition for Replevin for Goods Held by a Pawnbroker form, submit the petition with a copy of the report made to law enforcement, the Notice of Claim and the signed receipt to the Clerk of the Court in the Civil Division.
  • No filing fee is required.

For property held by a secondhand dealer pursuant to F.S. 538.08:

  • Report theft of property to law enforcement and obtain a copy of the report.
  • If you reported the theft to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, you may obtain a copy of the report from our Records Section.
  • Complete the Petition for Replevin for Goods Held by a Secondhand Dealer form.
  • Submit the petition and a legible copy of the report made to law enforcement to the Clerk of the Court in the Civil Division.
  • No filing fee is required.

To obtain a court order, contact:

Nassau County Courthouse
Clerk of the Courts

If, after a hearing, the court orders the return of the property to the claimant:

  1. The claimant may recover from the pawnbroker the claimant’s attorney’s fees.
  2. If convicted of theft, the court shall order that the conveying customer must repay the pawnbroker the full amount the customer received from the pawnbroker for the property.
  3. The conveying customer shall be responsible for the pawnbroker’s cost incurred in the proceeding including the broker’s attorney’s fees incurred by defending a replevin action.

If you are listed on the receipt as the owner, present the receipt and a valid photo ID to claim the property.

If the court finds that the claimant failed to comply with the requirements of the statute, or otherwise finds against the claimant, the claimant is liable for the defendant’s costs, including attorney’s fees.

Disclaimer

This material is for general information only and shall not be construed as legal advice or counseling.

Further information on the process to recover pawned stolen property can be obtained by contacting;

Detective Sergeant Tim Cooper
Supervisor of the Criminal Investigations Division
(904) 548-4007
tcooper@nassauso.com

Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.