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Jsimonson

Firearms return help.

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Looking for guidance / help. 
5 years ago now as part of a very tumultuous divorce my ex wife accused me of being mentally unsound ( was part of her custody strategy). Police came to the house and basically forced me to go to hospital for mental health evaluation. As part of that I agreed to surrender firearms for “safe keeping”. Hospital released me a few hours later with a clean bill of health, no validity to my ex wife’s claims. 
I have been going round and round with the Morris county prosecutors office for the last five years. I am on the third person in charge of firearms return ( who is a very nice guy and seems to genuinely want to help). But the assistant prosecutor states she will not return my firearms or ID card until I get a letter from a psychiatrist or a psychologist ( has to be a dr) specifically stating I am mentally sound to own firearms. 
So far every doctor I contact says they will not do it. I am looking for the path of least resistance. I have been told to get a lawyer and sue the prosecutor bc I was never admitted and the law says if not admitted no reason to hold. Assistant prosecutor even said I wasn’t admitted but still wants a letter. I don’t have the financial means of bringing a legal case against the prosecutor office nor do I want that fight. 
Any suggestions would be very much appreciated 

thank you

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I agree with BobA - It's lawyer time.

The recommendation for Dr. Pirelli is a good one (he's "The firearms shrink"), but what happens if Pirelli writes you an "Ok to own guns" letter and the prosecutor still refuses to return the firearms/FID card?

I think next step should be retain a lawyer and move forward as the lawyer advises.

Sorry this happened to you.

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On 11/10/2019 at 9:28 PM, PK90 said:

5 years ago? More than likely your guns are gone.

Not necessarily, Morris County seems to hang on to them for a long time. I've seen where they had them for 12 years after a case was closed. Passaic County on the other hand, will tell you that you have 60 days from the disposition of your case to get them back/sell them or they go to captain crunch.

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On 11/10/2019 at 6:40 PM, DirtyDigz said:

I agree with BobA - It's lawyer time.

The recommendation for Dr. Pirelli is a good one (he's "The firearms shrink"), but what happens if Pirelli writes you an "Ok to own guns" letter and the prosecutor still refuses to return the firearms/FID card?

I think next step should be retain a lawyer and move forward as the lawyer advises.

Sorry this happened to you.

Maybe so but I'm sure Pirelli's bill will be substantially less than a lawyer.  One could get a lawyer to represent them and the prosecutor's office will still say you need a letter from the doctor.

Get the doctor's letter first.  One thing at a time.  If you wind up getting a lawyer the letter strengthens your case.

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You may not need to sue the prosecutor to get what you want.  Sometimes, once the other side knows you have a lawyer, they start following the law.  Just having a lawyer make the phone call can get something done - may cost you a few hundred dollars.  Jeff Henninger is a pro gun lawyer in NJ who could at least explain your options.

Good Luck

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What the prosecutor is asking might be legal. You want to keep this out of court as then the judge's opinion comes into play.  Question 26 on the application asks if you've ever been treated for a mental issue. Federal law says involuntary committed.  2 different things.  State law can be more restrictive than Federal but not contrary.

Let's look at the options starting with least expensive.

1.  See the doctor and get the letter.  This is what the prosecutor said she wanted.  You get your guns back.

2.  See a lawyer.  It's true lawyers like to deal with lawyers.  Before you do have the police report, hospital records, and doctor's letter.  This is needed for the lawyer to decide what kind of case you have.  It also means you don't have to pay the lawyer to get them.

Your lawyer calls the prosecutor and finds out they want a letter from a psychiatrist.  Legal?  Maybe not.  A good lawyer tries to keep things out of court.  If you go to court you get a judge and/or jury involved.

 

I can't see this going any further than #2 but it might be settled at #1.  You'll need #1 anyway.

Playing devil's advocate the prosecutor doesn't want to become known for releasing guns to someone that there's a question about.  The letter ensures that won't happen.

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Seems like this prosecutor withholding your property is completely unfounded ("Hospital released me a few hours later with a clean bill of health, no validity to my ex wife’s claims")

I'd see about getting a lawyer to take the case on contingency and ask for punitive damages as part of the case...… 

Enough to pay for his fee's and a brand new Kimber perhaps?

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This is why you never give up your firearms  unless someone hands you a warrant.

I'd always advise volunteering to be evaluated if asked by law enforcement.  

 

I'd have a lawyer draft an intent to sue unless the firearms are returned, or unless they can provide a legal statement for the seizure. I would provided with that, the documents related to your evaluation and release from the looney bin. 

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On 11/17/2019 at 1:16 AM, GRIZ said:

Maybe so but I'm sure Pirelli's bill will be substantially less than a lawyer.  One could get a lawyer to represent them and the prosecutor's office will still say you need a letter from the doctor.

Get the doctor's letter first.  One thing at a time.  If you wind up getting a lawyer the letter strengthens your case.

There is no legal basis for the department to treat him as mentally ill. If he was already evaluated.. why get a second evaluation? 

 

What he needs is a formal statement from the person who evaluated him the first time. That he was not diagnosed with a mental illness. That's all. Nothing more nothing less... no statements about firearms or such.. 

 

 

 

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