Is it Illegal to return to my home and take my things?

My Question is at the Bottom -
Here’s the leadup to it:

STBX kicked me out of house with a (false) Restraining Order a few months ago.
2 days before we saw the Judge, she with no warning dropped the DVPO, no apology, no explanation why she filed it.
I HAD BEEN asking her to sit down and wok out a Sep Agmnt for months before that.
She refused. I felt trapped that I could not leave.

Although I have come by the house a few times since to talk with her (by her request) and to see our kids,
I have never stayed overnight, nor ever said “I’m coming home or moving back in.”

I have recently gotten my own place and needed my bed, tv, dresser, and clothes.
We did not share a bed, and have 2 TVs, 2 Dressers, 2 Sofas, etc.

Because I know how she has acted in the past when I “defy” her demands, and know what an ugly scene she would cause in front of our neighbors, friends, and children, I had no choice but to wait until she was out for a couple of hours to get my things.
I did that last week, and she is screaming “How ILLEGAL it was” - what I did.

I pay for ALL the bills, including the Mortgage, and she does not work.
I work two jobs. We are still married, and there is NO DVPO in place.
It was Dismissed, it is Official, I have a copy from the Courthouse.

QUESTION: Was it Illegal, my going to my house, and taking my things, and even “half of the joint property” (sofa, tv, etc) ?

STBF (Soon to Be FREE !!!)

Once you have moved out with the intention to live elsewhere you cannot return to the marital residence without the express invitation or permission of the spouse who is residing in the home. If you do return you could be held liable for Domestic Criminal Trespass.

In order to get your things you will have to file an action for Equitable Distribution and include a Motion for Interim Allocation to have your belongings returned, unless of course she agrees to allow you to come get them.

Is it true that you only have once chance to get everything from the home?

No, you may petition to return to collect items at any time before final distribution.

Although we have not lived in the same house since she filed the false DVPO, to my wife we are not separated.
She dropped the DVPO and assumed I’d come running back to her.
I did not.
She has continously asked me to return, refusing to talk about Separation.
I had not made up my mind as far as she is concerned.

So I’m still possible liable for Domestic Trespassing ?

If you are not living in the house you are separated. Once you leave the home and begin living elsewhere you lose your right to return absent her permission.

Erin -

I do not understand how she can file Domestic Criminal Tresspass against me.
She HAD been inviting me back to stay in the house.
She had NOT changed the Locks.
I did not break in.
We were NOT Separated in her mind, I had been trying to get her to Talk about a Separation Agreement, but she REFUSED,
instead insisting we “go to marriage counseling” to get me to come back home.

Can she have me Arrested ?
Do I need to be concerned ?
Is this a CRIMINAL Charge ?
How would I know IF there is an Arrest Warrant for me ?
If she does not know where I am staying could she have the Police show up at MY WORKPLACE and humiliate me in front of MY EMPLOYER ?

Whether or not she changed the locks or invited you back in, you are living elsewhere and therefore must have her permission to re enter the home. Domestic Criminal trespass is a criminal misdemeanor.

You may contact local authorities to determine if there is a warrant out for your arrest.

Erin -
(there is a Question at the Bottom)

I found out there was an Arrest Warrant out for me, and even got to spend a day in Jail when I “turned myself in”.
When STBX found out I was going to be ARRESTED and put in JAIL, she said "she never realized They would do All That, and she went before the court to drop the charges of “Domestic Criminal Trespassing”

The State would NOT allow her to drop it and put a Restraining Order on top of the Charge as conditions of my pre trial release.
I’m out on Bond, not allowed to contact her (which is fine with me), but the Restraining Order means I can NOT contact my children through Christmas and until the Trail Date in Jan 2010.

STBX felt bad about that and never asked for a Restraining Order, so we went to court so she could request the Restraining Order be dropped.
The State “consented” to it, which they did not have to.

The Judge told me that the Conditons of my PreTrial Release would changed from No Contact to No HAT (Harassment, Abusiveness, nor Threatening).
My friend told me now I’m in worse trouble as all she has to do, is get mad with me, call the police and LIE and say “he threatened me”.
AND I’ll be PUT IN JAIL until the Trial AND the Court/Judge/State will REALLY BE PISSED at me for “Breaking the Court Order”.

******** IS THIS TRUE ?? *******
If she alleges I threatened her, will they Throw me in JAIL, no questions asked ?
until my Court date in over 45 days ?
I am SCARED TO DEATH !!! if this is true…please re-assure me.
I have no record. I’m not better than anyone esle, but prior to last week, I had NEVER seen the inside of a JAIL CELL !!!
Signed Just want to get on with my life.

I do not practice criminal law, but would assume if your ex alleges you violated the Order you would be arrested. I would suggest contacting her using email in order to document your communication, and that you only communicate regarding making arrangements for you to see the children.