I left a suit at the cleaners. When I came to retrieve it, the owner gave me a different suit that was not mine. I complained, but the owner insisted that the suit he gave me, in fact was mine. The receipt I gave him matched the receipt stapled to the suit bag. But, it seems that the owner may have stapled the receipt on the wrong suit. Yet, he insists that there was no mistake.

What is the best way to resolve this dispute when we both insist that we are right?

Answer:

This situation places you in a difficult position. On the one hand, you do not have the right to take home the suit, since you know that it is not yours.

On the other hand, the cleaner insists that you have the right suit, and will not be giving you a different suit.

Under the circumstances, you don’t see to have any options other than to leave your suit with the cleaner, and demand that he find your actual suit and return it to you.

Best wishes.

Sources:

See Bava Basra 44a and Shulchan Aruch 136:1. The idea mentioned therein refers to a cleaner who also sells clothes, and the assumption is that he sold the person’s clothes. This is not true of cleaners today, so that there is no permission to take the others’ suit. See Aruch HaShulchan 1-2.

 

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