Man sues parents over trashed porn collection

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — A man now living in Indiana is suing his parents after he says they destroyed his valuable porn collection.

FOX 17 is choosing to identify the plaintiff in this story as "Charlie," as this is a civil case without any associated criminal charges.

The case dates back to October 2016 when, according to a lawsuit filed this week, Charlie moved into his parents' home in Grand Haven after going through a divorce from his wife. Charlie apparently stayed for 10 months in their home, doing housework in lieu of paying rent.  He was asked to leave after police had to be called to the house in August of 2017 for a domestic situation.

His parents allegedly traveled in November 2017 to his new place in Indiana to drop off possessions he had left at their home.

Allegedly missing from the items they brought: Charlie's massive pornography collection.

Charlie says his parents told him that they destroyed the entire collection.  A collection that consisted of over 12 moving boxes full of movies.  

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office was eventually called about the destroyed items. Charlie filed a police report estimating the value of his collection to be $28,940.72. The prosecutor's office declined to file charges against his parents.

Just a month after filing a police report, Charlie apparently began corresponding with his father via email.  Telling him in part, "If you had a problem with my belongings, you should have stated that at the time and I would have gone elsewhere. Instead you choose to keep quiet and behave vindictively."

His father, according to the lawsuit, responded, "Believe it or not, one reason for why I destroyed your porn was for your own mental and emotional heath. I would have done the same if I had found a kilo of crack cocaine. Someday, I hope you will understand.”

Charlie's father said in one email that his son was allegedly kicked out of high school and college for selling porn to other students.  Saying in the documents, "I also warned you at that time if I ever found pornography in my house again, I would destroy it."

Charlie, apparently feeling the situation unresolved, reached back out to investigators -- allegedly sending one officer 44 emails' worth of movies he says were destroyed, listing many as valuable out-of-print films, writing, "Not Just Out of Print. But the entire studio making it dissolved, and that was 20 years ago."

The prosecutor's office again declined filing charges.

Charlie is now suing his parents for a total of $86,822.16 in damages.

FOX 17 reached out to the attorney representing "Charlie."  They have no comment at this time.

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208 comments

    • Bjorleif Blank

      Included for those of us that havn’t (yet?) memorized the Bible:
      Ef 6,1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord,* for this is right.
      2 “Honor your father and mother” – this is the first commandment with a promise:
      3 “so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

      • Michael Randallbard

        The Bible also says “All things are legal but not all things are advantageous”. It was not advantageous for the parents to destroy the sons belongings. The better way would have been to rent a locker to store the collection and then bill the son for the locker lease. The son is of legal age to make his own decisions. If the parents objected they could have asked that the collection not be brought into the house. I this case the son is 100% correct that the parents are liable because they tolerated it for so long making this look more like a vindictive move which causes the son unnecessary financial and psychological damages thus violating his rights in every manner. Hey Dad, you could have gotten a locker and then negotiate who will pay…..OUT OF THE PUBLIC SIGHT. Son: I applaud your reading material, you could be spending your time watching TV Fake News…. Good on ya. A FINE example. Advice, if you get another chance at marriage try to exercise some common sense.

          • sammie515

            It looks like it was a “collection” that he could sell for $$$$, just like any other collection, not something he looked at every day. However, if he knew how his parents felt about it and he was in THEIR house, he should have rented a storage locker.

          • Jambo

            The ending for the following statement has finally been found:

            “You know you’re a total and complete loser when…”

        • Jambo

          Well, his dad had forewarned him about the destruction of his Precious Videos if they were ever brought into his home by the son ever again.

          Maybe he should have remembered this and taken it seriously.

          He should NOT have rented a storage locker and billed his son, who was too much of a loser to pay rent after moving in with them after his divorce (gee, I wonder what led to the divorce?!)

        • chefjimmie1

          Yes, the way the parents handled the situation was wrong, from allowing the stuff in their house and then to stay for so long. But you cannot justify a porn addiction no matter what logic you use. The law won’t even get on the side of the addicted pornography monger.

        • Michael

          Total BS, he left it at his parents house when he left. He knew how his parents felt about the porn. Sometimes life sucks.

        • Bob

          I would agree that the parents should not have destroyed the collection had it not been on their property. He was living in their house rent free. The father had previously told the son that pornography was not allowed in the parents house and would be destroyed if found. It does not matter if we agree or disagree with the parent’s decision. It was a reasonable decision for a parent to make. Had the son been paying rent and acting as a tenant then it would be more complicated.

    • chefjimmie1

      My Bible (KJV) says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: fot this is right.” Once a child reaches the age of manhood, he is no longer bound by his parents. This is a biblical fact.

  • Kitcha

    He moved back into his parents home, after know his father told him, “I also warned you at that time if I ever found pornography in my house again, I would destroy it.”. Then he should have moved elsewhere with that smut. He can keep it, but he should have rented a small storage unit, and not bring it to his parents’ home, knowing how they felt about it. Then having moved out, if it was so valuable, why was that stuff not moved first? I mean come on, If you were moving out of someplace would you leave your valuable jewelry behind for others to go through, and move it last? Apparently he didn’t think that much of it either, until he thought he could force some more money from his parents bank account to his hand.

    But lesson learned for the parents, never take him back again, now that you realize what kind of person he is.

    • adam

      I warned you never to come back in here with a MAGA hat again. There I warned you so if I destroy your hat destruction of property is OK. I wonder if the morally outrage here are the same ones that get incensed when Social media bans those who speech they dont agree with but in this case its porn so they dont agree with it so it’s ok to destroy it. also if the guys a porn addict destroying his porn collection will do about as good as pouring an alcoholics liquor out which is to say no good. addiction isnt a moral issue and doesn’t have a moralist solution.

      • Bob

        I agree with your analogy but disagree with your conclusion. If I was staying with someone who had told me my MAGA/Budweiser/Christian/Muslim or whatever hat was not welcome and would be thrown away if I brought it them I would not bring it. If I forgot and wore it anyway, shame on me.

        I don’t have to agree with the house rules but I should follow them or not go.

  • Dolores Dong

    Reached out, reached out, reached back out, reached out. Everyone “reaches out” these days, don’t they. They don’t just contact, or email, or phone … they REACH OUT.

  • Beastie Boy

    Your pop caught you smoking, and he said, no way!
    That hypocrite smokes two packs a day
    Man, living at home is such a drag
    Now your mom threw away your best porno mag (bust it!)
    You gotta fight for your right to party

  • John

    The Father has a heart to help his son… It sounds very familiar with most of the men today. Men are more than at any other time pounded with this trash at work, at school, at home on their computers and TV commercials….and the clothes designers and Hollywood set the tone for way too much temptation…

    • Emily

      People should not destroy other people’s personal possessions. Honestly if he was a kid or a teenager I’d say the parents had the right to destroy it, but the guys a grown man, free to make his own choices about what he collects.

      • Patrick Henry

        Grown man, living with his parents? Not likely. Grown man suing his parents for enforcing house rules? Still not likely.
        Nothing about this guy says he’s a grown man.

        • Chris

          I think that this case may not be a slam dunk for Charlie. His parents had previously stated that the contentvwas not allowed on their property and they had also made him aware of the action that would take place if it were to be btought back. He brought the content back well knowing the consequences of his actions. Its kind of like signing a contract that says… If pornography is found we maintain the right to dispense of it immediately and without warning. Now in this case theres no physical signing, but he, by his own admission, was given the rules and consequences and still chose to live there. His fault.

  • Samuel Green

    This guy Charlie obviously is a the king of the millenials operating on the same frequency as Ocasio Cortez. ….Kicked out of high school and college for selling porn, and a bad temper on top of it. I have no problem with people and their porn collection, but I’m pretty sure if I had a kid like this, he wouldn’t be under my roof if he couldn’t get with the program.

    “If you had a problem with my belongings, you should have stated that at the time and I would have gone elsewhere. Instead you choose to keep quiet and behave vindictively.”

    The mediator or judge will laugh this loser out of the courthouse, as his parents DID HAVE A PROBLEM IN HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE, and he was warned at thoise times. Case will be dismissed in the same manner that the police refused to take a report as it’s baseless. The Lawyer I’m sure will be a millenial only slightly brighter than Charlie

  • Steve Vanden-Eykel

    Sorry, I have to side with the son on this one.

    When I first read the headline, I admit, I slotted this into a certain narrative: “Loser son living at home mad that his parents discovered and threw away his porn”. And I wasn’t sympathetic. But as I read further, I realized that the narrative didn’t fit the facts, and had to be replaced with another one.
    This wasn’t a man still living at home because he’d never grown up. This was a fully fledged adult, temporarily living with his parents until he could get a new place of his own, which he did. Presumably, there was an agreement that they would send his possessions on to him at his new home. Instead, they took it upon themselves to destroy his belongings because they disapproved of them.

    Nope, they had no right to do that. And the idea that this is justifiable because they told him — as a teenager — that if they found any more porn in their house they would destroy it, is not going to fly in court. You simply don’t have the same rights over an adult as you do over a child under your roof. Judge Judy would say the same. If they didn’t want it under their roof, they should have said so before they let it in, not destroyed it after he left. They can disapprove all they want, but it’s not their place to impose their will on a grown man. This was not done “for his own good”, but for spite.

    The only thing I’m still doubtful over is whether the collection actually has the objective value he says it does. I’m not sure there is such a thing as “collectable” porn; porn by its nature is disposable. Interesting to see how it plays out in court.

    • Not Charley

      “Used” porn is disgusting, not collectible. Besides, did he not enter into a contract with his father? To paraphrase it, “You can stay here, but if I find porn I will dispose of it” and his moving in (after being made aware of that condition) surely can be said to be an acceptance of that particular condition of that contract?

      • Steve Vanden-Eykel

        No, what the father said about destroying porn was not an agreement made when he moved back in; it was something he said to a child when the child still lived under his roof. Don’t see the difference? If you moved back into your parents’ house temporarily because your house burned down, how many of the rules they imposed on you would you imagine are still in force? Do they get to choose your bedtime?

    • Memphis

      If you pay someone to store your belongings, they have the obligation to protect them. If you put them in your parents basement while you are living there for free, they are not similarly obligated. If your father has told you he will destroy any pornography you bring into his home, an intelligent person would have paid $20/month to put them in a paid storage locker. He would have a valid case if he had paid either a storage company or his parents.

    • Caballero

      What planet are you from? Could this guy be any more of a loser? Addicted to porn. Kicked out of school for porn. Loses his marriage (most likely had to do with his porn habit). Moves in with his parents. Now is suing them because they threw away his dirty magazines. You can’t write this stuff. I honestly think there is something wrong with you if you are defending this guy.

  • FATSAC (@FATSAC)

    I’m not sticking up for the type of product here but let’s think about this for a minute.

    If it was just a movie collection (not porn) would you have a different opinion? A massive collection of any “product”, that one had collected over the past 20 years, thrown away because someone else thought they had no moral value.

    Considering the parents most likely did not buy the “products”, it wouldn’t necessarily be there’s to throw away now would it. This is regardless of what the so called father said about finding it in his house again.

    Just because you live with someone doesn’t mean they have a right to your stuff… unless you are a minor and they bought it… but even then it was gifted.

    If it was a wine or liquor collection would that be worth keeping? What about a huge gun collection… or music, comic books, or children’s toy collection… which many people have and some are worth quite a bit of money… some would say these don’t contain any moral value either. What about a huge collection of old bibles… would that be worthy of keeping?

    It’s not the content of the “product”, it is an ownership issue.

    Maybe he is not that attractive, maybe he has a higher than normal sexual appetite, maybe he spends way too much time watching porn and needs to get out in the “real world” more… kind of like many of the youth today that spend much of their free time on digital devices.

    The mother and father might want to take a good long look at themselves to find out why their son has an issue with porn. Maybe…just maybe it is something that they have caused… like having an overly oppressive (religious) household or something along those lines. Maybe they are not to be blamed at all, but obviously they are not being open minded and respectful enough to keep their hands off someone else’s property. Using an excuse that they are just trying to help him… If he didn’t have his porn collection in their house, would they still be trying to help? Would they go to his house and take it… or would that be called theft?…

    You know, sometimes the best intentions are not necessarily the right one’s… especially when someone is old enough to make decisions on their own. Just because you make the choice to do things one way… doesn’t mean others that go a different direction are wrong.

    • Floyd Martin

      Like I told my son who turned 18! It is you moms house it’s her rules! Who ever owns the house or pays the rent makes the rules! Get a Job and get your own place!

    • Diana

      Your parents’ house is not your storage locker. If you have something so valuable you’d be crushed if it was gone, especially if it’s something that takes up a ton of space, you don’t store it someplace without an explicit arrangement without taking a risk that it might get tossed. That’d be just as true for a regular movie collection as it is a porn collection.

  • James

    Charlie actually has a right to be compensated for the destruction of property. It doesn’t not matter if was porn, classic movies or vinyl records. As disturbing as it is to see children and parents squabble over porn. It was personal property.

  • KJ

    Dude, try internet porn! Who in the f**k looks at pics anymore? Only slimy greasy haired creepy Floyd from Andy Griffin single men. If they were collectibles, then maybe…but really what luzer looks at penthouse.

  • Donald Campbell

    Now, 20 years ago DVDs had just come out, so the older movies might be VHS or BetaMax. But figure $10.00 a movie, that would be 2900 movies, 3 new movies/week for 20 years! No wonder his wife divorced him, she was exhausted.
    His Dad’s actions were appropriate. Possession is 9/10ths of the law. They were abandoned.

  • KJ

    Ok I want to revise my comment below.
    1) it wasn’t mags, it was dvds (which are almost extinct).
    2)this guy was a collector of sorts. U can get $$$ selling crap on eBay no one else will buy.
    The parents were in the wrong. They could have set his sh!t on the porch or at least warned him. Instead THEY WERE SELF RIGHTEOUS

    • Rich E. Nuff (@bruins90210)

      From father’s comments quoted in the article, he and his wife wanted to help their son. There was nothing self righteous about it. It was their love for their son who could not control himself. The article mentioned that the son was kicked out of both high school and college for selling porn. I would bet it also had something to do with the failure of his marriage. The father was simply trying to set his son free from his bondage to pornography. I am with the parents on this one.

      On a side note, how valuable can an old porn DVD from a company that went out of business 20 years ago really be? I can’t imagine the items having much value to anybody. There may be someone somewhere who would pay a meaningful amount (i.e., >$10) for an old porn DVD, but I doubt it.

  • Steve Hansen

    Identify the guy by name and address. It’s not like he’s a sexual assault victim – he’s a massive pervert and the public has a right to know.

  • SystemicNecrosis

    He never heard of Rentor’s Insurance? Or would that be Moved Back in With Me Mom & Dad But Forgot to Mention My Porn Insurance!?!

  • marlene hessler

    At minimum, that figure should be reduced for his rent and board for those 8 months or more. What a loser. Seems the only head he thinks with is the one incapable of real thought.

  • Avd

    As I’m reading the comments and arguments below one thing I often wonder is why did he get a divorce? If his divorce was due to the fact that he had a porn problem then regardless of who’s right or wrong his dad did something for him that he will thank him later for.

  • Rose

    Him sending the officer 44 emails of pornography as proof is what took me out! Can you imagine being on desk duty and every email you open up is Mr. Happy and Mrs. Pum Pum getting it in….and your co-workers see it??

  • Thawaia Burp

    Since he was making remuneration for his living with his parents, he has the same rights as any tenant. Unless there was a prior agreement to the contrary, that includes the right to privacy and the assurance his personal property would not be damaged or sold. “Charlie” will prevail albeit at a reduced amount most likely.

  • TheBull

    No way was that stuff worth 28,000 dollars, porn is free online. I thought maybe he had vintage Playboys from the 50s, but porn videos are practically worthless.. Maybe the dummy paid that much over time retail, but I doubt it’s worth 1/10 of what he claims. Anyway, not we know whey his wife left him.

  • Mike

    He moved out and left his crap at Moms and Dads house, he had been warned about porn in the house.
    He should have taken it with him.

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