The Italian Supreme Court, with judgement no. 52598/2018, ruled that, if after separation the former spouse refuses to return the property to the other spouse, he commits the crime of misappropriation.           

In particular, the former wife, once convicted of misappropriation pursuant to Article 646 of the Italian Criminal Code, defended herself before the Supreme Court by declaring that the complaint had been filed late compared to the time of separation.         

However, the Supreme Court has made it clear that the time limit for filing a complaint begins, not from the date of separation, but when the right of property was denied to the legitimate owner.

The right to claim the ownership, therefore, is determined only at the time when the injured party has communicated that he would withdraw the property held in the possession of the former spouse.