Qitzur Shulchan Arukh – 181:9

ט: יָכוֹל אָדָם לַעֲשׂוֹת דִּין לְעַצְמוֹ. אִם רוֹאֶה חֵפֶץ שֶׁלּוֹ בְּיַד אַחֵר שֶׁגְּזָלוֹ, יָכוֹל לְקַחְתּוֹ מִיָדוֹ. וְאִם הָאַחֵר עוֹמֵד כְּנֶגְדּוֹ, יָכוֹל לְהַכּוֹתוֹ עַד שֶׁיַנִּיחֶנוּ, אִם לֹא יוּכַל לְהַצִיל בְעִנְיָן אַחֵר, אֲפִלּוּ הוּא דָבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ הֶפְסֵד, אִם יַמְתִּין עַד שֶׁיַעֲמִידֶנּו בַּדִין. וְאִם יֵשׁ עֵדִים הָרוֹאִים שֶׁהוּא תופֵס אֶת הַחֵפֶץ מִיַד הָאַחֵר, אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְתָפְסוֹ עַל יְדֵי הַכָּאָה, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יָכוֹל לְבָרֵר אַחַר כָּךְ שֶׁנָּטַל אֶת ֹשֶלּוֹ. כִּי אִם לֹֹא יְבָרֵר, לֹא מַהֲנֵי לֵהּ תְּפִיסָתוֹ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהָיוּ עֵדִים בַּדָבָר. אֲבָל אִם אֵין עֵדִים, דְּאָז מַהֲנֵי תְפִיסָתוֹ, יָכוֹל לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן, אַף-עַל-פִּי שֶׁלֹּא יוּכַל לְבָרֵר

A person may obtain justice for themselves. If he wants his item, which is in the possession of someone else who stole it, he can take it from his possession. And if the other stands in his way, he can beat him until he puts the item down. [But this is only] if he can not save it another way, even if it’s an item that is not perishable, if he were to wait until he can stand him in court.

If there are witnesses who see him taking the item from the possession of the other, he can not grab it via hitting unless he can prove afterward that he took his own [property]. Because if he can’t prove it, the grabbing [of his item] won’t help him, since there are witnesses for the matter [who could be brought to court to force him to return it]. But if there are no witnesses, he may do so, even where he does not have the ability to prove [that the item is really his].

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  1. December 31, 2009 – י״ד בטבת תש״ע

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