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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 100053
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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We took our car to a repair shop because our transmission broke.

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We took our car to a repair shop because our transmission broke. The place we took it to did a diagnostic on it and told us that it would be $2,300 to rebuild it. My husband told them to hold off on the repair because we needed to find the money to have the work done.
We received a call from the shop that the rebuild had been completed and it was ready for pickup.
We never signed anythng to have the repair done.
Their stand is that since we had the diagnostic done, it gives them authorization to complete the repair.
Is this right?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me - and this is very important - does it state on their paperwork that you give 'automatic' right to repair once they do the diagnostic?

Or, not, and this is something that they have just come up with out of the blue?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


We never signed anything. It was all done verbally.

Okay, thank you K.

At this point, here is what is happening:

1) You are stating that you never authorized the work.
2) They are stating that you did.

You and them are at standstill. They may not release the vehicle and/or place a lien for alleged contract, unless you pay.

What someone in your situation may wish to do at this time is to file a Writ of Replevin to get the vehicle back. This is a court action where one says "they have my property and I want it back." See here.

This may help to prevent them from filing a lien and then they'd have to go to this hearing and explain themselves.

They may claim that there WAS a contract. Then it would be up to the Judge to believe. They may also attempt to claim "quasi-contract." "The essential elements of quasi contract are a benefit conferred on the defendant by the plaintiff, appreciation by the defendant of such benefit, and acceptance and retention by the defendant of such benefit under circumstances such that it would be inequitable for him to retain the benefit without payment of the value thereof." 17 C.J.S. Contracts § 6. In essence, it means that they did the work, and should at least be entitled to something if they THOUGHT you authorized repairs.

Someone in your situation may wish to claim that there was no such authorization, and, they did this deliberately. In the end, it is up to the Court. Of course, often, they may just release the vehicle before/after it being filed to avoid litigation.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.


So at this point, I think that it would be worth our while to push the issue if they keep pushing back.


 


Thank you for your direction, it helps my piece of mind and the thought that we can sort of "fight" back.

K,

So at this point, I think that it would be worth our while to push the issue if they keep pushing back.

Indeed. They are used to customers simply paying to get the vehicle back.

Thank you for your direction, it helps my piece of mind and the thought that we can sort of "fight" back.

Thank you for your direction, it helps my piece of mind and the thought that we can sort of "fight" back.

You are very welcome. Good luck, and please don't forget to rate my answer in one of top three faces and then SUBMIT – it is the only way I get credit for my time with you – or, please REPLY to keep on chatting – I want you to be satisfied.
Ely and 3 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Ely,


Unfortunately my husband really angered them. When I went down there to try and talk to them they had had it with us.


 


Now there is no negation with them and they want their money. They also told me that there is a signed contract in the car and the car is stored in an off site lot.


 


My husband did not sign a contract with them.


 


I am not sure where to go from here in a legal sense. I know that we talked about taking them to court. Do you know an estimated time of how long that might take?


 


 

(ignore)

K,

Thank you for your follow up.

Well, this is unfortunate.

I am not sure where to go from here in a legal sense.

Writ of Replevin - here.

Do you know an estimated time of how long that might take?

It really depends on the Court, and I do not know. A few weeks, perhaps, or even months. One can ask how long it would take to get a replevin hearing at/before filing.

It is best to get an attorney involved. Please, see link below for one:

http://www.cobar.org/directory/
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


They first told me that we cannot get the possessions in the car until we have paid for it. Can they do this legally? If they do not come up with the car tomorrow to let us get our stuff out of the car and show a contract signed by us to do the work, do you think that I have a right to have the police involved?

The police will not get involved. This is a civil matter. They are operating under the presumption that there was contract so they are keeping the vehicle. They can do this, theoretically, unless you challenge this in court, I am afraid.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


So if they are keeping the car, do they have to come up with a signed contract to continue to keep the car?

Well - to the court. And possibly. See my original answer. They can try to claim an oral contract.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thanks Ely. I will try to take it from here for now. I will probably have other questions later but this all for now.


 


Thank you for your help

No problem. I know this is a trying time. Feel free to come back any time to this thread.

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