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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.
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I live in Missouri. I was in an auto accident and I was the

Customer Question

I live in Missouri. I was in an auto accident and I was the driver that was at fault. I took my vehicle to an auto body shop to get it repaired. The person that was repairing my vehicle removed the license plates from my vehicle without my permission.
The person that removed my license plates did not own the auto body shop. He was renting it monthly. When the actual owner of the auto body shop saw that my vehicle had no license plates, he told me that I needed to move the vehicle off of his property. He
told me this on December 25th, 2014. Once again, it was the person that was repairing my vehicle that removed my license plates. I paid the person that was repairing my vehicle approximately $2,200.00 in several cash payments. The person that was repairing
my vehicle went out of business. I did not pick up my vehicle in time, and as a consequence, the owner of the property had it towed away from the auto body shop. The vehicle was towed on February 13th, 2015. The owner sent me a letter that informed me that
my vehicle was towed off of his property. I received his letter around February 18th, 2015. The towing service fee was approximately $250.00, in which, the owner has already paid for, and the storage fee is $60.00 per day. I currently finance the vehicle that
was towed. I have already contacted the finance company. They already know that I did not have auto insurance at the time of my accident and that the vehicle was towed away and that it is no longer in my possession. When I spoke to the finance company on the
telephone, they told me that as long as I continue to make the regular monthly payments, everything will be okay. I have approximately four more monthly payments to pay until the vehicle is completely paid in full. As I stated before, the vehicle was towed
away. I would like to retrieve the vehicle, however, if I have to pay the towing service a large sum of money, I would rather not retrieve the vehicle. I do not think that I can hand over the title to the towing service because I still currently have a lien
on the vehicle. I have several questions. Am I responsible for paying any money to the owner of the property? Am I responsible for paying any money to the towing service? Did the owner of the property tow my vehicle illegally? If the owner of the property
did illegally tow my vehicle, could I file a case against him for illegally towing my vehicle? Is there any way that I can retrieve my vehicle? Could I take the repair person to court and sue him for the approximate amount of money ($2,200.00) I paid him to
repair my vehicle? Do I have a winnable case?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer, I believe we have discussed your question earlier.

  • Am I responsible for paying any money to the owner of the property? Yes, you are responsible for the cost of towing, and the cost of storage: "I did not pick up my vehicle in time, and as a consequence, the owner of the property had it towed" The owner of the shop gave you notice that the vehicle needed to be removed, and you did not make arrangements to either extend the date, or remove the vehicle.
  • Am I responsible for paying any money to the towing service? Yes, towing companies are statutorily entitled to charge storage fees. See: http://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/stathtml/30400001561.html
  • Did the owner of the property tow my vehicle illegally? No, the owner gave you notice, you failed to remove the vehicle or make arrangements. Your automobile became "abandoned" and they were entitled to tow it.
  • If the owner of the property did illegally tow my vehicle, could I file a case against him for illegally towing my vehicle? Not applicable (see above)
  • Is there any way that I can retrieve my vehicle? Yes! You can pay the tow and storage fees.
  • Could I take the repair person to court and sue him for the approximate amount of money ($2,200.00) I paid him to repair my vehicle? Absolutely, they removed the plates without authorization, and they breached their contract with you to repair your vehicle as agreed upon. Arguably they may also be liable for the cost of tow and storage (although this is a weak claim, you could try it).
  • Do I have a winnable case? That depends on the very specific facts of your case, I cannot provide you with a formal legal opinion on this forum, but if you paid a mechanic to do a job, and they didn't do it, you can sue them for breach of contract.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I live in the state of Missouri. Is there a time limit or a specific amount of days in which a towing service can charge me for storage fees?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

There is a statute that gives a time frame - anywhere from 10 days to 30 days for storage fees based on garage work (it depends again on the very specific facts of your case).

Here is the statute, you can review it and compare it to the specific facts of your case to determine how it would apply to your situation and whether or not the company complied: http://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/stathtml/30400001561.html