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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34068
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Hello, I own a condo in Las Vegas and recently my vehicle

Resolved Question:

Hello,

I own a condo in Las Vegas and recently my vehicle was towed from my parking space, impounded and held for ransom ($350) by a new towing company.

I phoned Tow-Pro's and questioned their authority to come on private property and seize my personal property without notice to Security or myself. They said "a woman produced a valid lease" - that was all they needed. I asked how they knew it was "valid". Their response: I should contact my condo Mgmt. Co.

There is no "Authorizing Signature" on the towing invoice. They refused to give further info about their customers.

When I called the condo mgmt. co. they were no real help. However, they're sure that I'm the party at-fault here. This is nonsense!

Further probing about their records (rather, a lack thereof) reveals their office parking "master" consists of a single sheet of paper. DATED 1971! Meaning some type of administrative "accident / disaster" has occurred at some point. No backups...and no interest whatsoever in correcting this situation. NONE.

I've lived here for 35 years, and I know the parking files - resurfacing bids/contracts, signage, etc. for this 40 yr. old complex used to require several 4-drawer steel cabinets - before everything was "digitized" for convenience/efficiency.

This explains a lot as to how/who put this mess in motion. And why I named the mgmt.co. as the defendant in an 'unlawful towing complaint' last month - where I did not prevail - because I was unable at that time to produce a document proving the mgmt. co. caused a new tenant/renter to erroneously engage the towing company - even though several omissions existed which were required by statute in both NRS 116 and NRS 487. She (JP) said say is I refiled the complaint and show her such a document, she would change her ruling.

Now I'm thinking perhaps I'm not approaching this correctly. I'm not certain as to who the proper defendant(s) should be at this point...

I welcome any clarity in what is my first - and hopefully last "pro se" endeavor.

Amen.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Do I understand correctly that the management company inadvertently gave your parking space away to a tenant, and that neither you nor the management company has any proof that you were originally authorized to use the space given away?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Socrateaser,


 


The best answer I can give is "sort of". I was assigned that space (#399)


about 15 - 20 yrs. ago and this is the first time it's been an issue, but I don't


have the letter i received from the "parking commitee" at the time.


 


I was under the impression that complete/accurate record-keeping was


one of the duties management companies are responsible for maintaining.


 


The out-dated document (1971) shows my unit assigned to (space #44) and


I have NEVER parked there - in fact, in 1971 I lived in Virginia and didn't have


a driver's license yet.


 


Can I offer any further info?


 


Regards,


 


Bruce


 

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Okay, I get the idea.

Were I representing you, I would argue that you have an implied-in-fact contract with the association, due to your long-term use of the space, and the failure of the association to enforce the parking regulations for at least a decade. A party has a duty to object in circumstances where silence indicates a contrary intent. You have relied to your detriment for 10 years or more, and the association has done nothing to enforce the parking regulations. Surely, someone would have been entitled to the space and would have acted to remove you in all this time, unless you were the owner who was actually assigned the parking space.

In my opinion, the association has breached the implied contract, and you are entitled to damages.

I would want to present witnesses/neighbors who would testify that you have parked in the space for years without any objection by the association. This argument would negate the necessity of showing any express parking assignment, or the express absence of a modification of the original assignment to the space that you occupied up until recently.

Unfortunately, the judge has already adopted a position of, if you can show me documentary proof, then I will rule in your favor -- which effectively negates your ability to argue any other legal theory. That's not something that I can overcome. You could refile your complaint using the theory I suggest, and if you could get a different judge, that would certainly help. But, otherwise, I don't see how you can overcome the judge's prejudice, based upon what he/she already ruled. Judges don't like to change their rulings.

Anyway, from this vantage point, the best I can do is to try to give you an alternative argument, so that you can try to avoid the fact that the documentary evidence appears to work against you. And, that's what I've done.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Socrateaser,


 


The party who has the supposedly valid rental-lease the towing company


claims they acted on (lswfully or otherwise) I believe live in the unit above


mine. Their car is parked in the spot I was towed from (#399).


 


Can I have her subpoenaed to produce that lease in court - which would


show the space (#399) was provided/granted via the mangement company


staff to her directly or through the unit owner - the parking info can only come from


one source - the management co.


 


I'm thinking that would satisfy the JP's requirement, in written form.


 


What are your thoughts, counselor?


 


Thanks,


 


Bruce


 


P.S. I don't know the name of the renter, just the address...and the unit-owner


has a California address on file with the Clark County Assessor's office.


What would be the best way to have either one or both served?

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
You can subpoena the neighbor and the lease -- that's absolutely a lawful action in this case. I wouldn't tell the neighbor or anyone else why you want the lease, because you may suddenly and magically find that space #399 is included into the lease agreement.

Obviously, the downside of this route is that if the lease does show your space, then you're back to my original argument as the only one with any merit.

But, it's worth a shot.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Socrateaser,


 


Just to clarify, I would expect the renter's lease agreement to


have Space #399 written into it currently as provided by/furnished


by the management co. - erroneousIy due to their nearly non-existent


office records. This is what would provide proof that the mangement co.


instigated this situation through their own negligence - not through any


fault of mine or the renter/unit owner.


 


Additionally, the only advice/remedy offered by the mgmnt. co. was for me


to have cars towed from Space #44 because that would be in line with their


written record - i rejected this as no-remedy, an invitation for disaster: property


damge, etc.


 


And because Security has MY info only on-file in their records as the


sole property owner assigned to Space #399 along with my unit #, doesn't


that strengthen the integrity of my argument that I Am Not The Bad Guy in this


fiasco which has left me without a secure, assigned spot in which to park my car!


 


Currently, my only choice is Guest Parking if available, or seek public parking on the


street. Does Justice Court offer any relief for this - or only monetary remedies?


 


I welcome your opinion, and I now know Justice Court and Smal Claims only look alike.


 


Thanks,


 


Bruce


 


 


 

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
If security has your info on record as the only person entitled to use #399, then the lease and the security records would demonstrate that someone acted with a lack of due care by assigning the wrong parking space. That someone may be the association, but it also may be the property owner who leased the property to the tenant. The owner could have made an error. If you want to try to prove negligence, then you will need to sue both the association and the property owner (or, whomever drafted the lease -- perhaps a real estate agent). And, you will need to subpoena the security records and the lease.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Socrateaser,

 

I apologize for my ignorance regarding proper service and filing procedure and

appreciate your patience.

 

Can I file one complaint for "Unlawful Towing" and list multiple co-defenants on the

one (1) complaint? (versus one complaint per defendant)

 

Also, until one party produces the lease in court, I won't know if a real estate agent is involved

but at that point, isn't it too late to do anything about it? My understanding is that day in court is my

final opportunity to address this matter.

 

In order to "subpoena the security records" do I name say, the security guard who was

on duty the night they towed my car, and HE would then produce those records in court?

 

Can a subpoena be served to a legal resident of an address without naming them specifically?

What I'm after is the lease to be produced in court - not whether it's Mom or Dad Tennant

who delivers the document. Correct?

 

I know it's late, and I don't know what kind of hours you keep, Socrateaser.

 

Thanks,

 

Bruce

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Socrateaser,


 


Not sure what happened to your last post.


I got a notification, but all I can find is my last post.


 


Most of my questions have been answered, though.


i just have a couple of small - and quick - items left


and I think you'll have me sufficiently squared-away.


 


Shoot me an email any time you're available later today.


 


Thanks,


 


Bruce

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

Can I file one complaint for "Unlawful Towing" and list multiple co-defendants on the one (1) complaint? (versus one complaint per defendant)

 

A: You can, and in fact you must sue each defendant in the same lawsuit -- or you lose your right to sue those who you do not join in the action. To join multiple defendants, each one must be "fairly traceable" to the transactions and/or occurrences which caused your injury.

 

Also, until one party produces the lease in court, I won't know if a real estate agent is involved but at that point, isn't it too late to do anything about it? My understanding is that day in court is my final opportunity to address this matter.

 

A: If another person appears to be a defendant, then you ask the court to postpone the hearing and permit you to join another defendant, because you were unaware until the time that the lease was produced that another defendant existed.

 

In a regular civil action, you would initiate discovery before trial and then once you had the lease, you would amend your complaint to join the other defendant(s). But in a small claims (or any action where there is limited discovery and only one hearing), you would have to request a continuance, so that you could join/amend and then issue a summons to the new defendant.

 

In order to "subpoena the security records" do I name say, the security guard who was on duty the night they towed my car, and HE would then produce those records in court?

 

A: You name the "custodian of records" for the security company, and specify the records that you seek. This is called a "subpoena duces cecum" (subpoena for personal appearance and production of evidence).

 

Can a subpoena be served to a legal resident of an address without naming them specifically?

 

A: Only a "custodian of records" can be named by reference. Anyone else must be specifically named.

 

What I'm after is the lease to be produced in court - not whether it's Mom or Dad Tenant who delivers the document. Correct?

 

A: If you are not suing the tenant(s), then you're making a mistake. You don't know who put #399 into the lease, and since you don't, then you must assume that it could be anyone through whose hands the lease has passed (tenant, landlord, property management, security company, property owner, etc.).

 

Best wishes.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Helllo Socrateaser,


 


Sorry about the delay this morning. Going to the airport used to be a simple thing...


 


I was wondering if you had any suggestions regarding best-use of info such as


a vehicle plate number to identify renters/tennants for proper service?


 


I believe that is my final question.


 


Thanks,


 


Bruce

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
I was wondering if you had any suggestions regarding best-use of info such as a vehicle plate number to identify renters/tennants for proper service?

A: I don't understand the question. Please rephrase. Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Socrateaser,


 


Can you recommend any resources that can check a vehicle license plate number


to find out the name of the registered owner?


 


And lastly,


 


Do you have a "Top 5 DON'Ts To Prevent Shooting One's Self In The Foot"?


 


Regards,


 


Bruce

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Can you recommend any resources that can check a vehicle license plate number to find out the name of the registered owner?

A: Best I can suggest is to hire a private investigation or skip tracing service. I can't make specific recommendations in this forum.

Do you have a "Top 5 DON'Ts To Prevent Shooting One's Self In The Foot"?

 

A: Other than to hire a lawyer, I strongly suggest that you spend some time in the judge's court watching trials. That way you will have a better idea of the judge's predispositions and what's likely to work -- and visa versa.

 

That's what I do, when I've never been before a particular judge before. You've already been before the judge, but when you're prosecuting your own case, you're not able to "see" what's actually happening, because you're too busy thinking about what you need to do. If you're watching and listening from the audience, you will see a completely different courtroom.

 

Hope this helps.

socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34068
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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