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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Should I file for a small claim court against a Towing company

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Should I file for a small claim court against a Towing company in LA? My SUV was towed away in April 2013 from my assigned parking stall in an apartment. I didn't realize it was towed as I didnot realize that there's a clause on the contract that vehicles need to be moved every 3 days. I didn't use the SUV often bec. it takes more gas than my 4 door car which I used for my everyday use. I'm a single mom that leaves early to bring my 3 kids to school & comes home late. But yes, I did signed the contract without reading the fine prints. When the apartment told me that it wasn't stolen but towed away, I had to ask my brother to help me drive it from the Tow company while I drive the other car. He said the car sounds terrible and made a lot of noise. He was afraid to drive it in case in dies on the way, but he had to bec. each day in the Tow company is big wasted money. It's only when the mechanic looked at the SUV did we find out that the 2 converters worth about $1000 were cut, which caused the SUV to make extremely loud noises. The police dept. corrected me that it's not a car theft but called a grand theft. I can't afford a lawyer and don't have a lot of time or energy. Can you please advise me if I should pursue the case, or I'm just wasting my time & energy on something that I will not win anyway. That was the advice of the apartment & my brother. But what do you advise?
Thank you for post.

I am genuinely sorry to hear that you feel helpless and conned. I must ask this question before I provide you with an answer--can you directly prove or show that it was the tow company who cut the converters, or could it have been someone else?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't know if I can prove. But the SUV was fine until it was towed away.


I ask because you as the petitioner (the person filing the complaint) have the burden of proving that the other person or business entity caused the harm. My concern for you here would be your own admission that you rarely used the vehicle, which logically permit the other party to claim that the damage could have been done before they were ever involved as you never used the SUV regularly so you could have missed it. Your position would strengthen if what was cut was outside the vehicle and is close to the location where a tow operator would generally use to lock your vehicle to tow it away, but otherwise you might have a problem proving that they caused the harm. I am not stating that you cannot prove it, simply that it would be far harder to do so. Small claims court is not terribly complicated, you do not need an attorney, so the risk to you is fairly small, just the cost of the filing fee. But if you have no evidence but just suspicions, it may be harder to pursue anything against the tow company in that instance.

Hope that helps.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The apartment complex is gated, and they have police car or security that patrols the place. If I can find my smog test that I did this year, will it help the case at all?


If the complex is gated, then potentially the complex can be added as a co-defendant to your claim, as you aren't quite sure who caused the damage, but it was either the complex or the tow operator. The smog test would not really help as hat is not a guarantee that after that test you did not damage your vehicle on your own.

Good luck.

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