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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Can you tell me how much, total, you have contributed to this vehicle?
Did you see my follow up question to your issue?
Not quite sure. It was purchased 1/18/11 and I have made $300 payments. $230 going towards the vehicle. Last payment made 1/10/13.
And that's in addition to the $3000 down payment that you made?
I had a $1400 trade in and gave him $1000 in cash to get it registered, insured and taxes. The balance is about $6000 originay $12k something
I do not have the specifics but those no's are very close. It was 60 payments required total
Thank you. First of all, I will address your living arrangements: If you have a lease in place with him, where you agree to pay some amount for rent (even if this is a verbal agreement, rather than a written one), then you would have rights as a "tenant". He can't just "kick you out" without giving you notice, filing an "unlawful detainer" action (i.e. An eviction lawsuit) and getting an order for eviction. If he were to do so, you could sue him for unlawful eviction. You could also get a locksmith and have the locksmith literally let you back into the house, etc... You should let him know that you have rights as a tenant, and that if he does not follow the proper notice to vacate and eviction procedures, that he will be responsible for all of your expenses incurred as a result of the illegal eviction (costs for filing a lawsuit, attorneys fees, hotel or other moving expenses, etc...) The fact that you have this agreement in writing is VERY beneficial to you, but even if it was verbal, that would still give you rights as a tenant.
As for the vehicle: So long as it was titled in his name, he could sell it or otherwise dispose of it. This is his legal right as the title owner of the vehicle. But you had a separate contract with him that you were paying for the vehicle, etc... and he breached that contract.
The main issue here is what you can do about it: You absolutely can sue and win. But for any amount over $5000, you could not sue in small claims court. It would have to be in a court of general jurisdiction.
What that means is that you would be subject to the same rules of pleading, procedure, and evidence as lawyers are. And as such, you would really want to at least talk to some attorneys about taking the case. It's possible that you could get attorneys fees out of such a case on that regard.
And you could lump that case with the wrongful eviction case.
Now this is something that you could represent yourself in, but to be honest it's a steep learning curve.
If that's the route that you would want to take, I would suggest that you go to the library and check out some books on self representation. You can find legal forms for the lawsuit at the library as well.
But for a court of general jurisdiction (suits over $5,000), there are a lot of potential traps, pitfalls, etc... that you could lose your case on a procedural matter, rather than on the "merits" (which are strong in your case).
Scott that's excellent advice. Do you recommend I file a restraining order just in case I need it. All I want to do now is get out but I need till the end of the month. I will cause no trouble but he is very vocally abusive
That would be a good idea, if he is trying to kick you out immediately. Now a threat of filing a restraining order (which would show up on his record) might be enough to make him back off, but if he doesn't, you can try to go ahead and do so.
Feeling a little better. Is there any further recommendations to look out for?
He loves control and humiliation over me
Not at the moment. Again, I would read up on tenant rights in Missouri, as he would have to give you notice to vacate, and could only terminate the lease for certain reasons (such as nonpayment of rent, etc...). You can agree to terminate early, but that would have to be a joint areement.
I understand, and I do wish you the best of luck in this matter. I hope that you can get this resolved without getting the courts involved, but you're in a very good position should you have to take it to that level.
Thanks a million
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