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The friend has no legal right to hold the truck hostage. And, you have no obligation to pay $1,000 to retrieve a truck that involves your friend's breach of contract
for failing to fix. If the police won't assist in this, file suit against your friend for breach of contract, fraud, conversion, and deceptive trade practices
. That will entitle you not only to the value of the truck, rental value of the time you have been without the truck, and your money back that you paid to fix the truck...all as actual damages..., but also punitive damages
due to his intentional bad faith and fraudulent actions. Filing the suit will also give you the leverage you need to get your money owed and the truck because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor
, and if he doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on him for a debtor examination. That forces him to meet you in court again and answer questions under oath about his assets. After that information is obtained, you have the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead property he owns to satisfy the judgment. In my experience, simply filing the suit is typically all you need to do to resolve this outside of court because most of the time, once served with a summons one is being sued, he will want to settle out of court to your satisfaction to avoid a suit he has no chance of winning, the judgments on his permanent record, and the punitive damages.
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