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"What can i do if an auto repair shop is refusing to release my vehicle to me unless i signa waiver stating that i will not pursue legal action against them in the future. Would this be a criminal matter since they are refusing to return my property "
First, report this matter to the police and insist that the police fill out a police report. They will tell you that this is a civil matter and that they do not get involved in civil matters. That is okay. You are filing the police report so that you will later have proof that the auto repair shop refused to release your car unless you signed the release they requested.
Once the police have filled out an incident report, ask them when you can come back and get a copy. In the meantime, go to the auto repair shop to pick up your car. Sign what they tell you to sign, but under your name, write tyhe following,
"Signed under protest"
That phrase means that you ordinarily would never have signed it under your own free will. If anything goes wrong with the repairs that the auto repair shop performed on your vehicle, you can bring it back and ask them to fix whtever mistake they made. If they refuse to correct any repair mistakes they made, you can file a lawsuit in Small Claims Court. The auto repair shop, of course, will produce the Release that they had you sign. However, you will bring with you to Court, a copy of the police report you filed in which you told the police that the auto repair shop refused to give you your vehicle unless and until you signed the Release. That alone will make them look bad to the Judge and you will have one the case based simply on their insistance that you sign a Release.
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