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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32354
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I was trading my motorcycle straight across car to someone

Customer Question

I was trading my motorcycle straight across for a car to someone under the condition they rode it because it didn't hurt his hip with a screw in it. It is now hurting his hip and he refuses to trade it back to me. He does not have the title or any paperwork saying a traded him my motorcycle the same is true of the car, would it be legal for me to drive down in said car leave it there and take my bike back?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I'm not following. Is the other person unable to provide you with the paperwork (title, etc) on the vehicle that you took in trade?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
He is but we were waiting for the title to come in the mail in my motorcycle before signing them over
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.

If you don't get the title then it is a breach of contract, clearly.

As to your question regarding driving down, leaving the car and picking up the motorcycle, no, that wouldn't be legal. There are two type of "title" or ownership. "Legal title" which just means what the documents show and "Equitable title" which means who really owns the item based on all factors. Based on the facts you have given the exchange was made and therefore he owns the motorcycle now and so you can't just go and get it.

If you believe you have some grounds for rescinding the contract, for example if he hasn't provided you a title in another couple of months, then you can sue him and ask the court to rescind the original agreement and issue a "turnover order" in which case the court would tell him to give the motorcycle back to you and then he would take the car back.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
It was only agreed in a verbally. There is no documentation to show it belongs to him
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I raded the bike to him under the context that it would be used because it didn't hurt his hip, not for any other reason. Now that it is hurting his hip and wishes to trade it off (without and proof of ownership) would that not be a breach of contract on his part?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.

As far as it being an oral contract, oral contracts are valid.

The issue as to why you traded it to him, unless the agreement was that he wasn't to trade it off without your permission or giving you the first chance at it then that really isn't a breach.

If you are going to claim that the agreement was that if it ever started hurting his hip you were to get the motorcycle back then you would have an argument to make to the court although, of course, it is always hard to prove the specific terms of an oral contract.

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