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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 110586
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My vehicle was left by a mechanic who worked at

Customer Question

My vehicle was left for repair by a mechanic who worked at a business that sold used cars. The dealer who leased the lot vanished. The property owner locked the lot and later posted it for trespass. He then refused to release any of the vehicles on advise of a lawyer. I contacted the owner several times and requested release of the vehicle that was registered and titled to me. After 39 days he charged me for storage of the vehicle which I paid with a check with "paid under protest of illegal storage fees". I contacted an attorney who advised me to stop payment of the check which I did. The property owner is now attempting to force me to re-issue the check or face a law suit alleging that I committed fraud by doing so. I am working with the attorney I that advised me to stop payment but do not know if I should proceed to fight the matter because of the costs involved. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.Once you issued the check and then stopped payment, under state law it is called "issuing bad checks" and it is a misdemeanor criminal offense in addition to a civil violation. So, at this point what you need to do is you need to consider filing your own suit against this business and owner for "replevin" for return of your vehicle and also argue that he should be estopped under the equitable theory of estoppel from charging you for storage for something that his own actions caused by locking down the lot. I think you should fight it and seek damages for his intentional and malicious conduct trying to charge you storage for a vehicle he caused to be locked down and inaccessible for you to pick up.

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