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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33072
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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During my divorce I had a business (no paperwork no charges)

Customer Question

During my divorce I had a business (no paperwork no charges) store my 1967 second owner GTO that I have had for 20 years. The Divorce decree states that it is separate property and awarded to me, as I owned it and inception of title rule in TX prior to marriage. I have the title all the paperwork and the owner of the facility would not return my calls. I found he is trying to sell the car (its titled in Michigan ) for 70k and states he has clean title etc. I checked with Texas DMV they do not have a title on the car. I called the local Sheriff Department and they met me over at the business and said its a Civil Matter and would not allow me to take the car. Due to the divorce, and me being 100% VA disabled I am on limited income and still trying to catch up on all the legal bills. How can I get my property - the owners position is that I left it more than 30 days so its his. There was no contract, I did not sign anything and that was never said to me, as he had it for 6 mos.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 9 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.

Nice car.

You are going to have to go to civil court and file a civil suit as well as get an injunction to prevent him from selling it. You can try legal aid but they rarely get involved in cases like this.

Injunctions are extremely difficult to get and the underlying case will be difficult as well so you're going to need a lawyer. You can, however, recover your attorney's fees in the lawsuit.

The steps to an injunction are:

1) An Application for TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) is filed along with supporting evidence such as affidavits. Usually the Application for Injunction is made at the same time. The TRO is a temporary measure and is not absolutely required before you get an injunction.
2) An Ex Parte (without the other side present) Hearing is conducted and the judge either issues the TRO or denies it. If the TRO is issued the judge orders a bond set in a sufficient amount to compensate the other side for any damages accumulated while the TRO is in place if the applicant fails to prove their right to an injunction.
3) A hearing on the TRO is set.
4) The TRO and notice of Hearing is served on the defendant.
5) The defendant should immediately begin following the judge's orders.
6) The TRO hearing is held and each side has an opportunity to present evidence and question witnesses.
7) The judge makes the decision on whether to convert the TRO to a Temporary Injunction or not.
8) If the TRO is converted to a Temporary Injunction then the judge sets a new bond to be in place.
9) Discovery is conducted by both sides.
10) A request for hearing date is made on the matter of converting the Temporary Injunction into a Permanent Injunction.
11) The hearing/trial is held on the Permanent Injunction and the judge issues a ruling.

These are what are known as extraordinary remedies and the procedural rules for these as well as the case law are EXTREMELY specific and difficult. If ANY mistakes are made the judge has no choice but to deny the relief and will not likely reconsider it in the future.

Just as an example, getting injunctive relief, both temporary and permanent, requires that evidence be offered of:
1) An immediate need,
2) Which, if not granted, will result in irreparable harm,
3) With no adequate remedy at law, and
4) (on temporary order) The person requesting the injunction is likely to succeed at a full trial on the merits.

If evidence is not offered to meet these four requirements, in a manner that the judge knows this is what the evidence shows, then the petition will be denied.

There are more requirements than this depending on the exact facts of the case but it is very, very easy to mess up one of these and end up having to pay damages to the other side just because your paperwork wasn't done properly.

You can find a lawyer to assist you by going to www.lawyers.com and in the section for Area of Practice enter Civil Litigation or Consumer Law. Either of those will have the skill set you need.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and no longer time out so you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of any follow ups.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Why do I have to result to a civil suit. 1) this guy offered to let me put the car in his place so I could save some cash. No contract, no written, no verbal commitments or promises. Never even a hey get it out of here. So then I go to call him he ignores my calls for a several weeks, i find then he is trying to sell the car for $70k and says he's got a clean title..etc... had a cop friend of mine call and find out. So I call the Sheriff Department (corrupt Bastrop County) and ask them to meet me, I show them my court order in the decree that its mine, 20 years of paperwork its mine. Michigan Title, its mine, all the receipts, window sticker etc... and my insurance that expired that day and had to be back in my garage by condition of Haggerty insurance and its a Civil Matter.... its my car. Not his... how can someone just lay claim to something when I have all the owner ship papers. Please excuse my resistance, because I had a documented forgery a few months ago by an ex-wife with text messages showing the conspiracy to forge transferring tens of thousands of dollars of property out of my name. Ran it by the Texas Rangers, and two other County DA's and they said that is a crime with a bowtie around it. Proving Mens Rhea or something to the sort.... Bastrop County tells me "its a Civil Matter because yes its a forgery, but they have no way to tell whether I gave my consent to forge or not." ( I have that conversation recorded) Ummm how about its probably not consented if I filed a complaint.... or try asking me... Im sorry, but it just doesn't make sense... neither did my divorce being finalized in less than 60 days in my absence without discovery and property was divided by a judge who later recused himself.... same county.... Im sorry.... IT would be like a neighbor leaving a car here cause hes too drunk to drive home, and he comes and gets it and I say no... and its a civil matter.... does that make sense.... because if thats the case, I am changing careers.... car theft is car theft. What right does he have to sell my car, keep my car.... etc....Or the one where My ex burglarized my home in my absence... proven (affidavit from the locksmith she and her BF decieved) and stole my safe Cut it open (admitted and recorded) and the sheriff department has her return the contents that she wants to return to my mailbox and calls me up and tells me to go look in my mailbox... there you go.. you got your safe back.... (also recorded...) and no crime.... if I want to get my deceased mothers jewelry back that belongs to the probate estate in Michigan...its a civil matter. Im not making this stuff up.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 9 months ago.

Why do I have to result to a civil suit.

Because you tried to go about it all the other ways and it didn't work so the only thing left is a civil suit. If the police or the sheriff had been willing to help then you wouldn't have had to but since they aren't then you have to resort to the courts.