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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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In the state of nevada, can a private party tow company hold

Customer Question

In the state of nevada, can a private party tow company hold my vehicle ransom if I can't pay to get it out? Or can I pick it up as long as I provide proof of ownership and valid driver's license and get billed for it? (It was not towed from an accident, or by law enforcement, I just left it parked at my work for too long, and they towed it.)
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that your car was towed.

A towing company has a right to hold the vehicle to ensure payment before letting it go. The law gives the towing company a lien on the vehicle to ensure that storage and towing fees are paid, as long as they gave you the notices requires by Nev. Rev. Stat., Section 487.010.

If the car was unlawfully towed, you have a legal right to sue your employer for the cost of the towing and reimbursement of storage fees up until you found out about it. Nev. Rev. Stat., Section 487.039. Unfortunately, you have a legal obligation to mitigate your damages, so you cannot leave the car there to incur additional fees until you get a court date - the amount you'd wind up owing would be significantly more, and the judge would only order the security company to pay the storage fees for the first few days.

You can try serving a demand letter on your employer (or the security company or both) insisting that they pay you at least the original $450 + $35 to get the car back, but usually a demand letter carries a 7 or 10 day window for payment. That might be too late. You can try telling them directly that you'll sue since the tow was illegal and see if they'll give you the money to get the car out right away. If that doesn't work, I'm sorry to say, the only way to get your car back is to see if you can borrow the money from someone. The tow company doesn't have to release the car, and the auction they're talking about will happen long before you can get a judgment in Small Claims Court.

Note that if they DO auction the car and they get more than what's owed, they have to pay you the difference, but I realize that's small consolation.

I apologize that this was probably not the Answer you were hoping to receive. However, it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand. Please rate my answer positively to ensure I am paid for the time I spent answering your question. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

Good luck.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

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