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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 19658
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I live in Georgia and I recently sold a car to a person in

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I live in Georgia and I recently sold a car to a person in Florida. He sent payment for the car via a personal check by mail which I deposited into my account. Two days later I shipped the car to him via a car carrier service. Now I just found out that a stop payment was put on the check. I got in touch with him and he said I misrepresented the car and if I want it back I will have to pay to have it shipped back ($1050). I want to sue him and I have his address in Florida, but which state has jurisdiction? If I sue him do I file the case where I live or where he lives? Is this considered auto theft?
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I live in Georgia and I recently sold a car to a person in Florida. He sent payment for the car via a personal check by mail which I deposited into my account. Two days later I shipped the car to him via a car carrier service. Now I just found out that a stop payment was put on the check. I got in touch with him and he said I misrepresented the car and if I want it back I will have to pay to have it shipped back ($1050). I want to sue him and I have his address in Florida, but which state has jurisdiction? If I sue him do I file the case where I live or where he lives? Is this considered auto theft?



Response: Florida, where the car is and where the Defendant is. Also, the Defendant never came to Georgia to purchase the vehicle. If he put a stop payment, he should have told you not to ship the car to him. Having possession of the car and putting a stop payment on the car amounts to theft. You can file theft charge against him with the Police in Florida.



The lawsuit would be filed in the County in Florida where he resides.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You say "Having possession of the car and putting a stop payment on the car amounts to theft." Is it theft or does it "amount to theft", is that the same thing? He isn't trying to keep the car, he just won't pay or assist in any way to send it back and is telling me its my responsibility. The cost of $1050 if what a shipping company is going to charge me to ship the car back to GA. To be clear the buyer is not asking for any money, nor is he holding the car for any sort of ransom, he just won't help in any way to get the car back to GA. Is that still auto theft? I don't want to file false charges and in turn get sued myself. Also isn't there some way I could file the lawsuit in GA? Is doesn't seem worth my time to file a lawsuit for $1050 in Miami, FL when I live in North GA, is there a way to do this to where it does make sense?

You say "Having possession of the car and putting a stop payment on the car amounts to theft." Is it theft or does it "amount to theft", is that the same thing?


Response 1:
Same thing. I am sorry for the legal jargon.


He isn't trying to keep the car, he just won't pay or assist in any way to send it back and is telling me its my responsibility. The cost of $1050 if what a shipping company is going to charge me to ship the car back to GA




Response 2: Okay, that would not be theft if he is not trying to still retain the car without paying for it.


To be clear the buyer is not asking for any money, nor is he holding the car for any sort of ransom, he just won't help in any way to get the car back to GA. Is that still auto theft?



Response 3: No, it is not.


I don't want to file false charges and in turn get sued myself. Also isn't there some way I could file the lawsuit in GA?



Response 4
: You can file the lawsuit in Georgia and let the Buyer challenge the jurisdiction of the case in Georgia. You can make a case that the State of Georgia should exercise long-arm jurisdiction over the Buyer because he had minimum contacts with the State of Georgia when he was negotiating the purchase of the vehicle. However, this argument may not be persuasive since if the purchase had not gone bad, you were the one that profited from the transaction. So, if the Buyer challenges jurisdiction, the State of Georgia is most likely to refuse to exercise jurisdiction in the case and dismiss your case. You would then have to re-file the case in Florida.


Is doesn't seem worth my time to file a lawsuit for $1050 in Miami, FL when I live in North GA, is there a way to do this to where it does make sense?



Response 5: See my previous response..


You can actually file the case while in Georgia without ever stepping foot in Florida. Most Courts now offer telephonic hearings for out-of state litigants. So, you can contact the Courthouse in the County in Florida where he resides to send you forms in the mail. Once you complete the forms, you can mail them back to the Courthouse for filing and request to be present for hearing by telephone because it would be cost prohibitive for you to attend the hearing in person.

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