How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Dimitry K., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I purchased a 2010 Kia Optima in March 2013 for my 32 year

This answer was rated:

I purchased a 2010 Kia Optima in March 2013 for my 32 year old daughter and her 2 toddlers to get around town in, being she did not have credit to get her a descent
The car was/is in my name, and both myself and my daughter is/was on the auto insurance policy.
The agreement was, that she make the monthly auto insurance premiums of $104.00 a month. She made 2 payments out of 8, I paid the rest.
The car payments, I would make monthly payments and she would pay me back when she got her income tax the next year on everything that I paid on the car from Jan 1st thru Dec 31st of the previous year.
She told me in July 2013, that her husband and his friend on April 18th, 2013, took the car to run a errand, and during that time, they found a ladder on the side of the highway and stopped to get it. They had no way to haul it, so the friend held it outside the passenger window against the side of the car, while her husband drove the car.

She told me her husband told her he would pay her for a new paint job to fix it.

It is scratched all over from the front fender to the rear fender.

On October 15th, I had words with her, and went to get the car from her place on October 16th, and brought it to my house. I now have possession of the car.

I never gave her husband permission to drive the car, only her.
My question is, Can I take her to small claims court for the damage to the car since it was in her possession and she allowed her husband to drive it without my knowledge?
And will I have a case?
I know I will have to get 3 estimates for the repairs.
Thank you, Sherrie

Thank you for your question, Sherrie. Please permit me to assist you this afternoon.


This is a tough situation to be in. As 'owner', you are entitled to have the vehicle be in working shape even if you allow others to use or borrow the vehicle. Since your daughter is not owner, she is liable to you for all damages. In terms of letting the third party drive the car, that is not actionable as it was not in writing that 'borrowing' the car to someone else is not permitted, but damages that he caused when the car was borrowed is attributed to the daughter since she was the custodial of the property. You can therefore pursue her for costs for the damage but not for the unauthorized use since that use was never denied to her under contract.


Hope that helps.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK, so I can take my daughter to court for the damages.

Do I take her to small claims court or regular court?

Who pays for court cost?

How do I get the process started into court, for a court date, to have her served, etc...??

What is the procedure for her to pay and how long does it take her to pay if the court finds in my favor?

Thank you


Thank you for your follow-up. In your other thread you posted:

OK, so I can take her to court for the damages that was made to the car?
Yes, that is correct.

Would this be a regular court or small claims?
Depends on the damages. If you are exposed to about $2,000 in costs, that would be small claims.

Either court, who would pay court cost?
You, as the plaintiff, pay the court costs, but in your petition you can request that if you prevail, the defendant pays and reimburses you for court costs.

How would I get this into court, small claims court. What do I have to do on my part?
Here is a great link to the forms and the process for Missouri Small Claims. Please follow it for steps on how to file everything with the proper court near to where you reside:

If it is awarded to me that she has to pay for damages, what is the procedure then, how would I collect my money?
You would need to domesticate the judgment and then return to court for a request to garnish her wages, if any, seek a bank levy against her accounts, or pursue an judgment lien.

Hope that helps and good luck!


Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What is the max $$ amount for small claims court?


If it is above the $$ amount, then it goes to regular court?



At this time Missouri small claims have a $20,000 threshold. I doubt that damages to your vehicle are above that amount, but if yes, you would need to go to a higher court that is far less friendly to self-representing parties.


Hope that helps!

Dimitry K., Esq. and 8 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you.

This is some great information



Glad to help and good luck to you if you choose to pursue this. Please let me know if I can answer anything else. Otherwise I would ask that you kindly positively rate my answers so that I can obtain credit for my work. Thank you very much!