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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34316
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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I bought a Mercedes for my 50th birthday. My drivers lisence

Customer Question

I bought a Mercedes for my 50th birthday. My drivers lisence was suspended at the time and my best friend was going to be driving us, (we were inseparable) most of the time. So, to avoid possibly having to put a breathalyzer in the car, my suspension was due to a dui several years earlier and a car registered to me may have required interlock so we decided to put her as registered owner and me as lien holder/legal owner. The dealership told us the way to do the paperwork and we did it with them. My friends name was on the purchase agreement but I paid for the car and had the car in my possession always from the date of purchase and was on title as the legal owner/lienholder. She as I said was just registered owner. I was enrolled in a class that once I finished I could get my lisence back and by that time the time requirement for interlock would be over so my plan was to register the car to myself at that time. I trusted my best friend completely and was not worried about this arrangement in the least.
JA: License regulations vary from place to place, so can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: CA
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: She stole the title and forged my name signing the car over to herself and processed it with the dmv and then stole my car in the middle of the night
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

Hi, My name is***** am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

I am sorry for this dilemma. But not sure I understand your specific question. Are you asking if you can sue her for the value of the car?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I want my car back
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Are you local?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

I live in Oregon currently.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

Can you speak on the phone? This would allow me to address your concerns directly. There is a nominal ($5) additional charge. I do not time my phone calls...we can converse until you receive the information you need.

If you are unwilling to speak on the phone I will opt out of this question and allow others to assist, if they are willing.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Oh, so you don't know CA law
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Maybe I should just call locally
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

No...that is not correct. I am familiar with CA law.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

But you are free to do as you like

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Ok well really I just want to know what type of case I should file, Civil Torte?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

This is tort law. Forgery is a form of theft...and is a tort.

But if the goal is to recover your car? you will need to hire an attorney to assist. The adage "a man who represents himself has a fool for a client" is often true. If you act as your own lawyer, the court will expect you to know the law/rules/procedure/evidence just as if you were admitted to the bar. They (the court) will not cut you any slack. If the goal is to win the case, hire a lawyer.

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Ok sure thing, I plan on hiring an attorney. I just learned I can't have one in small claims and my car was $20,000, so small claims is out.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

An attorney can file a case for "specific performance"...this is an order, by the court, to change title to reflect you as the owner.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Oh wow! Yay. I will call a lawyer asap
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

Welcome. Thank you for taking the time to accept the answer, I truly appreciate that

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I thought this would take a year. Maybe it won't be that bad.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

No...not a year...this is straightforward. Perhaps 6 months...but with luck even less to solve this