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I have a law question. and no. I went to file a police

I have a law...

I have a law question

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? And is a local attorney or other consumer protection advocate helping with this?

Virginia and no

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

I went to file a police report but the officer said it was a court issue

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Its about a car and ownership

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I went to file a police report about my father who is refusing to return my car. Although its titled to, insured by, and registered to me, the officer would not accompany me to retrieve the vehicle. My father is claiming the car now belongs to him because its been in his possession for a year and has made some repairs. He wants to take this to court. Is the car still legally mine or not? If I can avoid court, I would like to just get the car towed to my house.
Answered in 4 hours by:
3/23/2018
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31,909
Experience: Lawyer
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Keeping the car from you for a year doesn't make the car his, especially if you originally agreed to let him use it. That just means that you can sue him for loss of use for every day after he was supposed to return the car and didn't. At the same time, if he did repairs without telling you, that has no impact on ownership. He might be entitled to reimbursement for the repairs if you asked him to have them done (minus what he owes you for using the car all year), but it doesn't become his car.

As long as the car isn't also in your father's name, then it's your car and you're free to go pick it up - with two caveats. First, you have to be able to do so without breaching the peace. Second, you have to be in a place you're allowed to be to pick it up. If he parks on a public street, or in a public parking lot, or somewhere else that you're allowed to be, you can go and pick it up or have it towed. You wouldn't be able to enter his garage to get it, because that would be trespassing. But in that scenario, you could sue him for the value of the car, loss of use, and punitive damages. The cause of action is called conversion, which is the civil equivalent of theft.

The car would be stolen if, after you retrieved it, he came and took it back. But as long as he's claiming ownership, police still might not help. They're not authorized to make decisions regarding who is the rightful owner of property - only a judge can do that. It's possible you'll wind up in court either way. If you have a garage to put it in or a friend who can keep it, that might help avoid going back and forth, since he has a key.

Have I answered your question? If any part of my response is unclear, please reply WITHOUT rating so I can clarify. My goal is to provide excellent service, so if I've done that, please give me a 5-star rating before signing out. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31,909
Experience: Lawyer
Verified
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