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JTaylorEsq
JTaylorEsq, Attorney
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Experience:  Attorney at Law
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You stated that I can legally seek punitive damages under

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Second opinion] You stated that I can legally seek punitive damages under the False Claims Act. Why would you recommend that when it is the federal Government's primary litigation tool in combating fraud against the Government. What claims can I seek against a car dealership for rolling back the odometer, and overcharging me for the vehicle, and adding extra charges for theft auto protection without my knowledge and consent?Would the following claims suffice under the circumstances: intentional fraud tort claim for deceptive business practices, treble damages, credit card fraud since I used a debit card to pay for the vehicle ?This event occurred one year ago. The charges were for $10,732. Would the District Court be the correct venue regarding this issue? Although, the DMV helped me get my money back one year ago. Would I still be able to move forward in court for punitive damages considering the circumstances? Or must both compensatory and punitive damages accompany one another simultaneously?I filed the complaint but not the summons yet. And it hasn't been served. What if I want to pull the complaint? Would I be able to and be able to get my money back? I'm seriously considering hiring an attorney regarding a legal demand letter. Would I be able to seek these claims within a legal demand letter without going to court in front of a jury. Or is the jury the only way to go. I'm assuming that an attorney would be able to determine the amount of damages and lay it out in a demand letter - correct?
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am J. Taylor, a licensed attorney with many years of experience. I look forward to assisting you today.

My answer on JustAnswer is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney client relationship.

Please excuse any errors of grammar or spelling, should they occur. I appreciate your patience as I review your question - I will respond shortly.

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I your questions, however I believe I need some more background. Can you please fill me in
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
What claims can I seek against a car dealership for rolling back the odometer, and overcharging me for a used vehicle, and adding extra charges for theft auto protection without my knowledge and consent?

Would the following claims suffice under the circumstances: intentional fraud tort claim for deceptive business practices, treble damages, credit card fraud since I used a debit card to pay for the vehicle ?

This event occurred one year ago. The charges were for $10,732. Would the District Court be the correct venue regarding this issue?

Although, the DMV helped me recover all of my money back one year ago (considered compensatory or actual damages). Would I still be able to move forward in court for punitive damages considering the circumstances? Or must both compensatory and punitive damages accompany one another simultaneously?

I filed the complaint but not the summons yet. And it hasn't been served. What if I want to pull the complaint? Would I be able to and be able to get my money back? I'm seriously considering hiring an attorney regarding a legal demand letter.

Would I be able to seek these claims within a legal demand letter without going to court in front of a jury. Or is the jury the only way to go. I'm assuming that an attorney would be able to determine the amount of damages and lay it out in a demand letter - correct?
Hello - I see your additional information and would be happy to review and respond.

However, I note the site has now marked this thread as “closed”. Sometimes that is done in error. Sometimes at customer request.

So, before I proceed here, please confirm that you are still in need of assistance and would like a response from me.

Thank you
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Yes, please respond.
Under these circumstances, I see the most obvious causes of action to be breach of contract and fraud in the inducement of a contract. The specific claims mentioned would fall under these two broader categories.

As for venue - check the jurisdictional limit for your local small claims court. Some countries have limits of 10-12,000. If yours is high enough process there. Otherwise turn to your local state county court of general jurisdiction.

Regarding the fact that you already got a recovery. That changes what I said previously (I’m reading and responding to your questions in order). You need to see what documentation you signed when you recovered you 10,000. I would imagine a release may have been signed. If so - your claim against the dealership would be contractually extinguished.

Beyond that, your claim for compensatory damages would be zero as you’ve already been compensated. In rare circumstances you can make a claim for punitive damages only. So it is possible, however, unlikely that you’d get a recovery even if you could proceed. Why - because compensatory damages are needed to “anchor and give weight” to punitive damage claims.

I assume by pulling the complaint and getting your money back - you mean your filing fees? The answer is no - the court won’t refund those to you.

As far as a demand letter - you could try that route assume there is no release in place. The dealership might agree to a nominal settlement to just make your potential litigation go away.
I doubt that they would pay much, however, seeing as how you already got a refund and the knowledge that any claim you could not assert would not have the weight of the compensatory damages to underpin it.

If they settled following a demand, there would be no court action. That is correct.

As for proceeding forward. I’ll be very very honest - as you’ve already been reimbursed for the vehicle - the amount of money you might be able to secure will be nominal at best here and in exchange you’re going to spend a lot of time money energy and effort to litigate. As egregious as what was done to you was - a civil action is not in your best interest charting forward here.
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Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thanks. I went through my local DMV Compliance department and not the court system to get my money back. Would that make a difference in trying to recover punitive damages?

Also, when I filed the complaint I didn't file the summons in addition to be served. Because I wanted to get an answer from you before proceeding. Would that make a difference in recovering a refund from the court?

The only release that I signed was with the DMV to investigate the situation. I also reported the incident to the BBB and Attorney General. The Attorney General complaint form asked question regarding if I reached out to other agencies. I marked yes and stated the DMV. And my complaint was forwarded over to that department for resolution.

The Attorney General office advised that if I were seeking damages to pursue a lawsuit.