If a former employee is trying to hold a company vehicle after a breach of contract, what are my options.

He was hired as a private contractor and contracted to finish a specific scope of work. He left without completing the project and now is attempting to hold a company vehicle hostage until he is paid. We have spent double of what he is owed finishing the project he left.

Asked on March 7, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, South Dakota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) You can contact the police: if he has taken a company vehicle when he is no longer employed by the company, he stole it.
2) You can sue him for either a court order requiring the return of the vehicle or for the value of the vehicle.
Even if you do owe him money (e.g. for work done), he has no legal right to your vehicle. Note that you can do both 1) and 2) at the same time, if you choose.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.