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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

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