If I intend to dump/auction a customer’s items that are being held in a rented trailer, what are my legal responsibilities?

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If I intend to dump/auction a customer’s items that are being held in a rented trailer, what are my legal responsibilities?

I own a trucking company and have a customer who has had his items in a rented trailer for the past 5 months. This has incurred about $10,000 rental and storage fees. The customer has been avoiding my calls and I don’t want to continue accruing costs. I intend to dump his items or auction them to supplement part of the cost. What are my legal responsibilities?

Asked on February 23, 2012 under Business Law, Maryland

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The first thing that you need to review is what your written agreement (assuming you have one) with your customer states about unpaid storage fees and your ability to auction off the items or not as part of a mechanic's lien. If your lease does not allow you to do such, then you need to file a lawsuit against your customer for the accrued charges and assuming you get a judgment, you can then levy upon the items in storage and then auction off the items to pay the judgment. 

I suggest that you consult with an attorney that practices in the area of contract law.


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