What to do if I took a truck to a mechanic’s house to be fixed but the mechanic got evicted and the owner of the property will not return the truck or my calls?

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What to do if I took a truck to a mechanic’s house to be fixed but the mechanic got evicted and the owner of the property will not return the truck or my calls?

Asked on February 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You have two options:

1) First try contacting the police--the property owner has NO right to your truck, since you are a third party, and what he is doing is technically theft. The police should therefore intervene; however, it is not impossible that they will refuse to, concluding that this is a civil matter which should be resolved by the courts (for example, they may feel that there is a question as to who owns the truck, or whether you owe the landlord/owner money before he needs to release the truck).

2) If the police do not help, then sue the property owner: you would bring a legal action seeking both the return of the vehicle itself and monetary damages--compensation--for the time you have been deprived of it. (E.g. lost wages or profit, if you couldn't work; the cost or renting a replacement truck; etc.)


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