mechanic let my car be removed from his property without permission and without notification

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mechanic let my car be removed from his property without permission and without notification

I left my car with a mechanic I had used before. He had just repaired the head gasket, then all the sudden the radiator was bad. I left him the keys, the car, and left after having a conversation with him that I wanted the car completely gone through and everything that needed repaired fixed. He had both my number and my girlfriends number to contact us if he ran into any issues with the car. I also called to check in at least once a month and my girlfriend called and offered to even go buy one of the parts if he would just put it on, nothing. I walked to his shop yesterday only to find out he doesn’t work there anymore and that my vehicle was gone. No notification from him that he was leaving and the care needed to be towed or that I needed to come get it or he would have it towed. I paid 2500.00 for that vehicle and he knew I wanted to keep that car, I loved it, that’s why I was having him fix anything that needed done, not so I could abandon it. What are my rights in this instance? I live in Iowa, Isn’t he responsible since he took possession of the vehicle and it was on his property?

Asked on July 19, 2016 under Business Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First, report this to the police: it is a crime. They may arrest him and, in the process, you may get assistance in recovering your vehicle.
Second, sue him personally for taking your money and/or car, and sue the shop he worked for, for improperly supervising him and/or taking care of your property. Sue for the return of the money you paid and the then-current value of your car. Sue for tortious conversion (a form of theft: taking property or valuables entrusted to you), for negligence (on the shop's part: careleness in securing your car and supervising him), and breach of contract (violating their agreement(s), even if only oral/unwritten, about fixing and returing your car).


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