My dad wont return my car

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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My dad wont return my car

I am the legal owner of my car, no ones else is on the title just me. My dad called law enforcement because he thought i was attacking him so now we have a no contact and I have a DV4 on my record. I stayed a night in jail and when i was released no one was there to for me. Anyway when I got to a friends place I used his laptop to get ahold of my mom to see if I could get my stuff. She told me my dad has my car and he took all the things that i had in it out. first off he never had permission to be driving it. the next day i tried to message my mom no answer, the day after that i got ahold of my mom and tried to get my car back again she told me that the car was not there and that is in a shop somewhere because its not running. my car was working fine that day he had me arrested. so no i am worried that he got into a accident or is lying and just hid it. what do i do?

Asked on August 6, 2019 under Accident Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue your father for the car--that is essentially what the officer meant when he called this a "civil" matter: that you need to bring it to civil court. You can sue for either the car's value (procedurally easier) or for a court order for its physical return (procedurally harder). You would sue based on theft: even then something is not the crime of theft, there is a civil cause of action based on taking another's property and not returning it.

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