What do I do if a former employer gave me a snowmobile in leiu of a bonus and refuses to sign over the title?

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What do I do if a former employer gave me a snowmobile in leiu of a bonus and refuses to sign over the title?

Technically I am storing his snowmobile for over a year. Am I able to bill for the storage?

Asked on December 3, 2014 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) No, you can't bill for storage unless he agreed in advance to pay you for storage. You need prior--and preferably written--agreement to charge someone.

2) You can sue him to force him to turn over title, but it would be an uphill battle--unless there was an agreement (e.g. employment) agreement in place under which you were entitled to a bonus of the snowmobile's (approximate value), it may be difficult to establish a legal right to get a bonus generally or the snowmobile specifically. That's because bonuses not based on written agreements and defined goals or metrics are discretionary--and an employer has the discretion to not grant a bonus. Therefore, while a lawsuit would be the only way to compel him to give you the title (or get money equal in value to the snowmobile), there's a reasonable chance you'd lose.

Therefore, the best thing may be to tell your former employer to either take back the snowmobile to sign over the title--that you can't and won't simply hold onto or store it for him.


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