What is the best way to get my money from a guy who smashed my parked motorcycle and had no insurance or license?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What is the best way to get my money from a guy who smashed my parked motorcycle and had no insurance or license?

It was at my apartment complex, private property. The police were called and a

report was taken. The guy promised to get me the money I needed to fix my bike but it’s been 2 months since I gave him the estimate but no reply. He is my


Asked on September 14, 2016 under Accident Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Sue in "regular" court--there is no law saying that you can only represent yourself (I assume that's why you wanted to sue in small claims--to be your own lawyer ["pro se"] and save on legal fees) in small claims court. You can file a lawsuit in country court for the $4,900. While it will take longer and *is* procedurally more complex than in small claims, it's not so complex that an intelligent layperson cannot do this; moreover, this is fundamentally a simple case: a person who runs into a parked or stationary vehicle is essentially by definition at fault, so establishing liability should be simple. 
The only way to get money from someone when they damaged your property and refuse to voluntarily compensate or reimburse you is by suing. If you want to sue, you can find your court rules online and get instructions from the court clerk's office.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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