Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Criminal Law for Tennessee

Q: My car was stolen and a police report was filed. Two days later the car was abandoned at a Shell gas station.

The gas station attendant called a towing service to have the car towed. The car sat in the tow yard for 33 days before I discovered the stolen car was at this tow yard. The tow company wants $1,400 for the charges towing and storage. They are not willing to come down on the price to release the car. Is there anything I can do to get my car back without paying this amount or even better nothing at all due to some type of illegal tow, or the car had been reported stolen or some type of error by the towing company for not properly handling the tow of the car?

1 Lawyer Answer
Don Himmelberg
Don Himmelberg
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Nashville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: There is probably nothing illegal about the "type of tow."

Now, if the towing company did something like misreport the license plate number so that the police weren't immediately notified that a stolen car had been recovered, you may be able to get out of some of the fees. You probably want to find out if the towing company notified the police about recovering a stolen vehicle.

There could conceivably be some situation where they towed it 33 days ago but didn't report it until a week later and you could try to negotiate: "Hey, you towed my car 33 days ago and didn't notify the police even though it had been reported as stolen. I will not pay for more than three days of storage."

If that doesn't work, consider contacting an attorney who has experience in asset recovery, they will be able to best advise you on your particular situation.

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