Falls Church, VA asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Consumer Law for Maryland

Q: My friend passed away and I have a car at his house. The car is titled in my name but his wife wont ler me have it?

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Legal title means it’s yours. You own it. You cannot be charged with theft of your own property. You can be charged with trespassing, however, or assault if you go there and a fight ensues. If the vehicle is in the public street, go get it (use a spare key or have it towed). If not, or if you fear a confrontation will result, you can try calling for police assistance but they usually will not get involved in civil disputes. You can file an action in court for “replevin” which is the remedy to recover property belonging to you that another person wrongfully possesses. The court will issue a writ that the Sheriff will serve with you present to recover the car. You need to be prepared for the car not starting, meaning you need to arrange towing at the same time as the Sheriff is present. Court actions take time, of course.

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