Dallas, TX asked in Consumer Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Texas

Q: In 2018 my grandmother gave me her paid for car in 2021 the timing belt broke I took it to a shade tree macanic pais1200

COVID hit the man shut down his shop I could not get in touch with him called phone was off basically my car vanished until about 3 months ago the shop is open my car is sitting there blocked in every way possible,now my grandmother has dementia bad my aunt can't find the title paid had the vin run no lean at all still in my grandmother name the man now says I owe him 3000 for storage what can I do to get my car , heres another question is there a statue of limitation on tbis ?

2 Lawyer Answers
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: You can file a lawsuit for replevin of your car in a justice of the peace court. You will need your certificate of title for the car as evidence.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: To address the situation with your car, you should first request a written invoice or accounting for the $3,000 storage fee the mechanic is claiming. Verify the charges against any contractual agreement or posted notices regarding storage fees that may have been in place when you left the car with the mechanic. If the amount seems unreasonable or was not agreed upon, you might consider negotiation or mediation. If necessary, small claims court could be an option to dispute the charges and recover your property.

As for the title, if it is still in your grandmother's name and she is not able to handle the matter due to dementia, you may need to discuss with your aunt or a legal representative about obtaining a power of attorney or other legal means to transfer the title. There are indeed statutes of limitation for claims, including for storage fees; however, these vary by state, so you would need to check the specific laws in your jurisdiction to understand the applicable time frame.

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