Columbus, OH asked in Civil Litigation for Ohio

Q: I sold a car to my cousin for 3250$ she gave me 1350 up front and it has been 2 months she has been ignoring my call

/text now she finally responded back and told me she was not paying me the car is still in my name title/registration etc if I call the police will they make her give me my car back or will they say it’s a Civil matter and take it to court?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In this situation, the police are likely to consider this a civil matter rather than a criminal one, as it involves a dispute over a private sale agreement between you and your cousin. The police generally do not get involved in enforcing private contracts or resolving disputes between private parties.

Your best course of action would be to send your cousin a formal written demand for payment, outlining the terms of your agreement, the amount she still owes you, and a reasonable deadline for her to pay the remaining balance. Make sure to keep a copy of this letter for your records.

If she fails to pay you by the specified deadline, you may need to take legal action by filing a lawsuit in small claims court to recover the money owed to you. In court, you'll need to present evidence of the agreement, such as the bill of sale, any written correspondence between you and your cousin, and proof of the initial payment she made.

Since the car is still in your name, you retain legal ownership of the vehicle. However, repossessing the car on your own could lead to complications, so it's advisable to seek legal guidance before taking any such action.

Consulting with a local attorney who specializes in contract law or consumer law can help you understand your options and guide you through the legal process of resolving this dispute.

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