Is it likely that I will win this case in small claims?

by admin on April 9, 2011

I bought a used car from a private seller with a title and bill of sale but at the DMV I was informed that the vehicle didn’t belong to the guy who sold it to me. He bought the car from someone else but didn’t register it in his name. I filled out the small claims papers and just need to send them in now. I was trying to offer to pay his registration fee so I can drive the car but he’s not returning phone calls. To top everything off, the car won’t start now since I parked it and I’m just looking for my money back. Also will the court give him the right to blow off the judgment and not pay me?

I paid 0 for the car and it is a big deal to me since I’m waiting to leave to the Army, have no other money or a job, and was planning on leaving the car for my mom and handicapped sister to ride in. (So no tough guys with smart a** answers please.)
The whole point of me saying that the car won’t start is just to show that I don’t want to try to fight to register the car just to throw money into it. I’m not looking for extra money because the car doesn’t start. I’m looking to return the car for 0 because it was an illegal sale. I also looked the guy up on ccap, where you can find public records, and the guy has 30 criminal and misdemeanor records in the past 10 years adding up to over ,000.


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    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    Peedlepup April 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    You should win this case. If he never registered the car in his name it is an illegal sale. He can not sell property that does not belong to him. When he sells a vehicle he is required to give a CLEAR title to the vehicle.

    You would ask the court to "rescind" the sale. That means you give the car back to him, and he will refund your money. The legal argument you use is the "Principle of Merchantability". That means when you buy something you have a reasonable expectation of being able to use the item. Without a CLEAR title you can not register the car and use it.

    While it is true that most private sales are "as-is" you can not argue that the car won’t run. You should have had a mechanic inspect the car before buying it, but if he did not register the car in his name he made an illegal sale , and that is rescindable.

    Bernie P. April 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Any decision a Judge makes is final. There is no blowing off a Judges decision without some kind of punishment for him. If the Judge orders him to reinburst you, that means that whether the man blows of the final call or not, the courts will make sure he is punished and you get the amount you settled in court for. The Title that you got with the car from the guy (if it has his name on it then it was his car) if it was his car and the title is valid, then the DMV, and Town Hall have to register it. Ex: I buy a 2009 Ford F-250 Super Duty, I NEVER register it but I pay it off and the Title is in my name, in 2019 I sell it still unregistered, the person(s) whom buy it from me can send out the title and title claim papers to register it (Bill Of Sale may be required). Basic point is if he had a Title with his name on it and the DMV says he didn’t own it then the title is def. fony. In which case you would win the case however, if the title is fony than the car may be stolen, if the car is stolen then you have a big problem, becuase the actual owner does NOT need to reinburst you, and can still take the car back as it is right fully his. But chances are you will get your money back. Tell the truth in court, stick to your story, look them all in the eyes, and drag that guy down, if you do I am sure that you have won.

    Scott H April 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    When you buy a used car from a private seller, the transaction is "as is", in the absence of a written warranty. You cannot return the vehicle and demand a refund because it won’t start. It’s your car now, and your problem.

    Never buy a car without a clear title. If the seller didn’t have the title in his name, you should have walked away.

    You may be able to get the court to compel him to take care of the title issue, but don’t expect the court to order him to refund your money for the car because it won’t start.

    ken k April 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    sounds like a good case if you can find the guy//i always say to get photo id and back up to stop these kinds of scams

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