: Need Legal Advice
03-06-06, 04:43 PM
Ok...before I do something irrational and end up in jail for many years I need help. I had some vehicles and engines stored at a so called friends house...he asked me to move them about a week and a half ago. I told him I would have to find a place to put them, but it would take me a few days. He called me back last monday and wanted me to come get them. I was sick and told him I would be there in a few days. Went back on friday to get the stuff and it was all gone. He wont tell me where it is and I cant find any of it. I had a 69 mercury a 79 sedan deville a 77 chevy truck and 2 350s and trannys and a 454 block and its all gone now. There were a few thousand dollars worth of stuff there and I dont know what I should do...so someone please help.
03-06-06, 05:32 PM
1) See a lawyer first.
I'm not one (a lawyer, that is..) but here're my thoughts.
2) You probably didn't have anything in writing, correct?
3) Your friend still, I believe, has a legal obligation ("Care and Concern" is one name for it) to 'protect' your property while it's on HIS property. Oklahoma laws may differ, but I think he'd still be liable for something.
4) If nothing else, his homeowners insurance should cover the loss if it's a robbery or something similar.
5) Don't do any thing rash. It won't help, and will almost certainly hurt your case.
I would suspect a threatening letter from a lawyer and he will be singing like a canary.
If the vehicle titles are in your name, your "buddy" knows where they are but won't tell you that might be considered grand theft auto in some jurisdictions.
This isn't legal advice, it's relationship advice.
You didn't say anything about paying him rent, so I'm assuming this was one friend helping another out. If that's the case, he's probably really pissed off and just f---ing with you.
The letter from a lawyer is your safest legal action. Unfortunately it's going to cost you money and time.
The way these things play out, he probably knew for weeks that he needed you to move the cars but didn't have the nerve to ask because he didn't want to have a confrontation. So he kept putting it off, and let it get down to the last minute. By then he needed you to do something ASAP.
When you didn't, he was in an even tougher spot, so he elevated it. Don't do the same thing to him that he did to you. Just apologize and try to get it all back by being nice first.
Ask direct, open-ended questions. Get him to talk. Too often when we have confrontations with people we want to do all the talking and dominate the conversation. It makes us think that we're winning but we're not getting any closer to our goal.
Write down the questions beforehand. Tape the conversation if possible. Plan a flowchart of where you want it to go.
If he continues the silent treatment, just ask him: "do I need to bring a lawyer into this?" Allow him to answer the question--do not threaten to get a lawyer, just ask him if that's what it's going to take.
Always fire a warning shot. But don't lose your temper at any time. If this fails, THEN you hire a lawyer.
03-06-06, 06:45 PM
Wow what a douchebag!
03-06-06, 07:05 PM
If you had no legally binding agreement and this was a favor that he was doing for you, then he is required to give you your merchandise...BUT if lawyers do get involved, he could file a counter-suit for payment. If he asked you nearly 2 weeks ago to move your items and you failed to do so, you are also at fault. This could get very ugly if lawyers are involved, you will get your stuff back, but yo could lose a few thousand dollars in the process.
Trust me, just try to settle this without anyone else involved. If he stored these items for free, offer to pay him a few hundred dollars (depending on the length of time stored) for doing you this "favor". If he was paid for this, then you have a solid case. I'm not a lawyer, I needed to say that.
These statements were not evaluated by an actual lawyer. I cannot be held liable for anything associated with this advice. I know my rights, I have a good lawyer. I was not paid, this is my opinion.
03-06-06, 10:42 PM
Lotta good posts on this.
Elvis has some good points. Go talk to him. Do NOT excalate the situation. Be nice. Maintain low tones. Listen. Let him say what he has to say. Taping the conversation is probably a good idea, in case he starts making threats or other statements that could help you. YOU do not make any threats.
Asking "do I need to get a lawyer" may be an idea, at the end of the conversation, if nothing is being resolved or accomplished.
And then get a lawyer. I am not a lawyer. I have a good lawyer. He won a nice lawsuit for me, so he usually doesn't nickel & dime me on stuff. In any event, initial consultations are usually free. It's never a bad idea to establish a professional relationship with a good lawyer. At least if you get in a situation, you have a lawyer you can call.
I would STRONGLY caution against attempting to practice law yourself. Or taking a lot of advice from people. Try to resolve it. If you can't, see what a lawyer has to say.
And in the future, you may want to take my Dad's advice, as I did a long time ago: "Keep your stuff on your own property under your own roof. Don't leave your stuff on someone else's property. And don't let anyone leave their stuff on your property." A good rule that has worked well for me....
03-06-06, 11:14 PM
If you don't have a lawyer, make sure not to call one of those "Only pay if you win" ad's on tv. Those lawyers are usually ones that will nickel and dime you. The best way to find a good lawyer is by word of mouth, ask around and see once what your co-workers and friends say. Don't go cheap, get a well-qualified lawyer that you are able to trust.
Try not to get lawyers involved though, this is a last resort.