Small Claims Suit Question
December 21, 2004 4:16 PM Subscribe
I got had in a recent car purchase. Basically I'm out $500 after wrestling the other money back. The guy is no longer in this country (Canada) my lawyer says to go ahead and file a small claims suit. Since it is quite a hassle to file a suit, anyone have experience with something like this? All the details inside...
posted by geoff. to law & government (11 answers total)
Basically bought the car, guy signed over title (didn't notice it was in the dealer section, and the DMV didn't notice right away either) -- he didn't pay taxes on it in the state where he was living in when he moved. He promised to pay taxes on it, etc. but because of other minor problems with the car I felt he didn't tell us about (unreported damage repair, A/C not working) I could have given the car back anyway... not to mention he never signed the title over to us being that he did not pay correct back taxes.
There were several things that made me feel funny about the deal afterwards. When we originally called him after the DMV fiasco, he didn't answer until we left a message. After we left a message he seemed relieved and said he'd take care of it. I think the motivation behind this was that he knew there were a lot of little things he didn't tell us about. Anyway we returned the car with the intention of rebuying it once he got everything clear, but he was extremely jittery about giving us our money back and we spent the good part of the hour getting everything but $500 (which he considered a down payment). This was not uncalled for as he at that point would have basically owned the car and had all our money, I like to congratulate myself on sticking to my guns.
At this point, the next day I left a message, stated I wanted all my $500 back and left a number to call me back with questions and an address to send the check to. He did neither. I sent him a certified letter, he never responded to. Got a lawyer to send a nice lawyer "we're going to sue you" letter that he didn't respond to. I have all the paperwork set, my lawyer says that there is no way he has legal right to that money, and is encouraging me to file a small claims report. The problem is that the county I'm filing it in is over several hours a way, and I'm beginning to think that this amount of money is not worth an international lawsuit.
I don't think this guy is a career conman. He was Iranian and apparently didn't understand our laws (taxes, titles, etc.) or was just a real asshole. Well more likely he knew the car had a lot of minor repairs and because it was a foreign car those minor repairs would have been expensive. I have his USA address, the company he works for still (big, multinational) and everything else. I'm just wondering if it will do any good and was looking for the collective hive to tell me the answer!