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I've Got Court On Monday...


djspawn00
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As I posted before I gave my Cadillac Catera to a former mechanic of mine over a year ago. Recently I recieved about 7 tickets adding up to close to $2000 in fines for missing plates, no inspection, no registration, ect... Unfortunatley I don't have any copies of the title to show that I signed it over to him.. and I can't find the mechanic anywhere because apparently he had a coke problem and got fired or some crap like that. He was supposed to fix it and register it but apparently that never happened... I guess I'll just try to tell the judge my story and see how it goes but any words of advice would be greatly appreciated...

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Ouch, man I don't envy you. Sorry to hear about your troubles. The only thing I can think of is start gathering any kind of information paperwise that will show a change of ownership. For instance gather info like showing the date that you dropped the car from your insurance and added another. I realize that is not concrete evidence but it helps tip the scale in your favor. Hopefully, you'll have a judge that will cut you a break at the expense of reaming you about the importance of a bill of sale, etc. Keep us updated about how it goes. Good luck! B)

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If you took your plates off the car when you gave it to the mechanic.. How are you getting tickets?

Having a copy of the title or bill of sale would be a plus.. You definately need to go down to the DMV and have the registration taken out of your name ASAP.

Unfortunately there is not a whole lot you can do when you go to court other than tell the judge your story..Tell the judge you are going to go immediately to the DMV and take care of it. Judges like facts and timelines.. Go there will all the documentation you have and make yourself a timeline with the date you gave the car to your mechanic and any coversations you had with him regarding what he was going to do to "FIX IT".. If you had insurance on the Cadillac take some documentation showing when you cancelled the policy. This will help support your case..

Lets say you totalled your car and the insurance company issued you a check and you gave them the title..You would think that they would take care of the rest.. Not true..and it is a common problem.. Many times this vehicle will find its way back into the USED car market and can still can have a retro relationship to you..You need to make sure you get a clear release from that vehicle either with a copy of the signed title, bill of sale or go the the DMV and have it transferred..

Did you get hit all at once for these tickets? Was the car abandoned somewhere? Here in Michigan that car would have been tagged and then impounded in a manner of days.. I would ask to see a copy of all violations and when they occurred..

Good Luck

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This happened to my Grandma. We had an old, old Honda Civic wagon from 1989 that was in the family for ahwile and used as the junker you know until it freaked out and almost made me and my dad crash one day years back. Anyway we sold it to our old mechanic and he never got it titled or something and my grandma got a call from the city saying it had been towed and she owed money. I think she ended up telling them and they were like OK and that was the end of it. Im sure its in a junk yard somewhere.

I wish that could work for you though! I would try and bring anything you can with you to help your case. If you think it will help bring it along. Good luck! I got two tickets on the highway the other day I gave to my lawyer and Im worried about that. Going to court because of some jerk would kill me. That stinks but in the end justice better work in your favor! Keep us updated!

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As previously suggested, spend some time today preparing a written, step-by-step timeline explaining when you gave the car away, to whom, and bring the violations you've been receiving in the mail with you. Oh, and wear a suit with a tie. Professional presentation usually counts for more than you think. Rehearse your presentation, call the judge "Your Honor", and stay polite and professional in your speech and mannerisms.

Lesson learned here - next time you dispose of a vehicle, CREATE A RECEIPT of the transaction that clearly shows the date, the vehicle involved including the VIN number, the odometer mileage, the address and phone of the disposer (you), the address and phone of the recipient, and have both parties sign the document. Doing this in front of a notary public is even better. You can create the receipt document yourself on your computer with something as simple as Word. You keep the original document, and give a copy to the recipient of the vehicle.

I do this whenever I sell one of our vehicles to someone else. Whenever I give a vehicle away to charity, I require them to provide me with a receipt showing all of the information I've mentioned above. Too often people believe that title transfers will be handled legally and properly, but you've learned a hard lesson that this is not always the case. If you had created a receipt signed by both parties when you gave your car away, that is all you would need to provide in court tomorrow.

Good luck to you and let us know how it turns out. Be sure to prepare today and your results tomorrow will turn out much better for you....

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I'm sure they aren't out to pin you to the wall over this. It sounds like this happens more often. I would think that you showing up and explaining the situation would probably trigger some proceedures they already have in place when this situation comes up. Once you sell the vehicle, you have no control over what the next person does or doesn't do. The sale of the car happened over a year ago? I think you should be fine. The judge will probably make you swear under oath that you did in fact sell the car and no longer own it and all that. Iv'e never been thru this or anything. I'm just looking at this from the perspective of logical thinking. You currently have a car and it's properly registered and insured. Why would this car be different? Unless what you say happened, really did occur, right? Maybe bring your current paper work on your car, and your wifes car, and show them you are a responsible person also.

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If you are held liable for these fines you should be able to get them back in small claims court.. If that happens and you can't find this mechanic, there are many ways of finding this guy on the internet and it may only cost you $25..

Rent some Judge Judy DVD's to see how to handle yourself in court.. LOL..

Keep us posted

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If you are held liable for these fines you should be able to get them back in small claims court.. If that happens and you can't find this mechanic, there are many ways of finding this guy on the internet and it may only cost you $25..

Rent some Judge Judy DVD's to see how to handle yourself in court.. LOL..

Keep us posted

LOL, I'd go with Marilyn Milian...... LOL

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I just got back from court, the DA offered to reduce the fines 90% before I even said anything. I was tempted but being that I still technically own the car I declined and requested a trail (as advised by the DA) so that I could find out who has the car and have them officially take ownership, as well as have the fines transferred to them... Thanks to the court I now have an address of where the car is parked so that should makes things a little easier. Knowing Nassau County however I will probably have to wait another 6 months before I can speak to a judge. Thanks again for the feedback.

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That is good news..However, You technically do NOT own the car.. It is just registered in your name still and you are still liable for tickets, etc.. If you still OWNED the car you could report it stolen and put your ex mechanic in a world of trouble and I am sure then he would get off his !Removed! and fix the problems..

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See, I told chya! :D While the whole thing is still hassle I'm sure, atleast you know the court is basically on your side and just wants this resolved.

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I wonder if they thought it would go to mistrial and tried to offer you a deal right then? They do that with traffic tickets when you go and fight them since the cops rarely show up as we all know. Preaching to the choir!

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I just got back from court, the DA offered to reduce the fines 90% before I even said anything. I was tempted but being that I still technically own the car I declined and requested a trail (as advised by the DA) so that I could find out who has the car and have them officially take ownership, as well as have the fines transferred to them... Thanks to the court I now have an address of where the car is parked so that should makes things a little easier. Knowing Nassau County however I will probably have to wait another 6 months before I can speak to a judge. Thanks again for the feedback.

Your story is fodder for this reminder: ALWAYS send in the DMV paperwork showing when you unloaded a car. After working for the Public Defender I'll also clue you into this: The D.A. (and their advice) is NOT your friend. They make a living doing what ... putting people away. Not licensed in NY, I can't say any more than that, other than get some advice from an attorney there, maybe even the public defender. You don't have to be pennyless (in most jurisdictions) in order for them to help you.

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You should go get the car, get a new title since the coked up mechanic never registered it. Something like this has happened to a guy I know. He sold a Vette to somebody that never registered the car. A few years later the car was in an impound lot in Tampa. They tracked down the last person to register it, and told him he could pay the fees and take his car. He did, and got a new title and sold the car again. I don't think coke boy will miss it.

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Is there a signed bill of sale with a date on it in this situation? If so, just use that as evidence of transfer. If both parties signed it, but the mechanic refused to register it, then there is no way a jury could find you guilty of anything, in fact, they might just award you "damages" to cover your expenses and time to hassle with this.

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Hunted down... i mean ran into the guy the other day, had him sign the necessary paperwork, got it notarized, went on my way. I'm glad this is done with... now i just have to wait til my trail date (still unknown) to present everything they asked for. Thanks again for all your responses, I won't be making this mistake again.

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