I sold a car, now I’m being sued
On January 19 of this year I sold a car for $200 to private party who had seen it on the internet.
Yesterday I was served a subpoena at work stating that
the defendant (myself) owes $3000 to the plantiff
who is not the person that I sold it to. In fact they are a complete stranger whom I have never seen or met.
He is suing me for Fraudulent Automobile Sale; Recission of Contract & Damages. The buyer who’s name and address I was given is no where to be found.
I have a bill of sale signed and dated by the buyer
along with old papers from the car. I endorsed the title but however, neglected to send a Release of Liability form to the DMV.
Where do I stand leagaly?
Re: I sold a car, now I’m being sued
I would need more information before I could tell you where you stand. However, since you have been sued you have to file a proper answer with the court within the allotted time. If they sued you in Small Claims court you need to go down to the court and ask for the paperwork to file an answer to a lawsuit. If this is in Municipal Court you need to have an answer prepared and filed within 30 days from the date you were served. An Answer to a Complaint in Municipal Court is very different from a Small Claims Answer and it should be prepared by a lawyer so that it is done right and you don’t end up losing your right to defend yourself. After you file the lawsuit you or your lawyer can investigate exactly who this guy is and what his claims are. Even though you did not file the transfer of ownership with the DMV you did have the buyer sign the bill of sale and pink slip which legally transfers the car. Without looking at the Complaint I cannot tell you what this guy is suing you for and what right he has to sue you. However, I can tell you that if this is not handled properly you could be out $3000. If you hire a lawyer and win you can turn around and sue him for attorney’s fees and court costs. I would be happy to speak with you regarding this case free of charge and help you prepare a defense, whether it be in Municipal Court or Small Claims. My toll free number is 877-546-9918 or you can email me at Johnhayeslaw@cs.com. If you don’t call me please call someone to ensure that your rights are protected. I look forward to speaking with you.
John Hayes, Esq.
The John Hayes Law Offices
P.O. Box 3003
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403
Re: I sold a car, now I’m being sued
Look in the vehicle code under sale or title transfer. I do not remember the code section off hand but there is a section that says there is no liability if you sign and give the new owner the pink slip, even if you did not file with the DMV. Bring all your paperwork to court and cite that code section to the judge.
Here, I got energetic and found it for you:
Vehicle Code section 5602. An owner who has made a bona fide sale or transfer of a vehicle and has delivered possession of the vehicle to a purchaser is not, by reason of any of the provisions of this code, the owner of the vehicle so as to be subject to civil liability or criminal liability for the parking, abandoning, or operation of the vehicle thereafter by another when the selling or transferring owner, in addition to that delivery and that bona fide sale or transfer, has fulfilled either of the following requirements:
(a) He or she has made proper endorsement and delivery of the certificate of ownership as provided in this code.
(b) He or she has delivered to the department or has placed in the United States mail, addressed to the department, either of the following documents:
(1) The notice as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 4456 or Section 5900 or 5901.
(2) The appropriate documents and fees for registration of the vehicle to the new owner pursuant to the sale or transfer.
Kenneth P. Koury, Esq.
22425 Ventura Blvd., #286
Woodland Hills, CA 91364