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my car was stolen

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  • my car was stolen

    My father purchased, and was the registered keeper, of a motor car which he then gave to me. It was in store at our family home where my mother lived. She knew the car was mine. She sold the car without my consent or knowledge by filling in the v5 document with her name and telling the dvla that my father had died.
    The dvla acknowledged the change of ownership which she withheld. I found out about the car and contacted the police.They refused to act and quite forcefully told me to stop bothering them. I went through the court process which was a total shambles as they made many mistakes including sending letters to the wrong address.
    I finally had my day in court and the judge listened to the defence solicitor who stated that due to the age of the vehicle the dvla issued a certificate to allow the vehicle to be sold. The judge then turned to me and said I was not getting my car back and he dismissed the case without appeal. I asked about giving my evidence but was basically told to leave the court.
    I feel that I have been the victim of a miscarriage of justice. I have all the that proof I own the car including a letter from my father stating he gave it to me and a copy of the v5 showing a signature which was not my fathers. Why was I not allowed to give evidence in court ? It is my property and as I understand the law nobody can sell it without my permission so it remains mine. Am I correct and how can I recover it now?
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  • #2
    Re: my car was stolen

    Hi and Welcome

    Who were you suing ? Your mother, DVLA or the new owner?
    Can you post up a copy of your particulars of claim?
    When was the court case heard?
    Although the judge refused permission to appeal, you may obtain permission from the appeals court (https://www.moneyclaimsuk.co.uk/PDFForms/EX340.pdf) but there is a 21 day time limit.


    • #3
      Re: my car was stolen

      Thanks for your reply. I threatened to take my mother through the court but before it got there she engaged a very nasty solicitor who pushed her into a divorce. My parents seperated in 1971 but remained married.This obviously took priority over the car as I had to help my 85 year old father through a very distressing ordeal. This took its toll on him and it broke him and he passed away. The court case came up 2 weeks after his death so I was in no fit state to fight. That was 2 years ago and I am now in a better frame of mind to restart my effort to get my car back. This whole saga is quite involved and results from my mother who is very bitter and has no love for her children as she told me she sold the car out of spite knowing it was mine.


      • #4
        Re: my car was stolen

        Sorry to hear of your family problems.

        So you sued your mother for the return of your vehicle.
        As you lost the case 2 years ago you cannot now appeal the decision, nor can you sue again.

        What was the vehicle, and what was it worth? Is it worth pursuing the matter further due to the stress etc involved?

        Your mother was to all intents and purposes an involuntary bailee i.e. she had possession but not ownership of the car.
        As such she seems to have failed in her duty to you, but nevertheless you are where you are.
        It is possible you could sue her for the proceeds of the sale, but that will depend on what your original claim was for.
        Can you post up the Particulars of claim of your original case?


        • #5
          Re: my car was stolen

          When I first found out about the car my mother sent my father a cheque for 3000 but as it was not his property my solicitor first told me to return it but on being informed of the divorce told me not to mix both car and divorce and to hang onto the cheque for now. My claim was for the return of the car and all the spares that were sold with it. On my solicitors advice I submitted a claim 8 for the return of property which the court wrongly turned into a claim 7 for the money. A long time was spent trying to get the court to accept I wanted the car back which they finally did and admitted they were wrong
          It is a 54 year old classic car which I spent two years restoring to concours condition at considerable expense with the idea it will stay in the family. The total value of the car and spares was nearly 14,000. As you say the stress of what has happened is not easy to bear but the fact that I have been robbed and offences have been committed in doing so still drives me to recover it. There is a principal to be upheld. Everybody I speak to tells me its mine but I can see it wont be easy. The 3000 was spent on my fathers funeral.


          • #6
            Re: my car was stolen

            Trying to get this straight in my head!!

            Your father purchased a car which he gave to you.
            You restored it, value including spares 14,000 (do you have proof of its value?)
            It was stored at the family home.
            Your parents divorced and your mother became bailee for the car
            Did she give any notification to you that she was going to dispose of the car?
            She sold the car and sent 3000 to your father
            Did she say that money was the proceeds of the sale?
            (i don't understand why his solicitor did not return the cheque as the money was not your father's)
            You issued a court claim for the return of the car, which you lost.
            Do you have a copy of your particulars of claim, the court decision and even a transcript of the trial?
            Who was your claim against?
            If it was a claim for the return of the vehicle it had to be made against the current possessor of the vehicle.
            If it was a claim for its value it would be made against the person who sold it illegally.

            I'm don't know what you mean by a claim 7 or a claim 8.
            Could you enlighten me please?


            • #7
              Re: my car was stolen

              I am sorry this is so complicated. Father purchased car 1963 -gave it to me 1985 -I totally rebuilt it by 1987.

              Stored for safety in family home where mother lived.

              She sold it August 2011 without my knowledge to a friend.

              September - I sent solicitors letter asking where car was. No reply was given and she engaged a solicitor who my solicitor was reluctant to deal with and he told me I could recover it myself.

              Mothers solicitor advised her to divorce my father to avoid going to court about the car and to send him a cheque for the car. Divorce started January 2012.

              My solicitor told me to keep car and divorce separate and wait and dad to keep the 3000 in case I lost the case.

              Divorce completed 2014.

              I started proceedings April 1st 2014 court got my address wrong they failed to correct it. I was told a claim 7 was for money and a claim 8 was for property.

              Missed 1st court hearing as letter sent to wrong address.

              In court 2015 -- judge was very unpleasant citing a letter of complaint I had written and why i did not having a solicitor present. I was never given a chance to present my evidence -- case dismissed no appeal. I was asked to leave the court. He accepted the story of the dvla issuing a certificate to sell the car. No court transcript was given to me.

              I have a file of paperwork and can prove the car was given to me, including a letter from my mother reffering to MY car, and values of my property.

              Thank you for your patience.
              Last edited by Kati; 14th September 2017, 10:03:AM.


              • #8
                Re: my car was stolen

                So whom did you sue for return of vehicle?
                If it was your mother it was the wrong person..you should have taken action against the person in possession of the vehicle.(which is what you should perhaps be considering now)

                So your mother sent your father 3000 for a car which wasn't hers to sell, and didn't belong to your father.
                Your father retained the money and then passed away.
                The money then effectively was treated as part of his estate and used for funeral expenses.

                If any action was to be taken against your mother it should have been for the value of the vehicle.
                If you were to be satisfied with that, she would need to show she obtained market value (eg by selling at auction)

                Don't understand about DVLA issuing a certificate allowing sale of car.
                DVLA have nothing to do with sale or ownership issues.... they only keep a register of keepers.
                Perhaps your mother changed keeper's name to her own and then pulled the wool over the courts blinkered eyes.


                • #9
                  Re: my car was stolen

                  It seems I have been badly advised from the start. My solicitor told me to sue my mother. The dvla would not tell my solicitor who is the registered keeper of the car now.
                  The dvla issuing a certificate was what my mothers solicitor was using as her defence in court. My mother signed the registration document in her name and the person who has the car now also signed it knowing her signature was not the registered keepers. Apparently he was trying to obtain the car for a number of years. Is the possibility of sueing the person who now has my car a realistic possibility??
                  Many thanks again for your patience and helpfull answers. I think the mists are clearing.


                  • #10
                    Re: my car was stolen

                    In theory it's simple..... in practice more difficult
                    There is a Latin tag which translates as "no one gives what he doesn't have"
                    Basically where goods are sold by a non-owner the eventual purchaser does not gain good title. This means that if B wrongly sells goods belonging to A to a buyer called C, the items remain the property of A. The fact that C has entirely innocently purchased items that he believed were owned by B is irrelevant.
                    Despite this, there are numerous exceptions (which don't seem to apply here) that have arisen as a result of the obvious unfairness the general rule might create where innocent buyers lose their money in difficult circumstances.

                    The sale of Goods Act 1979 makes it an implied term of any sale contract that the seller has the right to sell.
                    Without the right to sell, the seller cannot pass good title to a buyer.

                    You should proceed against the current keeper of the vehicle, seeking its return.
                    It is difficult to comment on your chances of success, as we do not know what defence the other parties might raise.


                    • #11
                      Re: my car was stolen

                      Thank you very much for your encouraging reply. It is nice, at long last, to be given some sound advice that I understand. I think you have unlocked the mystery of what went wrong.
                      If I decide to go ahead what would you suggest I do now should I use a solicitor or would a barrister be more suitable ?
                      With all that has gone on in our family lately I dont have much faith in the people I have used to date.
                      As I said before I believe I have all the evidence to prove the case that the car is my property and its a pity I was taken along the wrong road from the start.
                      Thanks again I now feel a lot more confident.


                      • #12
                        Re: my car was stolen

                        First thing will be to ascertain who has the vehicle now, if you don't already know.
                        You will then need to contact him, telling him the vehicle is owned by you and sold to him by a person who did not have legal title, and you require him to return it to you.
                        I suspect his answer will be a polite refusal.

                        you'll then have to obtain a court order for the keeper to deliver your possessions to you.
                        The keeper is likely to dispute your claim, and you will need to present your evidence and then hope!



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