Motorcycle wrongfully claimed as abandoned.

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by RAHiggins1, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. RAHiggins1

    RAHiggins1 New Member

    In 2009 I entered into a verbal agreement with someone to do some mechanical work on my motorcycle. I had rebuilt the bike to about 90% complete but I am color blind and unable to successfully re-wire the bike's electrical system. I posted on craigslist that I was looking for someone who could do the work in trade for an IBM laptop. This person responded and we spoke on the phone. I took the bike with the laptop and dropped them both off at his residence in another county.

    The individual contacted me shortly after requesting a new battery, and new oil for the bike, which I bought and brought to him. He then later contacted me and said that he refused to put the existing exhaust pipes back on the bike and insisted that I buy new ones. I was not in a position financially to make any large purchases or to make any return trips as my wife had just given birth to our son which did not afford me an opportunity to travel.

    The situation with the person continued for the next 4 years with several instances of me contacting him via email and him eventually responding . He at some point told me he had been injured in a motorcycle accident and had multiple surgeries and hospitalizations and did not know when he would be able to complete the repairs, I could never get him to quote repair costs or tell me when he would be there for me to meet with him to discuss any of it. I decided to not fix the bike and sell it after I became unemployed and needed money. Afterwards, he told me he had shown it to several people and even had someone call me to discuss a purchase at one time. But all contact fell off in the middle of 2013.

    I just recently got myself to a point that I am capable of getting the bike fixed and back in my possession, but the person would not return my messages. It was my suspicion he had either fixed the bike and sold it or had sold all the parts individually. I sent a demand letter certified mail which got a response via email that he had claimed the motorcycle abandoned and sold it. I have most of the email traffic saved, some of the exchanges were quite heated) and also emails with the potential buyer who is a friend of his whom I suspect has bought the bike based on a picture on facebook of a bike that is very similar to mine. I think that this person converted my property to his own personal use while in full contact with me using the legal system in place to do it.

    What can I do about it?
  2. Fallschirmjäger

    Fallschirmjäger I watch the watchers

    Umm.. contact a lawyer or ask a forum about legal advice?

    The only advice we're going to give is that 124gr is better than 147gr in 9mm.

  3. Archangel

    Archangel Moderator Staff Member

    Not sure what kind of advice you are looking for on this issue on a gun forum...

    I'd contact and attorney or check out a motorcycle or maybe a legal forum and see if they have any suggestions.

    We can give some solid advice on caliber selection, or where to find a great holster though.
  4. psrumors

    psrumors Well-Known Member

    Whoop his @$$? Screw his wife?
  5. mrhutch

    mrhutch Well-Known Member

  6. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

    Most judges are likely to considers it abandoned due to several years having passed.
  7. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    Did you ever communicate your change-of-mind about having him fix the bike?
    Or was he left with the impression that you were still saving up money for additional parts, that you'd like him to install?

    Did HE ever communicate to YOU his intention to consider the project abandoned and give up on that vehicle?

    Did HE ever communicate to you a desire for you to come get your motorcycle off his property?

    Did you ever change your address without leaving a forwarding address or having your mail forwarded, or changing your official address on your driver's license?

    Georgia has several laws specifically about "abandoned" motor vehicles, and part of the process to legally claim such a vehicle that is left on your property and sell it is to give notice to the last known address of the owner / last known owner.


    § 40-11-1. Definitions
    § 40-11-2. Duty of person removing or storing motor vehicle
    § 40-11-3. When peace officers may remove vehicles from public property; notification requirements
    § 40-11-3.1. Unattended vehicle checks
    § 40-11-3.2. Limited prohibition on towing vehicles within paid parking facility located within 500 feet of an establishment serving alcohol
    § 40-11-4. Creation of lien; courts authorized to foreclose lien
    § 40-11-5. Lien foreclosure procedure
    § 40-11-6. Sale of vehicle pursuant to foreclosure
    § 40-11-7. How purchaser at foreclosure sale may obtain certificate of title
    § 40-11-8. Disposition of proceeds of foreclosure sale
    § 40-11-9. Derelict motor vehicles; determination of status; disposition; violations and penalties
    § 40-11-10. Disposition of certain contents of abandoned vehicles
  8. RedLeg17

    RedLeg17 Active Member

    If the he didn't know the bike had been sold, it's not likely the guy followed the legal requirements to sell an abandoned vehicle.
  9. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    How much was the bike worth (fair market value) when you dropped it off in 2009?

    How much was it worth at the last stage of repair that you know of, before it was converted by the mechanic?

    How much time and labor did the mechanic put into it, and did he install any of his own parts that you didn't provide or pay for?

    I'm wondering if there are "damages" enough to justify civil litigation over this. Probably not, if the value of the bike isn't in the five-figure range.
    (but that's not legal advice-- just musing out loud).
  10. atlsrt44

    atlsrt44 Well-Known Member

    Small claims court?
  11. Nemo

    Nemo Man of Myth and Legend


    And .45acp with 230 FMJ or 185 JHP is better than both of those.

  12. Scout706

    Scout706 Well-Known Member

    If it were a poll, I would vote "call it a life lesson and move on". Value of nonrunning bike vs. storage fees equals break even.
  13. RAHiggins1

    RAHiggins1 New Member

    Yes, I have saved emails to prove it.

    At one time I was trying to save for parts but then I told him I wanted the bike back to sell it as is. I even had a interested buyer but he would never give me a time to meet him to recover it.

    No, but he once threatened to put a mechanics lein on the bike if I tried to come take it.

    No, his last communication to me indicated that he was still recovering from a previous bike wreck (he was supposedly unable to do repairs for a couple of years after the accident) and was having multiple surgeries on his knee, that he didn't know when he would be on his feet and was probably going to take off for a couple of months once he could get back on his bike.

    No, I have had the same address, phone number, and email address since 2003.
  14. RAHiggins1

    RAHiggins1 New Member

    At least $6000, I paid $12500 for it in '99 at Stone Mountain Harley Davidson.

    Once, I had decided to sell it, I was asking $5000 for it "as-is" on craigslist. I had restored it to about 90% and needed someone to do the wiring and get it running clean.

    I have no verification of any work done. I repeatedly asked for estimates but he would never give me any numbers. I also asked him to tell me what I needed to pay to come pick the bike up and never got a response.

    I've been advised by a 20+ year cop to report it stolen to his local police as "Theft by Conversion".
  15. AtlPhilip

    AtlPhilip Proud GCO member.

    If you want advice on how to physically arrest someone, ask a cop.
    If you want legal advice, ask a lawyer.
    If you want really bad (but often humorous) advice, ask a gun forum.