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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69364
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a car dealer, a customer brought a car a while ago, he

Customer Question

I am a car dealer, a customer brought a car a while ago, he formally rejected the car and brought the car back to me.
I said to him that i would not refund him as there was nothing wrong with the car.
This went of for some time, over a period of 3 months, I asked him to collect the car, he refused.
I told him , that i am going to sell this car at a auction, and when the car is sold i will give you the money it was sold for.
He has now reported the car as stolen , the car has been sold, and i have told him that i am willing to pay him the amount it was sold for at auction, which was less., He also states I had no right to sell his car ( I told him I believe it wasn't your car the moment you rejected the car under the sales of good act)
My argument is that the moment he rejected the car, when he brought the car back to me, gave me the key, it was no longer his.
the police want to interview me for taking a vehicle without the owners consent, however there is no theft here, as the vehicle didnt "belong to another"
Is there any case law that can help me here??
I don't believe i have committed a offence.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Are you asking if you have to go to interview?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No, I am asking

A) Based from what I have said , have I committed the offence of taking a vehicle without the owners consent?

B) If not , is there any case law I can refer to

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Well, it depends. He will be saying you didn't have permission.On the face of it you did sell property belonging to him for a lesser sum which is the basis of a theft but you could argue that he abandoned it. I have to say that I think the rejection point is not a good one because the plain fact remains that you would not accept the rejection so it was not really rejected.I don't think there is a case to answer in twoc though as clearly there was an intention to permanently deprive so if anything it is a theft.There is no point in quoting case law at a police station. That is not the place to have trials. This isn't really a case law issue anyway. It is just a simple application of the law of abandonment.Can I clarify anything for you?Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am a bit confused about this comment you made

"I don't think there is a case to answer in twoc though as clearly there was an intention to permanently deprive so if anything it is a theft."

Are you saying there is or there is not a case to answer for TWOC???

My argument is that, I asked him several times, to collect the car and he refused, I told him that I did not have the money to pay him, and I would have to sell the car.

When does property become abandonment ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Not for twoc.
This is theft. There was an intention to permanently deprive.
You could defend on the basis of abandonment as I mentioned above.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Why do you think this is theft , be good to get your opinion.

1) I had a honest belief that I had the lawful authority to sell the car

2) I told him that I was going to do this.

3) I also offered to pay him the money for what the car was sold for.

Can you tell me a bit more about abandonment, how long does the property have to be with be , for it to be considered "abandonment" again is there any cases I can review.

I really am grateful for your help.

Dan

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I think he is probably saying that you did not have authority to sell the car and, in fairness, given that you refused to refund it that might be accepted.
Abandonment turns upon reasonableness. Given that this is a high value item they could say that the reasonable thing to do would have been to deliver it to him at least once before selling. If it was registered to him then it only need to be placed on the highway.
Generally speaking the longer the period of time the better but the higher value the item and the easier return would be the harder it is to show abandonment.
if this comes down to his allegation that you were doing repairs or something similar and you can show that is incorrect then it might all disappear into nothing.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I told him that I would take the car to his house, he said if i did that I would be committing a offence, as the car was not insured at the time by him.

I personally think it is crazy, the customer didnt want the car , I didnt have the funds to pay him back, and I advised him that this was the action i would take if he didnt collect the car.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, but the fact that the customer is unreasonable doesn't mean that there weren't offences.

It also doesn't mean he is telling the truth.

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