In cases where all other vehicle title recovery methods are not available, you may be able to use the court system to pursue a vehicle title. You would need to file a court case with your local county or circuit court. These cases are similar to lawsuits, and are sometimes referred to as “writ of mandamus” or “in rem” lawsuits. You would be suing the vehicle to have the judge declare you the owner of the vehicle.
Each jurisdiction has different procedures, but usually they require that you start by filing an affidavit of facts stating how you came to be in possession of the vehicle, and what you know about the history of the vehicle. Then you make a public notice in the local legal organ newspaper asking that any parties claiming an interest in the vehicle come forward. The court will also do some background research. Once all of the procedures are complete, the court will set a hearing date for you to return to the courthouse and if approved, they issue a judgment of ownership.
There is no formal document or fill-in-the-blanks form for court filings. You would need to write the complaint in the format used in that county. You may wish to get legal advice from a qualified attorney. For an example of how this process is handled in Maryland you can visit this link.
Each location is a different specific process, but this can give you the basic idea. Normally the process takes 45 – 90 days, but can sometimes takes 6 months depending on the court calendar.
If you would like us to prepare the documents you would need to apply for the new VIN, you can also order a paperwork package with the prepared forms you need to start the new VIN application process.
We have links to the various DMVs in all 50 states in our resources section, which can help you navigate the process. We also have Title Consulting available if you need more assistance at the following link.
If you would like us to prepare the documents you would need for a court-ordered title, you can also order a paperwork package with some forms you would need.
Be advised, that you the client must file the case with your local court, no third party can do this for you unless you hire a licensed attorney. We are not attorneys, and can not give you legal advice. The sample text we provide is for you to use as a guide to try out the wording on the initial filing. There are 3611 counties in the country, and everyone has different formats for the initial filing, yours might be slightly different. The sample text is provided for basic information only, to give you an idea of what many counties are looking for to get a case started.
Before proceeding with any court activity on a motor vehicle, you should consider obtaining qualified legal advice.
Even though we prepare the forms and documents needed during the court-ordered title process, there are still several steps required by the client. You will need to be able to successfully make the first filing, and likely have to appear in court multiple times. Our service is intended to make the paperwork part easier, not to provide legal services or to complete a court case. $269
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