Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Washington

I am being sued by my fathers wife for a down payment on my car. I believe this was a gift for good reasons. But anyhow we never signed a contract. I am in Kansas since a few months ago when she decided to sue me, I believe for vindictive reasons.The car was bought in 05'. She is just now bringing this "loan" up now, after five years, after a falling out we had. What can I do to help my case? And could she win by just having been the one who paid the down payment? And can I counter sue for my expenses back to Washington for the court date? And last but not least, when I moved to Kansas I had trusted my father with my car since I could not bring it at the time. Now since she is suing me, she will not let me have a friend go pick it up. The title is in my name, but not in the car. I believe the registration is there, if she hasn't ransaked it by now. What can I do to get my car back?

Asked on 3/20/10, 11:52 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Amir John Showrai The Pacific Law Firm, PLLC
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First, to avoid a default, you need to file a written answer with the court and have it properly served (by mail) on your stepmother. Next, to get your car, you personally need to show up to get it, and when she refuses to give it to you, call the cops who will come, see your name on title (so have the title in hand ready to show the cops) and they will tell her to give you the keys (or at least, they should). From there on, it's up to your stepmother to get a court order stopping you from driving off, which I highly doubt she'll get in time, and the cops cannot stop you since the car is in your name.

Next, regarding her claim, you are probably going to prevail, given that there is no paperwork and you never made any payments prior to her suing you five years later. Still, the specific facts are what your case will turn on, and to better or more specifically advise you, I would need to interview you and see the complaint she filed with the court.

Since you are in Kansas, if you want my help to at least prepare and file an answer to the complaint, contact me later today.

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3/26/10, 4:10 am

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