Legal Question in Business Law in Pennsylvania

I own a business that buys,sells and trades new and used equipment. I purchased a bike in good faith from a customer that bought the bike from a bike shop with a bad check and the sold it to us. I turned around and sold it to a customer. Afetr 6 months the bike needed to be repaired and the customer happened to take it to the bike shop where it was purchased with the bad check, the bike shop called the police and the police took it off of the customer and returned it to the bike shop. I have talked to 2 different lawyers and they said that it is the property of my customer and that the police messed up and that the bike shop should have to go after the person that passed the bad check, and my customer should get the bike back. I feel bad about the whole thing but am I liable to give the customer his money back.

Asked on 5/22/11, 8:51 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Kevin B. Murphy Franchise Foundations, APC

As a Franchise Attorney I can only ask: why are you posting this question if you've talked to two different lawyers? And, if property is reported stolen, and the police recover it, they will return it to whoever is able to prove legal ownership - which appears to be the bike shop that sold it originally. They're not going to get involved in a civil matter involving bad checks, etc. That's for others in the chain of events to deal with and sort out. Consult with a good business or franchise attorney in your area for specific advice.

Mr. Franchise - Kevin B. Murphy, B.S., M.B.A., J.D.

Franchise Foundations, a Professional Corporation

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Answered on 5/23/11, 2:13 pm

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