Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Texas

I live in Texas, and I put my car into a mechanic shop back in Jan. The mechanic was to rebuild my engine and put on a couple supplied parts that I purchased. I paid 2000 in advance and was to owe him another 1000 when it was finished. About a month later I was told to pick up the car. I paid the rest of the money owed. First off, I had asked for him to put in a camshaft in the car that I choose, he put in something in smaller that I did not want without even letting me know. That aside, I noticed I had a problem in the engine, also my power steering resivoir was damaged, also when I started driving it in the parking lot I had no brakes. They looked at the brakes, I had no brake they added some and than began to bleed the brakes, they said one of the line was busted, which my brakes were in good order prior to taking the car there. They told me that the shop was closing to bring the car back monday when they could get the part. So even though it was dangerous to attempt I drove home...mind you I live an hour and half away...I brought the car back and was told I would have to pay for brake line...I told them no..but settled that I would get it just so I could get it back. Another week or so, I get my car, still had noise in engine, and brakes went out on me over the again back to shop...mechanic told me that brakes had been fixed..although he was telling me brakes on left side of car were fixed...but it was and they knew it was the right side of car..he told me well the other side was leaking as well...which I dont understand due to the fact that another mechanic bled that side and it was not I told him to fix it, fix the resivoir and the engine noise...again I wait..everytime I call I get well it will be friday...than well it will be eventually I get the car again...brakes are still soft, engine noise..performance of car is worse than I drove in with, and resivoir they just patched up...mind you the mechanic was telling me he had to special order one, and it hadnt come in yet...why it took so long to get car back...well It was the same one, just patched up..I took pictures prior to them taking back car so I know 100% that it was my old one...not to mention I can see the patch work...there excuse, the one they ordered was the same location. So I went online to a forum to see where I could find a mechanic to help me open the engine and see if the engine had even been rebuilt. So to summerize everything so far..I paid for the work, reciept just had rebuild engine, and put on parts supplied. I asked for all reciepts and was told he had already given them to his accountant for taxes. So, I get a phone call from mechanic that he saw my posting online and he wants to fix all this...So I tell him being patient and civil that I just want my car to be fixed right, and to basically get everything fixed that hasnt been, also to put in the camshaft that I originally wanted and to make sure I get reciepts for everything done on the car, as well as a work order from the machine shop where the engine was taken to get machined. So he agreed to it, and thanked me for not smeering his name on the forum, as im sure he gets alot of business from there. So I bought it back to the shop, and have been waiting, he continues to tell me it will be ready one day..for instance..the friday before last..then on friday I call him and he tells me it wont be ready till tues late in the day or wednesday I call him wednesday and tells me he has been sick wont be till friday...never called..called him this morning and he tells me it will be in the middle of the week. I have been without my car for this long..the company I work for has been nice and let me use one of the vehicles so I can get to and from work. I keep telling the mechanic that this is only temp, and need to get my car back..he offered to loan me a pickup he had...although it did not have a current registration and inspection stickers on it...I just need to know what are my rights in this situation...I wanted to have the car checked out after I get it back to see if the engine had even been rebuilt..I just dont trust the guy anymore...if no work has been done what can I it going to cost me alot to take to court if I can..really would like some advise on the matter..I am trying to give this guy a chance and do the right thing, but four months is four months and I have lost alot of time having to drive back and forth to this shop, not to mention not having my car and being able to enjoy it along with paying for insurance when im not even using it. I would really appreciate some advise........that was the basic is updated news on it......I just got it back and it broke down on me again. Not to mention I have a falsified reciept on a part he claimed he put in. Right now as it stands, he offered to take my car back for a fifth time to fix it, I however wished not to, and asked for my money back. He would not, and instead offered 1500. I made an agreement with him on paperwork but have not recieved the money yet, can I back out and still take him to small claims court? Even though this agreement has been made? I ask cause I think maybe I could win in court now that I have this false reciept, and that my car is still broke down after 4 times of taking it back. Would a judge take his side if he offered to repair it again, even though how many times it has been there. PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS! I dont want to get screwed out of 3500 dollars and end up with nothing or just 1500 and a broke car. If someone can help me please do so...I really need the help.

Asked on 6/04/10, 8:31 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jeffrey Brashear The Brashear Law Firm, PLLC

Based on what you have wrriten, you may always seek the court's assistance when resolving a dispute between two parties. There is no way of saying which side would prevail in a small claims action. Remember that in small claims the maximum amount of damages is statutorily set at $10,000.00 and there is a possibility that you could end up with nothing. Also, you may win and get a judgment, but collecting the judgment amount may prove to be difficult. Some of the things to consider looking at are - what type of entity is the shop, what are the assets the shop has, is the owner an employee of the shop, etc.? You may want to even consider retaining a local law firm to pursue your case.

The above response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an on-going duty to respond to questions. Additionally, the response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than an educated opinion. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

Read more
Answered on 6/04/10, 12:31 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More General Civil Litigation questions and answers in Texas