Over the years, I have assisted vehicle owners in getting their vehicles back from parties (lien claimants) who have allegedly repaired, stored or towed their vehicle. These owners have never agreed to the amount(s) charged by the lien claimant, or someone else had their vehicle and caused the alleged amount(s) to be owed to the lien claimant.
Under the Repair and Storage Liens Act (RSLA), those who repair, store or tow a vehicle are entitled to register a lien against the title of that vehicle if payment is not made to them for their services.
There are times however, that you don’t agree with the charges and a lien claimant has possession of your vehicle, but want your car back. What do you do?
In order to get your vehicle back from a lien claimant, you are first required must pay the amount claimed into Court under Section 24 of the RSLA. By paying the amount(s) into Court, the lien claimant’s rights transfer from your vehicle to the money you paid into Court.
In addition to paying in the money into Court, an Application for Initial Certificate under Section 24 must be filed and served on the lien claimant. They must then either file an Objection, where you would then be required to pay an additional amount into Court or, within 3 days, the lien claimant must return the vehicle to you.
If an Objection is filed, and you paid the additional amount into Court, a Final Certificate is then issued by the Court which you serve on the lien claimant, who then must immediately return the vehicle to you. If they refuse to deliver the vehicle to you, a Writ of Seizure is filed with the Sheriff which allows them to get your vehicle back from them.
It is then up to the lien claimant who is claiming a right to the money you paid into Court to proceed with legal action against you for that money. If you do not get sued within ninety days, you can file a Motion with the Court and get that money back.
If you are sued for that money, it proceeds like a regular court action.
If you find yourself in a similar situation where a party has possession of your vehicle and is claiming lien rights, and you do not agree with those charges, reach out to us, and we will be more than happy to help get your vehicle back.
Murray Brown, Paralegal