My ATV was stolen in 2009, and I filed a police report with the Arlington PD at the time. Recently, someone purchased the ATV from another individual using cash, got a bill of sale and a copy other individual's DL. Dallas PD is in the process of recovering the ATV from the individual who is currently in possession in Dallas. I was informed by Arlington PD that it would be held in Dallas impound pending a property hearing. I lost the title, but I contacted the bank, and I should have a replacement free of any liens, hopefully prior to the hearing. I also have pictures of the ATV at my house from 2009 and the original police report which I filed when it was stolen. This seems like an open and shut case, but I am concerned that the man who purchased the stolen ATV will try to recover it.
A seller cannot pass good title to stolen property under Texas law. So, you need to prove that you are the owner of the ATV, and that the ATV at issue belongs to you. You should try to see the ATV before the hearing to make sure that the serial number matches what you believe the numbers should be. You should take photos of the impounded ATV and compare them to the photos of your ATV. Bring the original title (or a copy) to the hearing, along with the photos and the police report.
It is always advisable to have an attorney.
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If you can show the original title, bill of sale, pictures and police report, you should be okay. (and any license and registration that may be filed in TX?) I would also prepare and sign a declaration under oath outlining your purchase, the theft and fact you never sold the ATV to anyone and that the documents you are providing are either the originals or true and correct copies of the originals. You might be wise to consult an experienced attorney near where the hearing will be held?
Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client privilege is created by this communication. Attorney is licensed in California only.
Criminal Defense Attorney
It depends, how badly do you want to ensure that you get your property back. It sounds like the unwitting purchaser wants to keep it even though it's yours. You'll need to prepare for this and if the other side has an attorney you'll need to know how to present your evidence to the court to ensure you get your ATV back. An attorney can certainly help. Is an attorney absolutely necessary, probably not. You can perform your own dental exams too but wouldn't you trust that to someone who does that for a living?
Good luck and feel free to contact me to discuss your options and the procedure.
Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing