In small claims court, can I be the plaintiff on a suit for car damage even though I am not the registered owner of the car?

Asked 4 months ago - Baltimore, MD

The car I drive is registered to my fiance, but insure the car. I am filing suit in small claims court for damage to the car - can I be the sole plaintiff on the suit, or do both my fiance and I have to be named as plaintiffs?

I have a notarized document stating that I am authorized to represent him in all court matters related to the car. If he were to be named as a plaintiff on the suit, does he have to attend the court date? Also, I have witnesses. Will notarized statements from them be enough, or do they actually need to attend court as well?

Thanks!

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Scott R. Scherr

    Contributor Level 18

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    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . No, only the owner of the car can recover damages. In addition, your fiancé cannot appoint you to represent him because only an attorney can represent another individual in court. Your fiancé would be the sole proper party Plaintiff and he would need to appear in court. Your witnesses would need to appear as well as notarized statements are hearsay and inadmissible.

    If you had collision, it is much easier to make a claim against your own insurance company.

    This answer is being given for general informational purposes only and is not protected by the attorney-client... more
  2. John L. Schroeder

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . You need to be the owner of the car in order to have standing to sue. Notarized statements are not enough as this is basically hearsay. Those statements are not subject to cross-examination. You need the witnesses to be in court.

  3. Jerome A. Konkel

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . The owner of the car has to make claim for damages. A statement that have authority to represent him is not going to be effective. Only attorneys can represent other parties in court.

  4. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . The owner of the car can make a claim.

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