I rented a car from Enterprise earlier this month initially for 1 day, and I was 5 days late on returning the car. Enterprise emailed me and my secretary arranged to extend the rental via email. The day after this was done, I got pulled over driving the car by several unmarked police cars, I was handcuffed, and arrested for car theft and fraud. Enterprise reported the car stolen to the police, and also said that the credit card used to rent the car was fake. Several hours after the police investigated, I went to court and ultimately was released by a judge as there were no charges. I did however have a suspended driving license which I didn't know about and had to pay a $288 fine. Fast-forward now 2 weeks later, I got a letter today advising that I was terminated due to the arrest. I am a president of a college and my contract has clauses about not falling into disrepute as grounds for termination. Enterprise also contacted my college's board chairman and told her that I got arrested for stealing their car and renting it with a fake credit card. Credit card definitely wasn't fake. I didn't steal the car, I have the email chain to prove the extension. I want to sue Enterprise!
" I was 5 days late on returning the car."
Making Enterprise's report entirely justified.
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I think that you do have a claim particularly if you have contemporaneous emails extending the rental and you credit card was valid and could accept the charges as they accumulated.
Greetings, we agree with Fred's response above, but stop short of saying you have a claim. Instead we think that there's enough facts to your story that an investigation into whether you have a claim is worthwhile. In New York, while false arrest and malicious prosecution claims against non-governmental entities are rare, they do exist. Your allegation that Enterprise accused you of using a fake credit card adds meat to the claim. However the fact that you had a suspended license likely supports probable cause, which is a defense to a false arrest claim. And you don't elaborate to what extent the prosecution continued after your first appearance to allow anyone to feel too confident about a mal pros claim. Separately, your allegation that Enterprise called your Chairman adds even more to unpack as now claims of defamation or tortious interference come into play. You should speak with a local civil rights attorney to flesh out the facts and determine any possible claims. Good luck.
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