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I received a "street cleaning" ticket after I sold my car. Can I sue the buyer?

San Francisco, CA |

This happened in May 2011. I have received a ticket 10 days after I sold my car. However, I didnt do anything about this ticket because I thought I had nothing to do with it after filing the release of liabilities. Few months later, I received a notice from a debt collection and the fine was triple. the debt collection needed the new owner's address so that they could go after him. Unfortunately, I didn't make a copy of the release of liabilily when I mailed to DMV. I then requested one from DMV, but they hid the new owner's address for some reasons. So I couldnt provide the address to the debt collection. This makes me so depress and wastes me lot of time. Can I sue that buyer for not registering the car within 5 days? Or any method I can make him pay the ticket? Thanks in advance.

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Attorney answers 4


If you do not know the buyer's address, how are you going to sue him? Unless you pay the ticket, you have no damages. If you pay the ticket then, yes, you should prevail against the purchaser in a small claims action if you can get the purchaser served.

However, I would simply dispute the debt with the credit reporting agency and submit the proof I do have, i.e., the redacted copy of the release of liability form. Let the agency discover the new owner’s address. It is not your responsibility to pay if the ticket was incurred after the date of transfer.

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You contact the court, and send them proof that you sol d the car ten days earlier. Ticket should be vacated. You may need to pay a visit to the court.

If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email -


Show the Release of Liability to the court. That should establish that the vehicle was not in your possession when the ticket was issued and should clear it up.

Kevin King, Attorney at <a href="HTTP://ESSENTIALAW.COM">ESSENTIAL LAW SERVICES</a>. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice for a particular case. This post does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author of the question answered. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult with me or other qualified legal counsel.


Next time, look into a release of will help with situations like these.