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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?

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?


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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

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 privilege since this is a public forum. The information provided does not create an attorney-client relationship. No communications with me on this forum shall be construed as arising out of an attorney-client relationship. If a client needs specific legal advice or opinions, he or she should retain counsel for advice or to undertake representation.


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.


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.


The owner of the car can make a claim.

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