How to get my motorcycle back from a custom shop?

UPDATED: May 16, 2012

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How to get my motorcycle back from a custom shop?

I had a verbal agreement with this guy to recondition my motorcycle for $6500 tops. I gave the guy $6400 cash but now he is telling me that he wants more money to finish the project and that was not what we agreed on. So I’m without my bike and the $6400 cash that I gave him. Can anyone advise me in what to do?

Asked on May 16, 2012 under Business Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You would sue him for breach of contract, if you had an agreement that he would do the work for $6,500 but is demanding more than that--you need to be prepared to pay him the extra $100 per the agreement, since you have to either have fully honored your own obligations, or at least be ready, willing, and able to do so. You would sue, depending on the exact circumstances (e.g. how much work has been done) for one or more of the following: a court order (injunctive relief) that he finish the job; an order that he release the motorcycle to you; and/or for the return of some or all of your money.

However, you will likely encounter severl difficulties:

1) If it was an oral (also called verbal) agreement, then if he does not "remember" it the same way as you, it can be difficult to prove the existence and the terms of the agreement.

2) If you paid cash, unless you received a receipt for the payment, you may not be able to prove that you paid him.

This could be a complex situation; you should retain an attorney to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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