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  1. #1
    joelcannon is offline Junior Member
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    Ex husband trying to screw my wife

    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? California

    My wife's ex had court ordered possession of a car that was registered in her name, and he maliciously parked it in a handicap space so that it would get impounded.

    Until last night, we believed the rumor that he had sold it for scrape. The property settlement is still not finalized, so the title was not officially transferred. The Ex has been renewing the registration and receiving all the mail from the DMV, Police and Courts - so we had no clue what was going on (we now live in Oregon). She did not sign over the title earlier because he has already liquidated all the other joint property (401K, etc) and is $25K in arrears on child support. He has repeatedly lied in court, and we expect more of the same with this matter.

    Here is the evidence we have collected so far. How should we use it, and what else do we need?

    • A year ago, he sent us a transfer of title - which he signed and dated before this prank.
    • He has been pressuring us to sign and return them (He still drives the 2nd car, one in my wife's name and the other in both names).
    • Last week, we sent him the papers via certified mail, and his roommate signed the receipt.
    • We have a recent phone message and emails of him demanding the titles.
    • We kept the top copies, but there is a small problem with one of the dates.
    • We also have witnesses that heard the Ex brag about what he did (the same person who recently warned us).
    • We also know who gave him a ride home after the prank (his 2nd wife - who is now also divorced, but does not want to attract any trouble).
    • We never had the opportunity to drive the car - he has had sole possession since the separation.
    • The ex was convicted or spousal abuse and there was a restraining order when this happened.

    What do we do to get this cleared up and hopefully, get him in trouble. (He has successfully manipulated the California court system so far, so we expect an uphill battle.)
  2. #2
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Report him for violation of the DV restraining order and the restraining order contained in the divorce agreement that prevents him from encumbering assets. Have her file for contempt. What California county did the divorce take place in? Does she have an attorney? She could also file for sanctions.
  3. #3
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Your problem is going to be the time delay. If this had been a priority for him or your wife, it could have been done long ago. Unfortunately, the car is NOT yet in his name.

    At this time your wife has a couple of choices: she can retrieve the car from impound or she can essentially sign it over to the tow yard.

    If she has to recover it from the yard then she should certainly let her attorney know what has happened so that maybe the costs of the impound and recovery can be reflected in the final settlement. And I don't see a crime here at all, so there isn't much for a court to do unless he somehow violated a court order by parking the car.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  4. #4
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by joelcannon
    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? California

    My wife's ex had court ordered possession of a car that was registered in her name, and he maliciously parked it in a handicap space so that it would get impounded.
    Prove it.
    Quote Originally Posted by joelcannon
    Until last night, we believed the rumor that he had sold it for scrape.
    Your own fault.
    Quote Originally Posted by joelcannon
    The property settlement is still not finalized, so the title was not officially transferred.
    O.K. so it's your wife's fault for not picking up the car or taking it with her.
    Quote Originally Posted by joelcannon
    The Ex has been renewing the registration and receiving all the mail from the DMV, Police and Courts - so we had no clue what was going on (we now live in Oregon).
    Again, if the car was in her name, she should have taken it when she left. Otherwise, what does she expect?
    Quote Originally Posted by joelcannon
    She did not sign over the title earlier because he has already liquidated all the other joint property (401K, etc) and is $25K in arrears on child support.
    Irrelevant.
    Quote Originally Posted by joelcannon
    He has repeatedly lied in court, and we expect more of the same with this matter.
    Irrelevant.
    Quote Originally Posted by joelcannon
    Here is the evidence we have collected so far. How should we use it, and what else do we need?

    • A year ago, he sent us a transfer of title - which he signed and dated before this prank.
    • He has been pressuring us to sign and return them (He still drives the 2nd car, one in my wife's name and the other in both names).
    • Last week, we sent him the papers via certified mail, and his roommate signed the receipt.
    • We have a recent phone message and emails of him demanding the titles.
    • We kept the top copies, but there is a small problem with one of the dates.
    • We also have witnesses that heard the Ex brag about what he did (the same person who recently warned us).
    • We also know who gave him a ride home after the prank (his 2nd wife - who is now also divorced, but does not want to attract any trouble).
    • We never had the opportunity to drive the car - he has had sole possession since the separation.
    • The ex was convicted or spousal abuse and there was a restraining order when this happened.

    What do we do to get this cleared up and hopefully, get him in trouble. (He has successfully manipulated the California court system so far, so we expect an uphill battle.)
    you have already been given your answers. and most of your post is irrelevant to the fact that your wife's name is on the title and therefore, it is her responsibility.
  5. #5
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmet4nzkx
    Report him for violation of the DV restraining order and the restraining order contained in the divorce agreement that prevents him from encumbering assets. Have her file for contempt. What California county did the divorce take place in? Does she have an attorney? She could also file for sanctions.
    WHAT restraining order?
  6. #6
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelizeBreeze
    WHAT restraining order?
    There are 2 separate RO.
    One a DV RO as stated in the section you said was Irrelevant.

    "• The ex was convicted or spousal abuse and there was a restraining order when this happened."

    It sounds as if this is a bifurcated divorce with reserved issues, thus how she had to keep the car registered in her name while the court gave him possession of the vehicle, until the settlement was finalized.

    Divorce petitions in California contain mutual restraining orders re assets, [url]http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/family/divorce/divforms.htm[/url]. Thus the advice re contempt and sanctions. Unfortunately, the provisions of law meant to protect victims of domestic violence also can be abused to profit the abuser, sometimes the victim loses everything while the abuser, is given every protection and restraining orders and their enforcement are ignored.
  7. #7
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    You are correct about the property orders - this is standard fare when applying for divorce. However, unless the restraining order specifically covered this vehicle (and forbade his driving it) it was not violated. He is perfectly able to park a vehicle in his care wherever he wants - whether registered to him or not.

    The problem the OP will have is trying to PROVE that the ex intentionally got the car towed. Without a taped or written confession as to intent, this is arguable and certainly not going to be an issue.

    -Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  8. #8
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Plus the fact that the car was registered in her name only and it was HER responsibility, save specific instructions in the divorce decree or specific prohibitions in the ROs againt obtaining the vehicle.

    It's a little too late to be asserting property claims unless she wants to pay the freight.
  9. #9
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Additionally, it is likely that the order issued after the DV conviction was a criminal protective order and NOT a "restraining order", per se. the CPO would also not involve the car in any way - only the victim.

    The car is one of those things that falls through the cracks a lot when dealing with divorces and property.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  10. #10
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelizeBreeze
    Plus the fact that the car was registered in her name only and it was HER responsibility, save specific instructions in the divorce decree or specific prohibitions in the ROs againt obtaining the vehicle.

    It's a little too late to be asserting property claims unless she wants to pay the freight.
    California is a community property state, so even if the car was registered in her name only, it is possible and apparently, this was the vehicle the ex normally drove and was therefore the court awarded the ex it's use until the settlement was final and the title transfered. The ex has violated the restraining orders and had delayed the final settlement, in the meantime encumbering the assets. So if the ex was awarded the use of the vehicle and parked and or abandoned the car in a handicapped parking space, there is recourse via contempt and sanctions. Since the vehicle's registered owner was maintaining the registration and lived out of state, it is possible not to be aware of this until the tickets were forwarded or the registration came back with the violation.
  11. #11
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmet4nzkx
    The ex has violated the restraining orders and had delayed the final settlement, in the meantime encumbering the assets.
    Maybe. But only if it can be PROVEN that he did so intentionally.

    He might still be liable to make good on the costs in any final settlement, but unless it can be shown that he knowingly and intentionally got the car impounded with the intent that it would be seized as a lien sale, I don't see that it's anything more than another set of figures to be crunched in the settlement. It's certainly not going to be a court order violation that any DA would touch with a 10' pole.


    So if the ex was awarded the use of the vehicle and parked and or abandoned the car in a handicapped parking space, there is recourse via contempt and sanctions.
    Or, more likely, simply an adjustment in the final property disposition.

    Selling the car is one thing, leaving it where it MIGHT get towed is another. Plus, there is no guarantee that a car parked ina handicapped spot WILL be towed. It is usually slapped with a parking citation. So any argument for intent would have to include the ex's knowledge that the car WOULD be towed if left there and not simply cited.

    Proving any intent here is going to be next to impossible.

    - carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  12. #12
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmet4nzkx
    California is a community property state, so even if the car was registered in her name only, it is possible and apparently, this was the vehicle the ex normally drove and was therefore the court awarded the ex it's use until the settlement was final and the title transfered. The ex has violated the restraining orders and had delayed the final settlement, in the meantime encumbering the assets. So if the ex was awarded the use of the vehicle and parked and or abandoned the car in a handicapped parking space, there is recourse via contempt and sanctions. Since the vehicle's registered owner was maintaining the registration and lived out of state, it is possible not to be aware of this until the tickets were forwarded or the registration came back with the violation.
    And the BIG assumption here is that the car, titled in HER name only, IS community property.

    Nowhere has it been said the car was purchased DURING the marriage with marital funds, or that it was brought into the marriage.

    So, it's not even worth arguing that point.

    The ONLY point in this whole discussion is intent and proof.
  13. #13
    joelcannon is offline Junior Member
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    more info

    Thanks for helping us weed thru the issues and focus on what is relevant.

    When does ownership of the car transfer?

    He filled out the change of title and sign/dated it before this happened.
    We finally signed it a week ago - but after he pulled the prank.

    So does the ownership transfer when he takes possession, or when he signs the transfer, or when we sign the transfer or when he recieves the transfer or when it is recorded with the State?

    Assuming that my wife "owns" the car, is it the owner of the car or the driver that is responsible for the ticket, tow/impund fees, violation?

    Note that she had no right to take the car during the trial - the court ordered that he would have physical possession. The divorce was bifucated, and it has been 4 years so far and no settlement yet.

    Getting him in trouble is less important that minimizing the damage he has cause my family. Your advice is appreciated.
  14. #14
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Well if his possession was court ordered, that usually included that the possession be in good faith, and not encumber so it violated the RO in the divorce, Your wife needs an attorney to take him to task for this.
    What county in California?
  15. #15
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    At least initially, the registered owner will be held responsible for the citation and the impound. Whether your wife can get any money out of her ex to cover those costs is up to the court and any settlement agreement that is worked up.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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