That reminds me that I need to get the police report signed by the officer and notarized so it is admissible. Thanks for that, because I didn't even think about needing to have the police report notarized. Can you think of anything else from your case that I'm not doing right or missing? If my case is a success for me, maybe I should write a "what to do if you're sold a stolen motorcycle" guide to help others avoid being run over by the court system.
What state do you live in? How long ago was your case? I wonder if there is a statute of limitations to how long you have to sue in your state, because in mine unless the parties SPECIFICALLY agree to a shorter term, you have up to 4 years to take action for any breach unless you have already taken an action for the breach you are taking action for, then the limit is up to 6 months after the first action unless your action was voluntarily discontinued or dismissed for failure or neglect to prosecute. So from what it sounds like, if the result of your court case was "judgment for the defendant" then you have 6 months from the DOJ (date of judgment) to act.
I don't think there is much else I can recommend. It really just depends on how your local small claims court is run. I thought maybe I should have brought witnesses (summoned them?) to legitimize my case, such as the SC cop who seized the bike when I reported it. But ultimately I knew I was screwed when I had to explain to the judge what eBay is--this was only about 3 years ago--and he stopped me every other minute to tell me I couldn't proceed this way or that. As I said before, I'm not a lawyer. I wasn't prepared to act as if I was. That seems asinine for small claims court
, but that's how it went down.
I live in SC. I had to file the case in bum-**** county GA where this guy lives. The frame was from a bike reported stolen in TN. The engine, NC.
It was a mess.
I wouldn't do it again because it's simply not worth it. Filing costs were 100+. I didn't consult a lawyer because fees would have been a significant amount in ratio to the possible settlement if not more. I had to drive down to GA twice for mediation which was a waste of time. I traveled down there 4 times in total which I had to take time off work each time.
If I ever buy another bike from a private seller, I won't travel more than 30 minutes and not out of the same state jurisdiction. I'll also check the VIN numbers with my local DMV before... another mistake on my part. The guy had a legit GA title he somehow got using a fake TN title. Apparently they transferred it without checking the VIN. I think this guy was picking up questionable parts from "friends at the track", but who knows.
It makes me wonder how many people out there are riding around on stolen bike parts--engines, frames, and everything in between--and don't even realize it.
BTW... those are big-ass coffee mugs. You look like you're in the Starbucks witness protection program.