The police seized a car I bought from a used car dealer. What can I do?
Question & AnswerThe police seized a car I bought from a used car dealer. What can I do?
Think about suing the used car dealer in Small Claims Court
If the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) cannot help you solve your problem, you can sue the registered dealer in .
If you are asking for $35,000 or less, you can file a claim in Small Claims Court. You must file your claim within 2 years of when you first learned about the problem.
For example, if:
- you bought a used car on December 1, 2013, and
- learned about your car's problem on September 14, 2014
then the last day you could file a claim would be September 14, 2016.
You do not need a lawyer to represent you in small claims court. But, talking to a lawyer can help you understand the court process.
The Ministry of the Attorney General has a self-help guide for Small Claims Court on its website.
If you want to sue for more than $35,000, you have to do this in Superior Court. It's very hard to do this without a lawyer. If you want to sue in Superior Court, you should try to get legal help.
If you have a low income, you might be able to get help from Pro Bono Ontario for cases in Small Claims Court or Superior Court.
There are some reasons why you might not want to sue in court, including:
- you have to pay court fees
- if you lose, the court could order you to pay some of the dealer's legal costs
- it's complicated and a lot of work for you, especially if you don't have a lawyer
- it usually takes a lot of time
- if you win but the dealer doesn't pay, it's up to you to try to collect the money