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Posted: 1/3/2003 8:52:40 AM EDT
Today my dad got a notice that he was a warrant out for his arrest.  When he called to see what it was about, it was for a parking violation in a fire zone.  The problem is that the car that was ticketed was one that he had sold last year.  He has no bill of sale for selling it and did not send in a notice of tranfer either.  The people that he sold it to never re-registered it, they didn't insure it and he doesn't know were the people are from.  

Since it is still registered to him, could he report it stolen, or is there some other course of action he can take to resolve this issue?  Thanks for any help.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 8:56:55 AM EDT
I am not a lawyer, and I don't play one on TV, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once.

Sounds like your dad is between a rock and a hard place.  Reporting it as stolen wouldn't be good - lying to the 5-0 doesn't make you any friends.  Best bet would be to hope that the police are understanding of the situation and look out for the car so they can speak with the new owners.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 9:00:13 AM EDT
Have him CALL the court who issued the warrant and explain the situation. If he goes and talks to a cop about it, the cop has very little discretion to use on a warrant, and your pops will probably go to the slammer for a night. At least thats the way it works around here.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 9:09:09 AM EDT
The warrant was issued in a city 3 hours from where he lives.  He couldn't get arrested in a municipality that the warrant wasn't issued in could he?  So far, he could just pay the $190 ticket and be done with that part of it, but the car would still be in his name.  Any ideas of how to get that liablity off his back?
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 9:18:34 AM EDT
Of course your father could get arrested anywhere in Texas! Arrest warrants are effective statewide!

The authorities are not actively looking for your father, so it would most likely happen if and when he was stopped for some reason and they ran his drivers license number.

Call the Court that issued it and explain the facts to them.

They might just require that he send in an affidavit testifying to his sale of the vehicle!

Then again, they might want more!

Whenever you sell a vehicle, remember to tear off the notice on the title and send it to Austin!

That gets you off the hook!

Eric The(Legal)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 9:19:13 AM EDT
Things must be different in Texas. Did your Dad leave his License plates on the car?
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 9:22:33 AM EDT
I had the same thing happen to me.  Except someone at the DMV screwed up the title transfer.  I received a summons and went and talked to the DA and the charge was dropped.  I didn't have a bill of sale.

Edited to add that I gave them the whereabouts of the person I sold the car to.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 9:24:41 AM EDT
I'm sure he left his plates on the car.  I will call him and tell him to call the issuing court to discuss it with them.  Hopefully it will all work out.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 10:00:26 AM EDT
Confusing...I thought that parking violations were administrative law issues in Texas, and we did not issue warrants, but instead referred them to collection agencies. I guess it is possible to charge someone with a Class C Misdemeanor parking violation, but you have to have good reason to believe that the person named in the warrant was the one who illegally parked it: there is no presumption, that I know of, of responsibility for a criminal parking violation.

I disputed a parking ticket several years back (my car broke down). Generally, he should contact the court where the violation occurred and schedule a hearing with their magistrate (although many larger cities in Texas have administrative law "Hearing Officers" specifically for parking tickets). If a warrant has been issued, he may have to post a bond in the same amount as the fine before he can have hearing, but that will also clear the warrant for the time being. Take proof that the vehicle has been sold, and that should cover it. If that doesn't work, appeal it to the next step, County Court.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 10:22:59 AM EDT
If you sell your car, TAKE THE DAMN PLATES OFF!  License plates are YOURS, NOT THE CARS!

The new owner is required to license and register the vehicle.  He is also required to insure the vehicle.  Remove your insurance information, and licensing paperwork from the glovebox.

Finally, sign the title of the car over to the new owner, and notify the state that your license tag is being transferred.

This is how it works in most states anyhow.  If you don't do this, basically you are loaning the car permanently for a sum of money.  All non-moving violations will be tacked on you, and you are still responsible to re-sticker the car every year.  You may also be responsible for municipal violations if any are applied to your car.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 10:25:55 AM EDT
I just spoke with my dad.  He is getting a form for dispute for the ticket and is sending in a notice of transfer to an unknown party per the instuctions of the DMV.  He is also going to try and have the cashiers check traced to attempt to get the buyers information.  Thanks for all of the advice.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 10:29:29 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 11:29:49 AM EDT
I told him that too.  He said he would just call the court Monday and have them fax the dispute form to him so that he can have some proof that he is trying to take care of it.  

I guess this just goes to show that you shouldn't trust anyone no matter how nice they seem.

As far as the plates go, I have bought several used cars in Texas and they have all been sold with the plates on them.  

The ticket was issued in Austin.  My wife had some friends that were paid a visit from the cops with a warrant for parking tickets.  I guess that is what they do in Austin.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 12:05:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 12:24:43 PM EDT
hehe, I wonder how much bail would be for a $190 ticket.

I called my lawyer cousin; he and my dad are now dealing with it.  I will stop worrying about it now.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 12:35:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 12:50:00 PM EDT
Well, I guess he's worth it then.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 6:41:52 PM EDT
If you sell your car, TAKE THE DAMN PLATES OFF!  License plates are YOURS, NOT THE CARS!
View Quote

Not in Texas. Plates go with the car, unless your county tax assessor decides to issue new plates when you register it after transferring title.

I actually substantially inconvenienced one of your fellow Illinoisians once over this. Stopped him for speeding; had a broken steering collumn (a nice indicator of a stolen vehicle) at about 2 in the morning. The plates returned to a sedan, and he was driving a van, and nobody had ID. After susbstantial roadside converstaion and research, I finally got Highway Patrol (or whatever the equivalent is) trooper from Illinois on the phone and he explained to me that plates go with the owner, and that an off-line search showed that plates where on the right car. Learn something new every day.

Back on the original topic, my parking ticket was in Austin, many years ago, and the hearing officer was reasonable and polite. Generally, scheduling the hearing will stop a warrant. Their parking attendants are kind of brainless, though; they have ticketed marked patrol cars I was using in Austin for parking at meters (Police vehicles are exempted by state law from paying meters). You'd think they'd train them better, but I guess you can't expect much for $6 an hour.
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