My question involves a traffic citation from the state of: Arizona
My ex called me and was in a bind and needed to borrow my truck so he could move. I tried to inquire as to their driver's license status but it was Sunday and the MVD was closed. I called the police department with him present and asked if they could confirm that his license was valid and they said they cannot do that, that I would have to get that information from MVD.
My ex assured me his license was valid and showed it to me so I went ahead and loaned it to him because I didn't want him to lose all his belongings because the place he was renting a room at, the people on the lease had been evicted and he had to be out in 5 days and he didn't know anybody with a truck except me so I let him borrow it so he could move his stuff out.
My truck was not returned and my ex's phone went straight to voice mail every time I called. After 24 hours, I called the police and they told me my ex had been pulled over and was arrested for driving on a suspended license and other charges (which they refused to disclose) and that the vehicle had been impounded! I asked where do I go to retrieve it at, what was the name of the tow truck company, etc... and they said they couldn't give me that information! I asked WHY not and they said because the vehicle was being held as evidence and I could not get it back until my ex's case was adjudicated!
He was incarcerated for 47 days and when he got released, I didn't hear from him and by then his phone had been shut off. I inquired with the courts as to what his charges were and when the case would be adjudicated and they said 90 days from the date the defendant was sentenced because in the event the defendant files an appeal or post conviction relief, they will need to review the evidence all over again and that is why evidence remains in their possession for 90 days following the adjudication. I freaked out about it because I thought I was gonna have to pay the fees for it being held for all that time and the court clerk told me when a vehicle is impounded as evidence the impounding agency takes care of the fees and that I wouldn't have to pay them and I was relieved to hear that.
Well, that 90 days was up two days ago and I went to the police dept and obtained a release for my vehicle to take to the tow yard, which cost me $150 and then went to the tow truck yard to get my vehicle and they told me I owed them $2,300 in storage fees! I told them that I am not responsible for the fees since the vehicle had been held as evidence and that the impounding agency is the one who covers the fees! and THEY told me that the vehicle was NOT being held as evidence and that it was towed on a 30 day impound and that they were about to take possession of it and sell it!
I called the police department and asked them why I was given false information and they didn't know WHY I was told that. They did tell me that all the contents of the vehicle were impounded as evidence, but not the vehicle itself, which included my personal belongings and that I could pick that property up when the officer released the hold on it, which is done upon receiving notice from the county atty's office 90 days after the adjudication! It had been so long since I called down there the day when my ex never returned with my truck and I don't know who the heck I spoke to or anything, just someone in the property and evidence dept. but nobody is copping to it.
Not only was I given false information, but never did I receive a notification in the mail from the impounding agency that my vehicle had been impounded, who impounded it, where it was at, AND that I was entitled to request a hearing to possibly get it back before the 30 days (since it WAS in fact a 30 day impound and NOT impounded as evidence, shouldn't I have received such notification?) So here even after the 30 days were up, I waited an additional 60 days before trying to get my vehicle back because I was told that I couldn't get it back for 90 days after my ex's case was adjudicated! I am lucky that the tow truck company even had my truck still! They said they were waiting for the transfer of ownership for an abandoned vehicle and I went to the MVD immediately and put a freeze on the transfer while I sort this whole thing out.
Even if it was not being held as evidence, like I was told it was, I STILL was not afforded the opportunity to request a hearing because they never sent me any notice whatsoever telling me about all this and who to contact to make such a request, etc... I could've gotten my vehicle back a long time ago, most likely a couple of days after it was towed since I was not the one driving it at the time it was impounded and had inquired about the driver's license status of my ex and believed his license was valid!
Do I have any type of recourse at ALL? This just doesn't seem fair! somebody screwed up and I shouldn't have to pay for it! any advice would be well appreciated. Thank you