I own a Motorcycle which is titled and insured to my name in the state of North Dakota. I have a friend whose father owns property in another town, and they have allowed me to store my motorcycle inside of a garage on that property during the winter months. We did not have a written agreement on this, it was a verbal agreement with no exchanging of money.
I went to pick the motorcycle up for the season last Friday evening, to discover it was not in the garage. I called my friend and he had no knowledge of where it went, neither did his father. I called the local Sheriff's department on Monday to report a stolen vehicle, and received a call back later in the day from a Sheriff who reported that the property that the motorcycle was being stored on, and all contents of the property, were sold by the county due to taxes my friend's father did not pay. The Sheriff remembers the buyer of the property asking him about the motorcycle, but they apparently did not run the license plate or VIN to determine who owns it, and thus I was never notified. The buyer of the property took the motorcycle, and it is now out of state. He did give me a phone number with contact information for the buyer, but calling him really didn't seem to do much, as he referred me to my friend's father.
So, what recourse, if any, do I have in this situation to either get my motorcycle back or receive just compensation for my motorcycle being sold without my knowledge?
-Despite the buyer of the property purchasing "everything" on the property at the time of sale, since the motorcycle was titled and registered in my name, and not my friend's father's, does that entitle me to reclaim it from the buyer?
-Despite the location and "ownership" of the motorcycle known, would I be able to file a police report for a stolen vehicle anyway?
-Essentially: Do the rights I have by having the motorcycle registered in my name supersede the rights the buyer of the property has due to my motorcycle being present on it when the sale was made?
-If the above fails, despite us having no written agreement/no money having been traded hands for the storage of the motorcycle, does my friend's father have liability for not "protecting" the motorcycle until I reclaimed it? There was certainly a verbal "reasonable assumption" that the motorcycle would be there in the spring.