What legal action can I take if a friend forged my signature to sign the title of my car over to them? 5 Answers as of January 20, 2011

I gave my friend my car to help me sell (title was still in my name). He apparently forged my signature and signed the car over to himself, then took off. The police say it is a civil matter since I gave him my car willingly, but I gave it to him so he could help me sell it, not so he could steal it from me. I am told that the call cannot be recovered because the car is registered under the man's name in California. Can I file charges against him for theft or forgery? Can I obtain DMV records under the freedom of information act since I'm the real owner of the car?

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Wise Law Group
Wise Law Group | Michael J. Wise, Esq
You should be able to file a theft claim. It is theft by deception. If the local police refuse to file a report, ask to speak to the, Sgt, then the Lieutenant and even the Captain if you have to.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/18/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
The police should have allowed you to file a report of the crime by your friend. They did not, so that is closed. Yes, you can sue your friend. If less than $7500 you should use small claims court. The buyer is innocent in this deal, but suing him for recovery as well in this case is possible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/18/2011
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
Go back to the police and ask to speak to the desk sergeant. The police try to do anything to getting out of filing a police report. The fact that you let someone borrow the car does not mean that you are willing to give them the car and change over the title. Do not just speak to the officer at the front desk.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/17/2011
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
Wow. This is a tough one. Forget the cops - go directly to the DA. I don't think the DMV will give you any records but it is worth a try. Before you go to the DA get statements from anyone who knows he was simply supposed to assist you in selling the car, not steal it. If you don't get anywhere yourself you should hire an attorney in your town Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/17/2011
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
If the Sheriff Department or the Police Department will not file a report, then file criminal charges with the District Attorney's office. They have investigators that work in the office.

As per your question with the DMV, go down to the DMV and explain your story. They might be able to help you.

Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/17/2011
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