Q- what sort of defenses should I expect him to try?
Defenses sometimes asserted include Limitations, unclean hands, voluntary payment by Plaintiff, or pleading that the money is stolen money, even from a good-faith purchaser for value. Texas Bank v. Custom Leasing 498 SW2d 243 (Tyler 1973), and also ‘Unclean hands’, may include factors showing that Plaintiff’s conduct indicate a lack of good faith, or lack of ordinary care. Where Defendant shows that Plaintiff paid with full knowledge, with no acts of fraud or duress, ‘voluntary payment’ is a valid defense.
Q- what damages can I recover?
You can seek return of the property, plus actual damages. These actuals are the measure necessary to fully compensate Plaintiff for all injuries sustained, not merely the market value. Reuber Chevrolet v. Grady Chevrolet (Dallas 2009). Also recoverable are the ‘loss of value’ which includes fair market value plus interest at the highest legal rate. Khorshid v. Christian (Dallas 2008). Here, Plaintiff recovers for the time period, while he was deprived of it’s use. In some cases the ‘intrinsic value’ of the property not returned is an additional measure of damages. Lost profits are also recoverable; courts consider the particular circumstances of each case here. Bures v. 1st National (Corpus Christi 1991). Plaintiff must prove Defendant had notice of the lost profits; generally ‘Lost Profits’ is a larger subject for another Blog post.
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*The foregoing is not intended to provide specific legal advice, but instead only as a generalized discussion
Sam Emerick has over 35 years
experience in Commercial Collections Law,
Factoring Litigation and Wills, Trusts & Probate