It's kind of a sad day when one of our hobbies leads us to appear before a magistrate, but that's what happened to me yesterday.
For those new to the story, here's the Cliff's Notes version: I took the Mustang to a guy last August to do body repair and paint. He flaked out, apparently, and didn't do the work. He cited health issues. Whatever. In February, his MOM called and said he was being evicted from his shop for failure to pay rent, and I had three days to come get my car and my parts. I did (in a snowstorm), but of course he wasn't there and I did not get my deposit money back. He did no work. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch.
After he wouldn't respond to my calls and emails, I filed in small claims court. That brings us to the yesterday.
I dressed up (put on a tie and everything) and drove over to the courthouse in the next county. Waited around about 25 minutes and got called in. He didn't show up. Shocking, eh?
So basically I won by default, and the judge awarded me an additional $86 in fees and whatnot that he is supposed to pay. She said they would mail him the order, and if I haven't heard back in 21 days, I can turn him over to a collections agency and at least get some of my money.
In the meantime, the car sits, covered, in my driveway. I had another guy come and take a look a couple weeks ago, and it sounded promising, but I haven't heard back from him. We'll see.
This has just gotten far more complicated than it ever should have been.