Southeast Financial v. Broadway Towing

Personal Property

New York Law Journal


Justice Jeffrey Goodstein

Plaintiffs sought an order directing Broadway Towing (BT) to deliver their two vehicles. BT cross-moved for an order allowing them to retain possession, claiming they had a "garageman's lien." Plaintiffs entered into two installment contracts with Charly's Towing for the sale of two tractor/trailer vehicles. Presidential took security interests in both vehicles, which provided lendor could repossess the vehicles if borrowers defaulted on either loan. Charly's defaulted and the vehicles were sent to New York to BT to allegedly rebiold the transmissions. BT claimed it made the repairs, but never received payment. Plaintiffs contacted BT seeking to repossess the vehicles, but BT refused to relinquish them until it was paid. The court found plaintiffs met all the required conditions for enforceability of its security interest as such interest attached when the vehicles were in Florida, and were perfected under Florida law. It noted, however, BT failed to prove the necessary elements to show a garageman's lien. There was no showing it was a duly registered motor vehicle repair shop as required under Article 12-A of the Vehicle and Traffic Law. Thus, plaintiffs' rights to possession of the vehicles were superior to that of BT, and motion was granted.

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