The Waiting Game

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by AHF, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. AHF

    AHF Member

    I am now waiting for the 3 weeks remaining in the university quarter to end. Until then, my difficult child has his room & board paid for. (It comes out of $$ he deposited to the program he failed out of, and I am not refunding it, as he is not seeking treatment in good faith; but still, it has been paid for.) The director of the student health center is aware of difficult child's existence, has an appointment with him this week, and has the list of treatment programs I'm willing to fund if difficult child gets on board with renewed psychological help. Meanwhile, he plays poker online constantly, funded by his "backers," and he is also accessing a small ($800) trust that his dad set up for when he turned 21. Most likely scenario is that he will get the $800 and spend it on airfare to the East Coast, where he will show up at my home asking for a) a place to stay and b) the keys to his car. Turning him down on (a) is easy: I'm willing to pay for treatment, there are homeless shelters, etc. (b) is a little trickier. It's his car, bought with poker $$. His license has been suspended for failure to pay a ticket, and he has no insurance. He has driven drunk in the past, driven to escape his depression; my most common nightmare is of his driving the car over a cliff. So my inclination is to say, "I will not give you the keys to your car because I will not cooperate in putting an unlicensed, uninsured driver on the road"--and then let him scream and yell and threaten to have me arrested for stealing. Is it worth it? Or should I just hand over the keys? What would you warrior moms do? I know this is not happening (yet), but I find myself trying to plan, not to be blindsided.
  2. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    If he threatens to call the police for you "stealing" the car, tell him to go ahead. Then when they arrive and he drives off let them know he has a suspended license and is uninsured. They will most likely impound the car then because there will not be a licensed driver to take it.

    Kat has taken out student loans and just quit going to classes two times. As of now the federal loan program won't touch her, so she can no longer get thousands of free dollars, which is how she looked at it. I so feel your pain. And good for for thinking ahead- that always helps the situation when you can do it.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Quietly inform him that the police will be advised of this as soon as the vehicle clears the driveway.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I would not give him the keys to the car. Tell him exactly what you told us that you will not help put an unlicensed uninsured driver on the road. God forbid he got into a serious accident and had not insurance. If he threatens to call the police tell him to go ahead. If the police come give them the keys and tell them exactly why you didn't give them to him. If they want to give him the keys when he is unlisensed and uninsured so be it, but my guess is they won't do that. I think they will sympathize wih you. Definitely call the police if he gets threatening or physical in any way. It sounds like you are thinking clearly about this.
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Or... give him the keys. After you've already removed some vital part that the car needs to run and put it somewhere he can't get it, like a safety deposit box. ;)
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Not sure what the laws are for the state you are in - but with no insurance, I think the car should not (legally) have license plates. If it still does - turn them in to the DMV. After gets gets new insurance, he can get new plates.

    Either way - you can happily turn over the keys. He won't get too far driving without plates...
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good idea on the plates!
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would call the police and ask them what the best course of action would be. If he shows up sober what should you do? If he shows up intoxicated or under the influence of something should you do something different? Is it legal to have plates on the car or should they be surrendered - and is it legal for you to surrender them? I know that in one state it is illegal to take the plates off of a car you do not own unless you are an officer of the law - and the penalty is pretty steep. If someone owns a car and another person removes the plates for any reason, they can be charged, fined, etc...

    Mad enough at you, or bored and wanting to see you upset, it may be something your child has you charged with. Esp if you "turn him in" in his mind. Yeah, you could probably argue your way out of it, but do you want to deal with it? If he claims the car was damaged while in your possession/parked on your property he could file a claim against your homeowner's insurance saying that it was vandalized while in your possession.

    Instead ask the cops what you should do. If the car is on your property and is unlicensed or has tags that are not legal because the registered owner does not have insurance, what are your options? Can you file a lien against the car's value as a storage fee? Can you have it towed by the police as a car that is parked on your property with-o permission or past the time when permission expired?

    Can you refuse to give him the keys or give them to the cops to have him get the keys from them? If you know when he will show up to get the keys, can an officer be present at your home to keep the peace? If there is a loan on the car, can you give the keys to the loan company because the car is uninsured/unregistered?

    You probably have the most options as the owner of the land the car is parked on. As he has not moved the car in X amount of time, can it be considered abandoned? Can it be towed as abandoned? Can the police tow it because you don't want it on your property any longer and know the owner has let the insurance lapse? You can say that you do not want an uninsured vehicle on your property and cannot return it to its owner as he is unlicensed, uninsured and the car is not currently registered. That may be the strongest option. when we lived in an apartment, the management would insist cars be moved every 24 or 48 hours. I was a stay at home mom and often walked to places in the neighborhood so I didn't always drive my car every day. We had fits with the manager because I was "hogging" a "prime" space, meaning one in front of my apartment. So I would have to move it to another space every day, which annoyed the snot out of me. If I didn't they could have it towed. Private towing companies will tow the car and then not let the owner have it until the towing fees are paid. If the owner wants to drive it away they must show license, insurance and current registration or the lot owners were not allowed to return the car.

    If the car is not driveable, say it won't start or some part "disappeared", it could go one of several ways. You could have it towed from your property as junk and he would have to pay to get it back. You could also have him sue you claiming it was damaged while it was in your care.

    I am mentioning these options and suggesting you find out what your LEGAL options are because your difficult child strikes me as possibly manipulative enough to attempt to sue you to force you to support him. If he has found backers to fund his poker playing, he is likely sophisticated enough to find a sleazy attorney to help him force you to give him money in exchange for not suing you, or to have the attorney actually sue you.

    You have time, so if at all possible find out what your legal options are and use them to keep your son from driving and push him into a situation where he has to have license, registration and insurance - plus all parking and traffic tickets paid up - before he can reclaim the car. He will be angry with you, but he won't be able to take legal action against you.

    You probably could get away with taking the plates or whatever, but you open yourself up to the possibility of legal/insurance hassles from your son. If he devotes much time to scamming people, this is not an uncommon insurance scam - park the car at someone's house, leave it a couple of days, have parts/plates disappear and get a check from the homeowner or file and insurance claim - or both if you can get cash from them!
  9. AHF

    AHF Member

    Wow, susiestar, that's great advice. Our local police are terrific, actually. I'll call them this week and find out my options. I'd prefer that to having him leave the driveway while I snitch on him. For one thing, if he's apprehended outside our town, there's a possibility that a cop will just give him another fat ticket for him to ignore--thus reinforcing the notion that Mom's version of the world as a place of consequences is hooey. I'll report back when this plays out. Thanks so much.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Do you realize how many people steal license plates every day? It got so bad that when I was working and we had over 300 vehicles parked in an unattended lot, I would place my tags in the back window of my locked car because so many of us had our tags stolen at least once.

    People who cant get a tag just go steal them.

    They dont even have to be a current tag because cops dont actually look all that carefully anyway. Cory stole my sticker off my tag and I noticed it back about a month after he did it. I went down and got a new one but I havent put it back on because Im afraid he will steal it again. I have it in my glove box on the registration paper. I figure if I get stopped, I will just explain. Plus the lady at the DMV told me that sometimes the stickers fall off if the plate is wet or This has gone on since September and no one has noticed it yet! I was in Myrtle Beach last weekend and saw a truck with tags that said 08! Tad bit out of date.

    It would not be unrealistic for someone other than the homeowner to have stolen the plates. Just dont own up to it. Im sure the son has some less than stellar friends.
  11. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I guess I can't say too much about this because right now I'm helping difficult child try to get his car fixed so he can drive himself to work, with his suspended license! I guess the driving him back and forth at 4 and midnight is a killer, so since we are working on the license thing I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that he doesn't get caught again before he gets it back. If he worked different hours, or at least not 1/2 hour away, the picking him up at midnight when I have to get up in the morning wouldn't be so bad.
    But on the other hand, my boyfriend and I drove him and his girlfriend to her moms house the other day to get some stuff out of her car, which is not registered and uninsured and he tried to get us to jump start the car so he could just drive that until his car is fixed. I said, absolutley not, get in the car I'm taking you home, or should I say hotel!!
    Is there such a thing as half enabling?? LOL You can drive without a license, but as long as it is a registered and insured car :)
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Has he considered applying for a hardship license?
  13. AHF

    AHF Member

    I don't think you can get insurance with a suspended license. My older son got his license suspended when he was still on my insurance, and a month later, our insurance company cancelled our policy. So KFld may want to check on that. My sense is that if my son hits and kills a pedestrian while driving unlicensed and uninsured, and a police investigation shows that the car was stored at my dwelling and that I willingly gave him the keys, I could be liable for everything I own. As to taking the plates off--probably won't mean anything, since it was registered in another state 2 years ago (meaning that it's unregistered now). As to a hardship license--well, that would be up to him. My interest is NOT in helping him drive, but in allowing consequences to happen that will convince him that he needs serious treatment.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You very well may be right, AHF. It is something you need to check on. I like to cover the bases and do things legally because I know that a lawsuit would wipe us out. I also have been caught by enough people on things that many could slide by with that I am now sure that I will be caught. A couple of time I was hit by someone with-o a license and isnurance but I ended up with the ticket or whatever because they couldn't be held accountable. Later i learned that they could have, but in each case they were not because some cow'smate-excrement reason like being poor and having four kids under four (yes, I was hit by a guy who got out of even a ticket because the cop felt bad because he had 4 kids under 4 (or so he said) and no license, insurance, etc... and they would "starve" if he went to jail or got into trouble. Before the cop got there he was talking about selling his food stamps for weed to another guy who was with him in the car. GRRRRR.....)

    This is why I tend to call and ask what the law is so that I can at least not lose what we have.

    While it may be that you could be held accountable if you gave him his keys, you need to ask the cops because your son could try to come after you for stealing if you didn't give him the keys. So if a cop is there they can witness that you gave him the keys AND they can insist that he get the car towed instead of driving it.

    They could also impound it as being unlawfully parked if it is on your property and you don't want to deal with the entire issue. Or give you some other option, Know what I mean??
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    on the other hand, could you call AAA or another towing co and use that service to have it towed to a public street? Then the cops would likely tow it for not having tags/registration/etc.... Most cities will tow or boot cars that do not have current registration/tags. If he gets it before they tow it, you didn't give it to him. IF it gets stripped before he picks it up, well, that is why he should have insurance, isn't it?