Faith Ballard's Corvette was substantially damaged in an accident and was being stored in her garage. Her son, Tyrone Ballard, told her that he would take the vehicle and have it restored. Instead he sold it to Lambert Auto Parts. Johnny Wetzel purchased the Corvette "hull" for $900 from Lambert, whose regular business is selling parts. Wetzel obtained a receipt documenting the purchase of the parts. He also checked the VIN numbers through the county clerk's office to make sure the parts were not stolen. Wetzel spent approximately $5,000 and 100 hours of labor restoring the vehicle. When completed, the restoration had a market value of $7,950. George Martin, an employee of Lambert, testified that he purchased only a "hull" of a car-rather than a whole vehicle- from Tyrone Ballard. Martin also testified that he usually received a title when he bought a "whole" vehicle but had not received one in this case where he had purchased only part of one. Under Tennessee law, a certificate of title is not required to pass ownership of a motor vehicle, but any owner dismantling a registered vehicle is to send the certificate of title back to the state. Faith Ballard brought suit against Wetzel to recover possession of the Corvette. Wetzel contended that he was a good faith purchaser for value and had become the owner of the restored auto hull by accession. Did Wetzel become the owner of the Corvette by accession?

  • CreatedJuly 16, 2014
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