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A month ago I had a hit-and-run on my property and car, and a few hours later they were found at his mother's house. Car owned by mother, driver is her adult son. Mother finally gave investigating officer an insurance card for traffic tickets. That insurance company informed me the policy expired ten months before, and mailed an official letter about it. A different officer told me the mother is also responsible for being the car owner and not having insurance. I don't know if she really has no insurance, or if she gave the old insurance to avoid a claim against her new insurance. Investigating police officer said both are uncooperative, won't answer phone calls or knocking on door. An arrest warrant was issued for son a few weeks ago.

Police records won't give me information because it's an active case under investigation. I've spoken to the primary officer and prosecuting attorney office about the expired insurance, and requested they ask the mother if she has a new insurance, and if not can they charge her for not carrying insurance. They seemed to dodge the question and finally said I should fill out a restitution form or I can take them to small claims court. However, both options will take years to recoup my damage expenses whereas a current insurance policy can pay within a month.

Son was finally arrested on two misdemeanors a few days ago, so a court case now exists against him, but nothing about his mother. She does not have an arrest warrant, nor a court case. Idaho law requires proof of insurance to register a vehicle. Vehicles can be registered for one or two years, but most drivers opt for one year since there's no discount for two years. I asked, but understand the DMV can't give me any insurance information they have on file for the car's VIN and owner. It's been ten months now, so there's a decent chance it's been registered with a new insurance company.

My goal is to try to find current insurance, whether from the DMV, or to get them to cite/arrest mother for not carrying insurance, in which case she'll have to admit to no insurance or produce current insurance. Do I have any options to get the police or prosecuting attorney's office to do these things for me? If so, what's the quickest and most effective path?

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    I'm afraid that this site cannot give legal aid in specific cases. To get a general reply, you need to specify the jurisdiction where this happened. – o.m. Apr 15 at 17:54
  • Specifically Bonneville County, Idaho. I understand if my question is out of scope, hope it's not, but just thought I'd try. – Kirk Hings Apr 15 at 17:59
  • I image this question might get edited down to something like "How can I get DMC to disclose another driver's insurance information?", and have to make a separate question for something like "How to convince police/PA to charge someone?" I always appreciate guidance from more experienced users. – Kirk Hings Apr 15 at 18:07
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    Stackexchange evolved from a highly technical Q&A site. You being a disabled vet does not matter for the question at hand. Neither does the long story. What this site looks for are questions which come to a single point and ask just that. – o.m. Apr 16 at 17:07
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    Ok sorry, I've been SE user for several years as a software developer. Since my brain tumors I've had troubles communicating clearly, even in writing. Thank you for you advice on participating better on SE. I'll try harder. – Kirk Hings Apr 28 at 5:05
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The criminal charges against the driver and his mother are police business, not yours. You have a civil case for damages against the driver, and possibly his mother on the theory that she enabled her son's behaviour. Depending on the amount you should either sue them in the small claims court or else hire a lawyer.

If you win the case and the driver was uninsured at the time of the accident then there are two outcomes: either they pay the damages or they go bankrupt. If the latter then sorry, you are out of luck.

Also talk to your insurance company; if you are insured for this kind of event then they will take the case off your hands, pay you, and then litigate to recover the money themselves.

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  • I am covered by my home and auto insurance, but they have a 'no claims discount'. They won't technically raise my rates but removing the discount does the same thing. So my insurance is a no-go option. – Kirk Hings Apr 28 at 20:00
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A standard response to a request for information is that police will not release information on an ongoing investigation. The statutory basis for this is Idaho Code 74-124, which exempts certain information from disclosure, that

nothing in this chapter...shall be construed to require disclosure of investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes by a law enforcement agency

with a half-dozen qualifiers, including "Interfere with enforcement proceedings" or "Deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication".

This means that unless law enforcement finds that there is no risk in releasing such information, they will not release preliminary / partial information that could be used against an accused. As you describe the situation, the vehicle was not insured so either the vehicle owner or the driver would have to be sued. Also given the description, it seems that your car was parked on your property and that the property itself was damaged. If you have homeowner's insurance, that damage might be covered by your insurance, in which case the insurance company takes the responsible parties to court. If not, though, there is only one way to force a responsible party you pay for such damage, which is to take them to court.

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  • Thank you. I hope just getting the updated car insurance info won't interfere. I tried my home/auto insurance provider. I'll lose my "No Claims Discount" & my premiums will rise significantly for next 2 years. Also, home deductible will be $1,000; auto deductible $500. Body shop estimated $4k repair. Car value is only about $3k, so I'll only get car value, minus the deductible, and pay higher premiums for the next two years. I'm the victim so I'd rather try for court restitution or small claims court, even if it takes a few years to be fully compensated. No good options either way. – Kirk Hings Apr 15 at 19:46
  • Thinking about it more, she already provided insurance information to the police, who legally passed on to me. Wouldn't requesting updated/current insurance of the same type of information be legal according to the statute? The updated/current information would seem to actually help her avoid further legal troubles. Except I guess if she can't provide current insurance then it might be used against her? There is no active investigation involving her (yet), just her son. – Kirk Hings Apr 15 at 20:48
  • It's not that it's illegal to ask for the information, it's that they are not compelled to provide the information in certain circumstances. They may be overly-cautious in invoking the exemption, but the law in stated in terms of "interfering with an investigation", with no reference to who is being investigated. The usual remedy for over-zealous exemption-invoking is a lawsuit. Incidentally, I don't see how verifying that the driver and owner were uninsured at the time will directly help you. – user6726 Apr 15 at 23:56

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