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This is a follow-up question on a question mini series — please see them at the bottom.

In the previous episode, Joe, a BFP, purchased a Buick from Fred where converted the Buick from Sally on false premises. Joe had good title after the complete transfer for him to transfer its title; luckily for Fred his ownership of the title was a result of common law or statutory fraud, and potentially a form of conversion.

How would the matter differ if Joe, in California, bought the Buick from GM who already agreed to sell it Martin, and the latter, in fact, once (i) signed the sale contract and all necessary documentation including the signed temporary registration, (ii) issued or authorized payment, (iii) GM received the payment from Martin or his bank on his behalf, (IV) GM gave the vehicle to Martin who then drove off the lot, (v) with the temporary title issued in his name while the permanent one is issued (vi) only to return shortly after to make the vehicle available to GM to repair it under the warranty for a defect that may reasonably be expected to indicate a potentially deadly or seriously injurious issue with the car, (vii) and GM accepted the vehicle and engaged in written communications asserting to the fact that the vehicle was in GM’s possession merely for warranty service and Martin was not intended to get a refund, in fact, (viii) Martin fought tooth and nail for his car not to be “repurchased”; however, (ix) GM proceeds anyways, and sells the car to our average, unsuspecting Joe who was never informed of the conversion (not theft or larceny) of the vehicle (x) to whom GM completes the full process of transferring the title (non-temporary) in his name.

GM is, by all half-decent standards, converted the vehicle, not even with fraud, simply never returned it to Fred. But, maybe not so much so that it would constitute theft or larceny from a criminal perspective.


Questions

  1. Is Joe's title void or voidable? Can he transfer the title?

  2. Does a Joe’s “good title” for the purposes of passing or transferring it exist absent criminal theft or larceny; or his title is void or voidable for the conversion of GM?


History:

Can bona fide purchasers transfer the title of real estate or a motor vehicle?

"Equity's darling": How do U.S. courts overcome bona fide purchasers?

How can a court in the U.S. overcome eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, LLC and order mandatory injunction?

If I buy a stolen item from party A, and then party A spends the proceeds, who is entitled to the item?

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