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Oregon Motor Vehicle License Bond Bill Passes without Attorney Fee Provisions for Sureties

Tuesday, June 25, 2019  

Oregon Motor Vehicle License Bond Bill Passes without Attorney Fee Provisions for Sureties

Legislation is on the Governor’s desk in Oregon under SB 113 to authorize a private action to be brought against a motor vehicle dealer for claims related to its failure to timely transfer vehicle title, registration, or furnish certificates of title after written demand is made by the retail customer to comply with applicable laws. If an action is brought, the court may award reasonable attorney fees to the retail customer who prevails. The bill originally provided that attorney fees would be awarded in claims against both the dealer and the surety when it was introduced. SFAA and APCIA believe clarification was needed for whether the attorney fees would have been included in the penal sum of the bond or imposed in addition to it. Ultimately, the bill was amended so that any attorneys’ fees awarded to the retail customer against the dealer would not be enforceable against the bond or surety. Further, under applicable case law that construes the bonding requirement for the dealer, attorneys’ fees and punitive damages are not properly awarded against the bond.

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