no judge is going to bring a 300 pound greasy motor into his courtroom.
saving the engine for evidence is silliness.
although you might ask your mechanic if he is willing to go to court with you.
small claims court will be fast and furious, but with an independent reputable mechanic testifying, you will slam dunk him...
Just so you know, decisions in Small Claims Court are not enforced in any way, shape, or form.
I asked a relative (who was also a lawyer) to send them a demand letter, which they also ignored. Having had enough of this, I filed suit in Small Claims Court, and paid a process server to deliver the papers to Jiffy Lube's local corporate representative.
I got a letter back from their Houston main office, still claiming that they were not responsible for the local Jiffy Lube franchise's actions. Then I got a contradictory letter, from the same office, claiming responsibilty, but mentioning a Jiffy Lube in a completely different state. No one from Jiffy Lube even bothered to respond to the Court within the required 30 days, and so I applied for and got a default judgement.
I then sent a demand letter, with a copy of the default judgement, to Jiffy Lube International in Houston via certified mail. It was ignored! I then spent about $3 on pre-printed garnishment forms, and sent a certified demand letter to their Oregon rep, and added a warning that I was ready to begin garnishment.
The receipt for the certified letter, and the check for the full amount, arrived the same day.
In retrospect, I can see that Jiffy Lube was unable to do anything to satisfy my claim until forced to by threat of garnishment, and that they seem willing to ignore Small Claim Court filings, and let them go to default judgement. Oh well ... I did get my money, but only after a 6 month fight.
This is a great testimony to persistence. Jiffy Lube and many other national companies, we're told, routinely ignore Small Claims filings. That's good because, as Kris noted, the consumer can then request and often receive a default judgment. The next hurdle is collecting which, as Kris notes, is not easy either. It can be done, though. The key is to keep identifying persons and assets that can be targeted.