N.C. Toyota store prevails in spot delivery dispute

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A federal judge has dismissed a civil lawsuit accusing a Greenville, N.C., dealership of truth in lending violations by a spot delivery customer who was denied financing and then arrested after refusing to return her car or let it be repossessed.

U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan threw out Georgia Green’s suit against Greenville Toyota based on a magistrate-judge’s review that found the case to be frivolous.

Green negotiated a deal with the dealership for a 2010 Camry and drove away with the car in February 2013, according to the decision. Her loan application was rejected because she refused to provide her bank account number.

“She drove away without all the paperwork,” said Charles McLawhorn, a Greenville attorney representing the dealership. “She didn’t provide bank statements to verify her income.”

The dealership took out a warrant accusing her of “obtaining property by false pretenses and possession of stolen property.” Two days before her arrest, Green, representing herself, filed a Chapter 13 petition for bankruptcy protection. A bankruptcy judge dismissed the petition.

In her civil suit, Green alleged that she is significantly visually impaired but that the dealership didn’t give her a readable copy of the sales contract or have a salesman read it aloud to her. She also alleged the salesman told her that financing had been approved and that the dealership failed to notify her on time that more documentation was needed.

She sought damages for alleged violations of the Truth in Lending Act, civil rights law and state consumer protection and fraud laws.

The magistrate-judge’s report said Green presented no evidence that the dealership had failed to disclose any information required by the Truth in Lending Act. It also said Green failed to provide evidence that the dealership had discriminated against her under the Americans with Disability Act based on her alleged vision disability.

The federal judge’s decision to dismiss Green’s civil suit also threw out claims against law enforcement officials involved in her arrest and prosecution, who were named as co-defendants.

The criminal charges against Green were dismissed in June 2014, the Pitt County Clerk’s Office said.

You can reach Eric Freedman at freedma5@msu.edu.

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