How Do I Sue a Person for Unauthorized Use of My Credit Card?

Full Question:

I have a step daughter who I allowed to use my credit card once in an emergency and she within a months time before I received my statement charged over $10,000 on limo's and cartons of wine. She did not have my card, only my credit card number. I did not want to charge her with fraud at that time as she said she would send me money however that never happened. I will do so now since her promises to repay me have never materialized. What form to I need to respond a lawsuit re: credit card that was used by a family member without my permission
11/01/2009   |   Category: Debts and Cr... ยป Credit Cards   |   State: California   |   #19402

Answer:

The answer will depend on the type of claim you choose to pursue. A theft claim would be filed with the police and prosecuted by the state. There may be identity theft involved. Conversion is a action brought in civil court to recover the value of personal items of property, wrongfully converted by another to his own use. The action seeks a remedy for the conversion, not the taking of the item. Conversion is when someone wrongfully uses property of another for their own purposes or alters or destroys it. In an action for conversion, the taking of the property may be lawful, but the retaining of the property is unlawful. To succeed in the action, the plaintiff must prove that he or she demanded the property returned and the defendant refused to do so. Damages may be recovered for losses. Conversion is very similar to theft, but is a civil action, not a criminal action.

Fraud involves a knowingly made misrespresentation that is intended to cause another to rely and act on it to their harm. Courts have held that a party may rescind a contract for fraud, incapacity, duress, undue influence, material breach in performance of a promise, or mistake, among other grounds. In order to prove a fraud claim, it must be shown that the defendant had an intent to deceive. If deception was used to induce another to rely on a promise and such reliance caused harm, it is possible to recover damages. Fraud may be made by an omission or purposeful failure to state material facts, which nondisclosure makes other statements misleading.

We can assist you with searching to locate forms or we can draft add forms you may need to our database. However, we cannot advise you to use one particular form over another that address the same matter. We can show you what is available. You can take a look at the forms below and see if they fit your need. If they do not, let me know and we may be able to add a form for your need. You may order a form or package by phone by calling Toll Free: 1-(877) 389-0141 - 8:30-5:00 Central Time Zone Monday – Friday

The following is from a CA statute:

"Unauthorized use" means the use of a credit card by a person,
other than the cardholder, (1) who does not have actual, implied, or
apparent authority for that use and (2) from which the cardholder
receives no benefit. "Unauthorized use" does not include the use of a
credit card by a person who has been given authority by the
cardholder to use the credit card. Any attempted termination by the
cardholder of the person's authority is ineffective as against the
card issuer until the cardholder complies with the procedures
required by the card issuer to terminate that authority.
Notwithstanding the above, following the card issuer's receipt of
oral or written notice from a cardholder indicating that it wishes to
terminate the authority of a previously authorized user of a credit
card, the card issuer shall follow its usual procedures for
precluding any further use of a credit card by an unauthorized
person.

See also the following CA statute:

484. (a) Every person who shall feloniously steal, take, carry,
lead, or drive away the personal property of another, or who shall
fraudulently appropriate property which has been entrusted to him or
her, or who shall knowingly and designedly, by any false or
fraudulent representation or pretense, defraud any other person of
money, labor or real or personal property, or who causes or procures
others to report falsely of his or her wealth or mercantile character
and by thus imposing upon any person, obtains credit and thereby
fraudulently gets or obtains possession of money, or property or
obtains the labor or service of another, is guilty of theft. In
determining the value of the property obtained, for the purposes of
this section, the reasonable and fair market value shall be the test,
and in determining the value of services received the contract price
shall be the test. If there be no contract price, the reasonable and
going wage for the service rendered shall govern. For the purposes
of this section, any false or fraudulent representation or pretense
made shall be treated as continuing, so as to cover any money,
property or service received as a result thereof, and the complaint,
information or indictment may charge that the crime was committed on
any date during the particular period in question. The hiring of any
additional employee or employees without advising each of them of
every labor claim due and unpaid and every judgment that the employer
has been unable to meet shall be prima facie evidence of intent to
defraud.
(b) (1) Except as provided in Section 10855 of the Vehicle Code,
where a person has leased or rented the personal property of another
person pursuant to a written contract, and that property has a value
greater than one thousand dollars ($1,000) and is not a commonly used
household item, intent to commit theft by fraud shall be rebuttably
presumed if the person fails to return the personal property to its
owner within 10 days after the owner has made written demand by
certified or registered mail following the expiration of the lease or
rental agreement for return of the property so leased or rented.
(2) Except as provided in Section 10855 of the Vehicle Code, where
a person has leased or rented the personal property of another
person pursuant to a written contract, and where the property has a
value no greater than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or where the
property is a commonly used household item, intent to commit theft by
fraud shall be rebuttably presumed if the person fails to return the
personal property to its owner within 20 days after the owner has
made written demand by certified or registered mail following the
expiration of the lease or rental agreement for return of the
property so leased or rented.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (b), if one
presents with criminal intent identification which bears a false or
fictitious name or address for the purpose of obtaining the lease or
rental of the personal property of another, the presumption created
herein shall apply upon the failure of the lessee to return the
rental property at the expiration of the lease or rental agreement,
and no written demand for the return of the leased or rented property
shall be required.
(d) The presumptions created by subdivisions (b) and (c) are
presumptions affecting the burden of producing evidence.
(e) Within 30 days after the lease or rental agreement has
expired, the owner shall make written demand for return of the
property so leased or rented. Notice addressed and mailed to the
lessee or renter at the address given at the time of the making of
the lease or rental agreement and to any other known address shall
constitute proper demand. Where the owner fails to make such written
demand the presumption created by subdivision (b) shall not apply.