UNION, Mo. – “I never knew anything like this could ever happen,” Eureka resident Bob Bishop said.

Bishop is referring to a situation he says he’s encountered at Robinson’s Auto in Union, Missouri. In January 2023, he said he had his SUV towed there with engine trouble. He agreed to have mechanic Michael Robinson rebuild the engine. Flash forward to May 2023, Bishop says the car still wasn’t fixed.

“He has my car, he has my $6,695 and he has an add-on claim bill for $1,600. It’s almost as if I have a squatter in my car,” he said.

In August 2023, Bishop took Robinson to small claims court in Franklin County.

“Judge Houston verified with him that he had not contacted me in any way for approvals for additional work. That there was no written documentation between either of us and that he was dismissing his counter claim completely, that the first time I request my vehicle back, he’s to give it to me and if he does not, he owes me $1,667 at that point. We got our judgement,” Bishop said.

Following the small claims court win, Bishop says Robinson refused to release the car on four separate occasions.

“I sent Big Boys towing to get this vehicle and he refused them to pick it up,” Bishop said.

But in October, Robinson filed a petition, saying Bishop hadn’t come to pick up the vehicle. A day later, Robinson filed another petition asking the court to order the state to issue him the title to the SUV.

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On May 6, Judge Houston approved Robinson’s petition, declaring that the state recognizes him as the owner of the SUV. Bishop shared this Facebook post, which he says shows Robinson advertising the vehicle for sale on Facebook.

“This man got paid for a repair in full. The court said he wasn’t owed any money by me. In fact, he owes me money. And he kept the car, wouldn’t release it. Went to a judge in Franklin County and got an abandoned title transfer in his name and is advertising free and clear title to sell this vehicle,” Bishop said.

Michael Robinson declined FOX 2’s request for an on-camera interview when we went to his shop. He admitted he did not release the SUV to the tow company Bishop sent and said he stands by his explanation of the situation he gave to the court.

We also visited the Franklin County Judicial Center and spoke with Judge Houston. While he said he could not comment on specific details of the case, he said remedies remain available through the court system in cases like this. For now, Judge Houston’s ruling and the state’s action stand, but the opportunity still exists for Bob Bishop to regain ownership of the vehicle through the court system. It’s a battle Bishop says he’ll continue to fight and a story we’ll continue to follow.

“I don’t care what your relationship is with anybody; set up boundaries and enforce them early. I let this go way too long. Most of all, I don’t want this to happen to anybody. This is horrible. Life is hard enough,” Bishop said.