Bankrupt Celadon accuses recovery company of illegally seizing equipment

A North Carolina towing and repossession company is accused of holding equipment belonging to bankrupt Celadon Truck Group for ransom.

The complaint alleges that Triangle Recovery Services of Raleigh, North Carolina, falsely advertised itself as a surrender site for equipment belonging to Celadon and also hired other entities to recover equipment belonging to Celadon.

Federal Bankruptcy Judge Karen Owens granted Celadon attorneys’ motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Triangle on Feb. 12.

Celadon attorneys filed a complaint in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Feb. 6, claiming Triangle currently possesses approximately 50 trucks and trailers belonging to Celadon.

Once Triangle has possession of the equipment, it “holds the vehicle for ransom” until Celadon agrees to pay the recovery company’s fees, according to court documents.

Triangle has since removed its advertisements offering cash rewards for the locations of abandoned Celadon equipment from its website, but the assets have not been returned, according to the complaint.

Triangle Recovery Services of Raleigh, North Carolina, has since deleted ads like this one from its website claiming it is a surrender site for Celadon’s equipment.

After news broke in December that the Indianapolis-based company was ceasing operations immediately, some former drivers abandoned Celadon’s equipment across the U.S.

George Stephenson, Triangle’s general manager, told FreightWaves on Wednesday his attorney had advised him not to comment on the lawsuit.

Celadon says it used geofencing technology to track down some of the equipment allegedly recovered by Triangle back to the repossession company’s lot in North Carolina.

Court documents state Celadon also geofenced three trucks in Triangle’s possession, which it alleges the repo company is using to pick up Celadon trailers scattered across the Mid-Atlantic region.

A hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 26.

Read more articles by FreightWaves’ Clarissa Hawes