PSA: Georgia Boarders Beware - Horses "held hostage" via bogus lien
Passing this along to my fellow GA COTHers, as I was shocked to learn how an agister's lien in our state can permit a BO to slap a lien on a client's horse for any amount of money without having to prove that the charges are actually legitimately owed.
This just happened to a friend of mine who gave notice to her trainer that she was moving her horse. The trainer protested and tried to get her to stay; when the client politely declined and arranged to have a shipper come pick up her horse, she was slapped with a notice that a lien had been placed on the horse and it could not be removed from the trainer's barn. Further, the letter stated she had ten days to pay the (outrageous, five figure) sum demanded, or the horse would be sold or otherwise disposed of.
Friend has written documentation from the trainer stating that no money is owed, so she thought she would be able to work this out quickly and get her horse out of there, but no such luck. She has had to retain an attorney and so far they have not been able to even get the trainer/trainer's lawyer to respond. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking and my friend is frantic about what is going to happen to her horse.
As I said, I was dumbstruck that this could happen here. So I am passing the heads up along... this is a law that needs to be changed. I have NO problem with a rule allowing trainers/BOs etc to be paid for the work they have done and properly billed for. But they shouldn't be able to make up charges out of thin air and hold your horse hostage!