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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2013
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    Oregon
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    14

    Default Abused mare - legal action - advice

    I got back a mare this past February that I sold on a "zero" dollar conditional sale contract Oct 2011. Conditions were: mare could not be rehomed without her coming back to me. Verbal and written email exchanges specifically said that the mare was to be in a loving home, be used appropriately for lesson horse program and potentially be bred for two foals. Horse was not to be sent to auction nor sold for monetary gain.
    3 months after the person who got my mare took her, a friend of mine saw an ad for the mare for sale. I contacted both the person who placed ad and the person who got my mare. I told both of them that this was not acceptable and would not be tolerated. Person I gave mare to convinced me it was a "big misunderstanding" and that the mare was no longer in custody of person who placed ad. Okay, I gave benefit of doubt (shouldn't have) and said this had better not happen again and I would be keeping close tabs. From that point on, both parties hid whereabouts of mare and went though the wonderful world of facebook to keep the leasing/breeding/selling out of my sight. (I didn't do facebook, I think it is a blight on mankind) I made over 24 contacts in 12 months inquiring about mare and trying to make arrangements to come see her. Only communication was by email instigated by me and a few pictures were sent. All indicated that the mare was being cared for by the person I gave her to and that she was were she was supposed to be. She was not. She even had been leased out to someone who took her to another state for 3 months as I found out later.
    Jan 2013, person I gave mare to contacted me and said she was going to sell her and did I want her. I said as per our agreement she could bring her back to me at any time. She then told me that I needed to pay $1500 for her. Many more emails from Jan through Feb before I got mare back with the help of the police department. Mare was taken to vet clinic and determined to be almost full term pregnant. 4 potential sires, no preg care, no vaccinations, no hoof care for at least 5 months. Mare's body score was determined to be 2.5 - 3.
    Here is the deal: I am taking civil action because I had to pay to get my mare back and our agreement clearly said that I got first rights if for any reason she could not care for her. I have email communications that clearly state she was to be given back to me and not used for profit or sold. I have found substantial, photographic and facebook post evidence that both parties lied about the location of the mare from the begining and that the mare was sold and delivered to 3rd party immediately after being picked up from my home. Police are investigating the animal abuse/neglect aspect. Now I am being subjected to slander by this persons facebook hyena pack, my name is being put out on the public forum for no other purpose than to damage and try to intimidate me, I would assume to stop pending legal action. I have already sent a demand letter. I am getting harrassing emails from strangers and people I don't know coming down my very long secluded driveway to stare at my barn. Do I have any standing to try to get police involved for the harrassment I am being subjected to over this? My other bigger question is, do I have grounds to get the authorities to pursue fraud charges? Although I don't have an email that specifically says, "thanks so and so for selling me this mare" I have so much written and photographic proof to substantiate my claim I cannot imagine a judge not finding in my favor.
    If anyone would like to see the photos of my horse on the day I re-took possession of her I will be glad to send them. I would post them if I could. Sorry for the book, mare and foal are now doing well.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Qc
    Posts
    3,283

    Default

    Glad to hear that this mare is now 'safe'.


    But you gave her away/sold her for 0$. If you wanted to retain some sort of control over the mare, you should have leased/half-leased her or simply kept her.

    Let the police do their job about the neglect and abuse.

    Stop all communication with this person/her friends but keep in file everything you think is harassment.

    If you want legal advice, find a lawyer.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    20,730

    Default

    You don't have a leg to stand on here unfortunately. You essentially got first right of refusal which the person honored by contacting you.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,957

    Default

    Find a lawyer.

    You are pissed and not using common sense. In your story, you lead with something strong (a contract that looks great, but offers no incentive to your "buyer" to keep and is hard to enforce). Then you tell (rather than ask) them to comply with your weak agreement.

    Now you have the mare back but want to sue for $1,500 in damages that would have happened had they sold the mare?

    It makes no sense. That's when you know that you need professional advice. Before that: Figure out What you want vs. What you need, and what you are willing to do to get those needs/wants met.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    5,110

    Default

    Go back to the lawyer who drafted the contract for you and see what can be done to enforce it.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
    Posts
    6,997

    Default

    Police are investigating the animal abuse/neglect aspect. Now I am being subjected to slander by this persons facebook hyena pack, my name is being put out on the public forum for no other purpose than to damage and try to intimidate me, I would assume to stop pending legal action. I have already sent a demand letter. I am getting harrassing emails from strangers and people I don't know coming down my very long secluded driveway to stare at my barn. Do I have any standing to try to get police involved for the harrassment I am being subjected to over this?

    Take all the paper & snapshot evidence you can collect & go to the police.
    If it's a private drive, put up a gate etc.
    Talk to a lawyer - all the harrassment can certainly be stopped but you may have to involve legal counsel to get police to act (depending on your local).
    Keep everything private until you determine your rights/actions - including deleting your original post here & elsewhere.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    9,789

    Default

    Ask the police about signage to enforce No Trespassing charges on unwelcome visitors. Then find out about enforcement options.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2013
    Posts
    29

    Default As to the fraud charge

    I am an attorney (though this is not to be construed as legal advice) and this is certainly not my area of law, but I will say that there are no "authorities" in this situation to investigate the alleged fraud. Fraud, unless falling under a particular statute, is generally a civil action. You would bring a civil claim based on your contract (which may not be enforceable in the absence of "consideration", i.e. a price paid) and try to prove your case that a (1) a valid contract existed; (2) it was breached; and (3) that caused you damages in the amount of $1500. I don't know your jurisdiction but I'm guessing the small amount in controversy would put your case in small claims court, which is good and bad. No attorneys, no discovery, not a court of record. Basically the judge hears you out and makes a decision on the spot. (In most jurisdictions.) You may end up spending a lot of time and effort (and money?) for no recovery.

    Good for you for doing the right thing by horse and foal, and try to learn from this for future transactions. Even getting a nominal amount ($1) for property (in this case, your mare) can make the contract governing the transaction enforceable. Still, I agree with the other poster that said a lease might be a better idea for this situation.

    Best of luck!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2004
    Location
    Ontario
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    Default

    but the harassment on FB is IMO same as bullying and I do believe with all the recent cases of suicides due to bullying on FB, something can be done... ie by FB themselves. I would take pictures of all messages, keep all emails, etc.

    You also have all the emails with all their lies. Not to say you could win a court case, but the harassment is also important! Do not let the slander and harassment continue!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2013
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Sorry but I don't think you understood my post. The contract was breeched when the person who got my horse on a zero dollar conditional sale contract that specifically stated that the horse could not be rehomed to someone else, did just that. Although as stated I don't have a "smoking gun" document that proves she sold the horse, I believe that is exactly what happened and I did NOT get first right of refusal. The horse had been living with someone else the entire time, unbeknownst to me, and that person had leased her and been trying to sell her. I repeat, I did not get first right of refusal. I am taking the matter to civil court because the agreement/contract was violated and in effect made the contract null and void at that point. If a contract is null and void then there is no contract and the horse should have gone back to original owner, which is me. This matter is so long and involved it was not possible to put down every aspect, I tried to encapsulate it. I really don't know what you mean by your response.
    Edit: Person who got horse says she did not violate agreement because she "leased" horse. However, the "leasee" was trying to sell/lease the horse and did so. That third, (or fourth party I've lost count) told me that the "leasee" said she owned the horse.
    Last edited by islandequine; Apr. 17, 2013 at 01:06 PM. Reason: Additional information/explaination



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2013
    Location
    Oregon
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    14

    Default

    No, I don't think so. I have contacted an attorney about the breech of contract, that was not my question. My question(s) were about the slander/harrassment and whether or not I might have grounds to try to get the authorities to charge fraud/theft by deception. I have two legs to stand on as a matter of fact.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2013
    Location
    Oregon
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    Default

    Thank you. Yes it is a small claims matter. No, I don't expect to get any money back in the end. It is not about the money. This person willfully violated our written and verbal agreement and then actively lied about the whereabouts of my mare for over a year. I spoke with a lawyer about this matter before I ever got my mare back. According to them I shouldn't have had to pay a dime to get her back and I had the right to repossess her. I wanted to "keep the peace" and expedite getting my mare to the safety of my home I chose to pay her the money and take it up in a court later. My main concern was the welfare of the mare. Did I make errors? Yes. Do I believe that the person who got my horse actively and wilfully lied? Yes also. Do I have proof of that? Yes I do. Having an ironclad attorney written contract does not provide protection from someone who never intends to uphold an agreement, or one that is being dishonest.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2004
    Location
    Ontario
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    Default

    There is a couple up here got caught getting free horses, signing contracts, first refusal and all, and who were taking the horses directly to auctions. They may have done it several times, but they got caught when someone bought the mare at auction and posted on our CL and several msg boards to find out if anyone knew the mare. The person who gave the mare saw this right away and replied. When she sent an email to the couple, they replied the mare was doing very well and was very sweet (when in fact my friend had already bought her off the meat truck). Lies... when confronted, she gave all kinds of excuses... she did it with another mare at another auction and by then, their pictures and pictures and pictures of their truck and trailer were all over FB.
    I know the police got involved and had a talk with them, but there is nothing they could be charged with. They lied, they did not hold up to the contract... but nothing could be done.
    So, I don't know if you can really do anything. Everyone always says that the "first right of refusal" is only as good as the paper it is written on!
    But I would pursue the harassment/trespassing issues for sure.
    Good luck and I am glad your mare is safe!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2011
    Location
    So California
    Posts
    3,526

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by islandequine View Post
    Sorry but I don't think you understood my post. The contract was breeched when the person who got my horse on a zero dollar conditional sale....
    Here's a question for you attorneys and legal professionals. I could swear that in an Intro to Law class I had eons ago, that a contract was only considered valid if consideration was given to both sides, meaning she got horse, you got money, and if there was no money exchanged, it wasn't considered a contract. Is this true?



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2013
    Location
    Oregon
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    14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteyPie View Post
    Here's a question for you attorneys and legal professionals. I could swear that in an Intro to Law class I had eons ago, that a contract was only considered valid if consideration was given to both sides, meaning she got horse, you got money, and if there was no money exchanged, it wasn't considered a contract. Is this true?
    I sought legal advice when this all started. It is/was a valid contract. It was/is a conditional sale. The dollar amount at zero means nothing more than no monetary value was specified. It was not a "straight" sale contract. If that were the case, then the "buyer" could do as they pleased. It was not. The conditions of this person getting the horse for "0" were that the horse could not then be rehomed or be given to anyone else. That was backed up by multiple email and phone communications. I would just like to know if anyone else thinks there might be a chance that the intentional nature of what this person did, ie; selling/giving horse away immediately upon obtaining it, might be something the authorities would consider to be something of a criminal rather than a civil nature. That's all. Thanks.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2013
    Location
    Oregon
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    14

    Default

    Yes, I am sure I am not the only one. In fact, in seaching for any evidence of what happened with my mare I have found that this person, unbeknownst to me and never disclosed, is a horse trader/seller. This information was intentionally kept from me in any/all conversations we had prior to her getting horse but this person has admitted publically that it is what they do. I have contacted USDA about that. Evidently, to sell horses and buy/sell at auction on a regular basis, you need to have a registration and a bond in place. They do not.
    I am not saying that I did not have as strong of a contract/agreement in place as I should have. I trusted this person to give my mare an appropriate and loving home and I thought I was doing a good thing for my mare. I am responsible for that AND I fought to get my mare back. I want this person to have to account for what they did and to be dealt whatever ramifications the authorities see fit. That part is out of my hands. I do agree with you 100% in that if you are a dishonest person and you have no intentions of holding up an agreement/contract, there is NO paper that is going to be strong enough. I am fortunate that my mare did not end up at the auction. I am very thankful for that.
    The harassment and trespass issues are going to have to, of course, come to a point where the authorities are A) willing to get involved and B) serious enough for some legal intervention. Then again, it is another piece of paper.....



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2003
    Location
    Cocoa, Fla
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    4,316

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by islandequine View Post
    ...people I don't know coming down my very long secluded driveway to stare at my barn. Do I have any standing to try to get police involved for the harrassment I am being subjected to over this? ...

    Put some sort of gate / wire at the start of your driveway and a big no tresspassing sign on it - then call cops and get license plates of harassers - now tresspassers. Bringing police action will halt this - it really is stalking.
    Sandy in Fla.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 1999
    Location
    CA
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    Default

    You use the word contract but then you say everything was via email. Was everything spelled out in an actual, signed contract?

    Glad your mare is ok.



  19. #19
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    Apr. 16, 2013
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    Oregon
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    Yes, there was a signed contract/agreeement/bill of sale. In addition there are several months of email communications before this person got the mare and communication on an average of every 2 months while mare was gone. I never minced words with the person as to the intent of where/who was going to get her or that I would not be in continued communication about her. I fully expressed verbally and in written form my intent to have this mare returned to me if this person decided they could not, or did not want her any longer. NOT TO BE REHOMED was clearly stated. That being said and as I have been reminded, there is no contract or language strong enough to guard against someone who has no intention of honoring it.



  20. #20
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    Apr. 16, 2013
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    Oregon
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    Default

    Yes, I am looking into that and I have license plate information. Police have been informed and I am looking at other avenues as well. Thank you.



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