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  1. #1

    Default Horse Lease Gone Bad-Looking for Advice

    I broke my back in a bad fall last June and have not been able to ride. In March 2013, I leased my Swedish warmblood mare to a woman from upstate New York for one year. According to our contract, at the end of the year, she had the option to return the mare to me and pay the shipping or continue the lease for another year. She was responsible for all care including vet and farrier.

    Less than two months into the lease, she notified me via Facebook that she no longer wanted the mare. She stopped paying board and refused to speak with me by phone. Although she was contractually obligated to pay for the shipping back to New Jersey, she stated (via Facebook again) that she would bring the mare home until she could get a friend to trailer the horse back to New Jersey. When I pulled up a satellite photo of her property, I saw that there was no horse fencing other than the wire fence used to contain her miniature horses, so I told her the mare could not be moved to her back yard. As a result, the woman simply abandoned the mare at the boarding stable and I had to arrange for commercial transportation at a cost of $800. I also had to pay a farrier because this woman provided no hoof care.

    This woman has refused to reimburse me for the shipping or farrier bill and told me I could sue her. An attorney in the area said it would not be worth the cost to hire her at $200 per hour. It seems like my only recourse is to sue in small claims court and drive five hours to court.

    Does anyone have experience with a situation like this? I thought I was protected because we signed a contract. Can anyone offer any advice?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
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    Massachusetts
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    I would eat the money and be glad you have your mare back. It's not worth the effort to go after her.


    17 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 3, 2006
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    Maine
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    I think you can file in your local court and then have her served.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2006
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    Is she in the same state as you? If so I would think Marshfield is correct, if not you may need to file in her state.

    But really? I would just thank god I got my mare back in one piece and call it a night.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2006
    Location
    Transitioning
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    Ah! That's terrible. I'd want to go after her too, but you really don't want to waste any more money on a bad situation.

    I don't like libel or slander laws but maybe you can put her name out there as a "do not lease to" warning.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
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    Boston Area
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    Depending on how much she owes you, you can file in small claims court. Not sure what the limit is in New York. You do not need a lawyer to file or to represent you. if you have a contract, you might well win.

    But, and this is a big but, that doesn't mean you'll collect damages. If she has no money, you won't get anything other than the satisfaction of winning.

    Glad you got your mare back.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2007
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    691

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    If it's not too much trouble to go after her in small claims court, then I would do that. I imagine that even if you win she will not pay you so you then have 2 choices: slap a lien on her property so she can never sell it without paying you or forgive the debt and send her her a 1099 for the amount forgiven. (Did you know that forgiven debt is a taxable event and you may not get your money from her but you can be sure the IRS will.) Again, I would only do this if it was not too much trouble and yes, I can be evil.


    20 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
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    Boston Area
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheval convert View Post
    forgive the debt and send her her a 1099 for the amount forgiven. (Did you know that forgiven debt is a taxable event and you may not get your money from her but you can be sure the IRS will.) Again, I would only do this if it was not too much trouble and yes, I can be evil.
    Wow, I didn't know that!
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2001
    Location
    Nashville, TN USA
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    If you have a written lease, you are halfway to satisfaction. I believe you can file i your place of residence and have her served where she is (it will cost you xtra but hey)------------- I'd go after her


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2009
    Posts
    1,234

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    I'd file for sure in small claims court - it shouldn't be that difficult.

    You have everything written in a contract that you both signed (right?), and
    clearly she violated that contract.

    Did you have to pay the back board to get the horse back ?

    Another question - could you go after her for lawyer fees too ?

    If you don't want to sue, I would plaster her name incuding city & state
    on every message board you can find. Put the entire story down and
    keep it factual. Once word gets out she will have a difficult time leasing
    anyone's horse again, much less be able to board anywhere.

    But, then again, I'm a beeyatch that way and wouldn't let someone get
    away with something like this.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2012
    Location
    La La Land
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    No advice here only a big ole glad you got the mare back! Sorry this happened to you.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    I say go for small claims court. Clearly this person is used to walking away from contracts because most people can not be bothered to hold her responsible.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    Quote Originally Posted by trubandloki View Post
    I say go for small claims court. Clearly this person is used to walking away from contracts because most people can not be bothered to hold her responsible.
    That's exactly what I was thinking. Pay it forward and protect the next person.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    3 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
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    9,040

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    Haul her @$$ into that court.

    I took a day off work and spent a day in Trenton. NJ hauling somebody into small claims over dicking me around with a lease. I got 'em for extra training board, extra shipping I had to pay to move the horse around for them, and the pre-lease vetting I did to get a baseline on the horse before he left.

    They tried the whole, "I'm going away and won't be available by phone, email or post" routine and I said tell it to the judge when you show your @$$ up and explain yourself.

    Monetarily it was a loss but the satisfaction was priceless.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
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    Boston Area
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post

    Monetarily it was a loss but the satisfaction was priceless.
    As long as you understand going into this that you are unlikely to get back any money and are okay with spending the time, then yes, go for it.

    If you think you are going to get money back? Probably will just be a disappointment.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2006
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    You can file in small claims in NY and can win your case. However, you will still be responsible for collecting your judgement.
    I don't always feel up to arguing with your ignorance



  17. #17
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    Dec. 2, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monica67 View Post
    You can file in small claims in NY and can win your case. However, you will still be responsible for collecting your judgement.
    Yes but at least the party will have a judgment against her that will be against her credit report and the world will know.
    About the only time losing is more fun than winning is when you're fighting temptation.
    -- Tom Wilson, actor & comedian


    2 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by windspirit View Post

    This woman has refused to reimburse me for the shipping or farrier bill and told me I could sue her.
    Go give Miss Mare a carrot and a pat, thank your lucky stars she's back and in one piece, then go after this b**** with everything you've got.

    You probably won't collect any money but if you're in a position to do so you can make her life miserable for at least a little while. Sounds to me like she's done this before and will do it again if she gets the chance.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2008
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    And then, once you do take her to court and win your case against her, you can then post her info here since it's public record.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by pony grandma View Post
    Yes but at least the party will have a judgment against her that will be against her credit report and the world will know.
    That is true if you go back to the court after the allotted time, pick up the judgement and go file it with the county clerk.
    I don't always feel up to arguing with your ignorance



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