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Would you consider this theft?

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  • Would you consider this theft?

    Here's the scenario.

    Boarder A, had a gelding that she wanted to sell (really nice gelding, VERY well broke, wanted $4500). BO decided she liked the horse so A and BO made a deal, they would trade the horse in exchange for board for A's other horse. A's other horse is pasture boarded which is $175/mo.

    A couple months later the BO and A have a disagreement. (Will spare most of the details so it doesn't become about that) Basically the BO did some stupid, that she shouldn't have done and A was rightfully upset about it. But because the BO is who she is, she got really mad and told A to get off the property and take all her stuff with her. (kicked her out)

    So A does just that and then calls a couple of days later to ask if they can square up in regards to the horse. ie A asked the BO to pay her the remaining amount for the horse. BO refuses to and says she's already sold the horse and spent the $$.
    The truth is, she hadn't sold the horse, he's still sitting out in the back pasture and they're trying to sell him.
    Being that I now work with A, I told her that and she was very suprised to hear it.

    So what do you think? Did the BO essentially steal A's horse? What would you have done?

  • #2
    I guess it all depends on what they have in writing. But I'm betting that this was all done verbally, right?

    I do think that the BO ethically owes money to A. Even if she had sold the horse, she would still need for fulfill her part of the agreement in some way since she was no longer doing so by providing board. However, without a written agreement, I'm not sure what action A can take.

    Are there papers on this horse? Who has them and is the registered owner?

    Comment


    • #3
      Can I say it first? .... Was there a contract? Or was it all "verbal"?

      ETA: Darn, I was second
      ::I do not understand your specific kind of crazy, but I do admire your total commitment to it::

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by lcw579 View Post
        Are there papers on this horse? Who has them and is the registered owner?
        Yes the horse is papered but I'm not sure if A handed them over to the BO or not. I hope she didn't but I have a feeling she probably did.

        Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
        Can I say it first? .... Was there a contract? Or was it all "verbal"?
        I have a feeling it was probably verbal unfortunately.

        Comment


        • #5
          What would I have done? Turned back the clock and gotten the agreement on the sale of the horse in writing with a contingency for just such an event.

          As it is, it depends on which character you want me to play A or B or you.

          If I am to play YOU, then I would have informed A, as you did, and then backed away very quickly. You do NOT want to be in the middle of that one.

          If I was A, I would now take any legal bill of sale or proof of ownership I have, go in with the Sherriff and a horse trailer and reclaim my horse by settling the bill for its back board for however long it was there.

          If I was B, and what you said was true, I would rue my mistakes and find a graceful way out by accepting the back board and letting go the horse.
          "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

          Comment


          • #6
            If it was verbal then BO can't prove she "bought" the horse either. Without a bill of sale neither can proove that the horse horse was bought or sold. BO doesn't even have a check # or anything that can prove she bought the horse without a bill of sale. I think A should go pick her horse up. She will in all likelihood have to pay backboard, but that's obviously less than the purchase price of the horse. I don't know the legal concequences of this, but then I'm young and overzealous and no way in hell would I be leaving my horse without full payment. For all we know the BO could have schemed to kick A out so that she wouldn't have to "pay" the entire amount for the horse. Tough situation.

            Comment


            • #7
              BO owes A the balance of the money. If A has the money it might not be a bad idea to refund BO and take the horse.

              BO still owes for the horse no matter what the circumstances. She can't kick out A and expect to keep the horse for free.

              Yes, in my opinion this would be stealing. Doesn't matter if she sold the horse. She sold a horse she didn't own.

              Comment


              • #8
                An oral (non-written) contract is still a contract under law (but let me say that I am not a lawyer and that the owner A should def. consult an attorney).

                It's just that it's harder to prove the terms of a contract that is oral than it is with a written contract.

                The BO violated the terms of the contract; wouldn't matter if she'd already sold the horse or not.

                The friend should consult a lawyer; many universities have legal clinics that are inexpensive and helpful, if cost is a consideration for A. Sometimes, simply by sending a letter that demands payment, a lawyer can clear things up pretty quickly.

                It's also possible that this would fall under a small claims court which would mean that A doesn't need a lawyer.

                But she needs to write down everything she can about the transaction, and include any receipts she has, and line up any witnesses she has to the agreement.

                Good luck.
                "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                Comment


                • #9
                  Have "A" refund the couple months board credit to the BO and go get the horse.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1. Although it won't be as pretty, a verbal contract is just as binding as a written one.

                    2. Being naturally suspicious, I would wonder if BO did this on purpose to get a free horse.

                    3. In many states, small claims cases can be filed for about $35 without a lawyer. You can usually sue for up to $5000.

                    4. What someone else said......if there is no contract, the BO has np proof that she bought the horse either.
                    Holly
                    www.ironhorsefrm.com
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                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It is not theft.

                      Theft is a crime.

                      This was a civil agreement between two parties.

                      Which does not mean BO does not owe the difference between the credit and the balance. It's just going to be harder to prove and A may not get everything she is owed.

                      This kind of thing is why I do not do things like this. If I had been A, it would have been straight up money/sale, then I could have used that cash for board.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would show up to the barn with a cashiers check equal to the amount of "free board" and a truck with an empty trailer.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Although verbal (dummies), a contract is an agreement between two parties. The BO's end of the agreement is to provide free board. Since the BO is not doing that, he/she has violated the terms of the agreement.

                          This violation of the agreement is not theft.

                          Classic small claims case. Take it to court. However, you may get a judge or arbitrator who will ask the BO to complete the original agreement by allowing the boarder to bring her horse back into the barn until the original contract is satisfied.
                          Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In the words of Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."

                            Your friend needs to go get her horse out of there and pay the board. Today.

                            You need to stay out of it or before you know it, YOU'LL be told to pack up and git.

                            Yikers.
                            Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Technically there horse still belongs to A. There is NO AGREEMENT, other than a VERBAL one between A and the BO. As far as anyone knows A never recieved anything for said horse.

                              IMO, only because I am a huge advocate of the "Karma Bus" she should pay her what she didn't for the month's horse was field boarded (during agreement) and pick up her horse right away.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I can see it now... A goes and picks up horse, pays board on the other horse, and returns home to find a board bill for the horse she just picked up.
                                ::I do not understand your specific kind of crazy, but I do admire your total commitment to it::

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Go Fish View Post
                                  However, you may get a judge or arbitrator who will ask the BO to complete the original agreement by allowing the boarder to bring her horse back into the barn until the original contract is satisfied.
                                  Oh boy, that would TORTURE for the BO after throwing A out of her barn. I doubt A would go back though.

                                  Originally posted by RiverBendPol View Post
                                  You need to stay out of it or before you know it, YOU'LL be told to pack up and git.
                                  Not to worry, I'm not really "in" it. and I'm on my way out of this circus of a barn anyways. A just asked me one day if they still had the horse or if they'd sold it. I told her they hadn't yet and that's when A filled me in on her side of the story.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by threedogpack View Post
                                    It is not theft.

                                    Theft is a crime.

                                    This was a civil agreement between two parties.
                                    Not sure about this. It was up and until the BO started lying about the status of the horse. There begins some murkiness in the law between civil (contract) and criminal (stealing, lying, etc.). "Was" is the operative term here.

                                    Which does not mean BO does not owe the difference between the credit and the balance. It's just going to be harder to prove and A may not get everything she is owed.
                                    Technically, civil law is "easier" to prove. It is the difference between "a preponderance of the evidence" (civil) and "beyond a reasonable doubt" (criminal)standards.

                                    Originally posted by Go Fish View Post
                                    Although verbal (dummies), a contract is an agreement between two parties. The BO's end of the agreement is to provide free board. Since the BO is not doing that, he/she has violated the terms of the agreement.

                                    This violation of the agreement is not theft.

                                    Classic small claims case. Take it to court. However, you may get a judge or arbitrator who will ask the BO to complete the original agreement by allowing the boarder to bring her horse back into the barn until the original contract is satisfied.
                                    Again, it depends. Call your local Sheriff's office (NOT the police, as they are not allowed into civil matters, sheriff's dept. is).

                                    Lying and hiding the horse make it all more serious.

                                    SCFarm
                                    The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

                                    www.southern-cross-farm.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by CrocusPony View Post
                                      Here's the scenario.

                                      Boarder A, had a gelding that she wanted to sell (really nice gelding, VERY well broke, wanted $4500). BO decided she liked the horse so A and BO made a deal, they would trade the horse in exchange for board for A's other horse. A's other horse is pasture boarded which is $175/mo.

                                      A couple months later the BO and A have a disagreement. (Will spare most of the details so it doesn't become about that) Basically the BO did some stupid, that she shouldn't have done and A was rightfully upset about it. But because the BO is who she is, she got really mad and told A to get off the property and take all her stuff with her. (kicked her out)

                                      So A does just that and then calls a couple of days later to ask if they can square up in regards to the horse. ie A asked the BO to pay her the remaining amount for the horse. BO refuses to and says she's already sold the horse and spent the $$.
                                      The truth is, she hadn't sold the horse, he's still sitting out in the back pasture and they're trying to sell him.
                                      Being that I now work with A, I told her that and she was very suprised to hear it.

                                      So what do you think? Did the BO essentially steal A's horse? What would you have done?
                                      not really as she left the horse - id she got kicked out she should have taken him if the bo owed her money as hes still her horse until paid for

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The legal implications of this situation are sticky.

                                        But to my interpretation of the story, " Thou shalt not steal" has been violated.

                                        And boy, saying 'I can't pay you anyway because I sold the horse and spent the money' is about as sleazy as could be.

                                        I left a riding instructor position that I liked (long ago and far away) because I did not care for the morals/ethics and general business practices of the owner. While the BO was good to me, the behavior of the BO towards others in some business and ethical situations worried me. Now that I'm older, I would have left sooner rather than later.

                                        Comment

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