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Horse Theft in NC

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  • #21
    you know, the idea of getting someone else to buy the horse is not a bad one. She shouldn't HAVE to pay to get this horse back, but it would be expedient and keep the horse safe. If she has to get a lawyer, she may end up paying that much anyway. (of course, I have no idea what the horse is worth, if it's a high-dollar competition horse than never mind).
    Another benefit is to see if he really goes through with it. If he backs out of the sale, it may be a clue that he's just posting the craigslist stuff to mess with her and cause her worry.

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    • #22
      I was in a situation like this in GA. If she really has a bill of sale, papers, etc. in her name and the Sheriff's Dept. will not do anything, you can call the local newspaper with this story. Tell them that a horse has been stolen and the authorities are refusing help. If that is clearly 'her' horse and he's refusing to let it off his property, then that is a criminal offense.

      However, if the ownership papers are unclear and not in good order, then yes, maybe it is a civil matter and you will have to follow a lengthy paperwork /ownership process.

      I had the same run-around from the authorities who actually protected someone who had a horse that I owned on their property because they were friends. (Of course I didn't find this out until later.) It was a huge mess.

      But, I had more assistance from authorities, in a prompt manner, once the newspaper started calling the department for more information about the situation.

      A story about a stolen horse can be rather interesting in our modern world, no?

      But in the end it was so much drama that I wish I had just stayed out of the whole thing. It wasn't worth it.

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
        I don't know anything about North Carolina law

        The police do not split up marital property, no matter whose name is on the property, because that's the court's job. But bf/gf stuff? I don't know. Must be different north of the border - unless y'all still have common law marriage up there, and that's the reason the police are shying away? (You can see, I really am clueless about NC family law issues.)
        Heck I've lived in this state my whole life (expect for a brief stint in GA) and I still can't decipher most of NC laws. In fact, unless it was recently changed, it's actually illegal for a man and woman to cohabitate outside of wedlock. Which means no common law marriages in NC.

        Good luck OP. I am sorry you/your friend are going through this and I know it sucks even more that the cops can't help.
        Dreaming in Color

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          No cohabitation involved.
          She had her own farm the whole time. She kept the horse at his place even after receiving the "gift" with bill of sale. He had promised to have someone work with the horse and get it more or less ready for her. Horse had not been ridden in a long while when he gifted the horse to her.

          It is not an expensive horse and could easily be paid for but will not be. She owns the horse now and should not have to pay to get back. I understand what those that said it may be a good idea meant, but the horse is not in any danger except of being sold to someone else and if it is then she will be filing for the money lost I guess. He has kept other items that belong to her (other gifts) but she does not have a bill of sale to get them back so the horse is one thing she CAN get, with co-operation of law inforcement.

          As I mentioned above, she hasn't worked with the horse. He was supposed to handle that (no contract on training though). So she isn't bonded to the horse, it is more of principle at this point and a way of recooping losses somehow. Horse in question may turn out to be great for her; we won't know though until she gets her back and can have someone actually work her.
          She can get someone to work the horse herself at home now if she has to. (First option being me.)

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          • #25
            Originally posted by The Other Me View Post
            the horse is not in any danger except of being sold to someone else and if it is then she will be filing for the money lost I guess. . . . she isn't bonded to the horse, it is more of principle at this point and a way of recouping losses somehow.
            In that case, magistrate's (aka small claims court) would be the way to go. Doesn't sound like there's much of an emergency - if this horse is sold, she can still sue BF for the value of the animal and get herself a comparably priced horse, provided she wins her case. In my state, she wouldn't need a lawyer. Don't know about NC.

            It was the part of your post where BF told her the horse was dead that made me think something more sinister might be afoot. Glad that's not the case.
            I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

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            • #26
              If he is advertising them on Craigslist, he probably isn't asking too much for them.

              Here is an idea: Get a friend to go buy the horse back for her anonomously. Act like a real buyer, who is just calling a Craigslist ad. The friend should act like a buyer, try the horse out, have a story and talk him down in price as low as he will go. This should probably be pretty easy to do.

              The $1000+/- spent may be the cheapest and maybe the only way she gets her horse back.

              Then she can track his ass down in court if she feels like payback to get him to pay up.

              (Edited: whoops: I just read that someone else suggested this before me. It is a good idea though!)
              Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s

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              • #27
                Sorry, I didn't mean to infer they had been cohabitating... just pointing out a stupid NC law, over 200 years old.

                CA - sounds like the girl just wants the horse back because it was given to her and she's paid board on it. Doesn't sound like it's because she loves the horse and she doesn't want to have to pay any money to get the horse back.

                Since it really is a matter of principle (and if it were me) I would cut my losses, let the a$$ keep the horse and at least be done with HIM. But that's just me. Still sucks big time for the ex-gf, but sometimes you have to know when you walk away. Someone has to be the adult and it doesn't look like it's going to be the guy.

                In NC you don't need a lawyer for small claims, that... I am almost 100% sure of.

                I'd be interested to know who the guy is... to know who to stay away from.
                Dreaming in Color

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by The Other Me View Post
                  Sheriff wouldn't go. Said it's a civil matter.
                  Go get the horse, with proof of ownership in hand. Bring a friend with a video camera and be on your best behavior, calm and rational. No arguing. Bring halter and lead rope and someone with a cool head. When anyone physically prevents you from taking possession of your property, then it will no longer be a civil matter. Then you'll have your sheriff.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by sketcher View Post
                    Go get the horse, with proof of ownership in hand. Bring a friend with a video camera and be on your best behavior, calm and rational. No arguing. Bring halter and lead rope and someone with a cool head. When anyone physically prevents you from taking possession of your property, then it will no longer be a civil matter. Then you'll have your sheriff.
                    Doesn't work like that here in NC...sheriff would come and escort her off the property.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      In NC this is considered a civil matter - as it is a dispute over property between two people who have been romatically involved. Gifted items are very often is dispute between couples who have broken up. For Small Claims court, it is not necessary to have paperwork for every item (although it helps), nor is it necessary to have an attorney. Small Claims court is more informal than District or Superior Court and many people represent themselves quite well, although an attorney definitely helps.

                      A Magistrate's Summons for Possession of personal property is one option. Usually once this is filed, a court date is set (generally approx 10-14 days after the papers are filed) for both parties to appear. At this point she should take all the pertinent documentation and witnesses with her to court. If the horse has been sold, then file for Complaint for Money Owed, if the value of the animal is less than $5000.

                      If she feels the horse is in immenient danger...she can attempt to get a civil restraining order or Writ of Possession...best done with an attorney who knows what they are doing. Such document might order the Sheriff's Office to take possession or "seize" the animal. Unless stipulated otherwise in the order, the Sheriff's Office would have to arrange for safe "storage" of the animal until a set court date (customarily at complaintant's expense... although you can request that any court/storage fees be reimbursed). It can get complicated. If she tries this route, it's best to have an attorney.

                      No deputy or police officer I know of is going to seize the animal without a court order telling them to do so. IF the property in question was used in the commission of a crime, or recovered property from a crime, it would be seized and placed in evidence until such time as the court ordered some form of disposition (return to owner, sold, destroyed etc). The judge or "court" will determine who the rightful owner is and who should have possession of it.

                      Absolutely do not go back on the property. At minimum you are looking at 2nd degree trespass...if you were to cross a gate, go through a fence, enter a barn door etc, then it could easily escalate to Breaking and Entering or more. In NC "Break" doesn't mean any damage has to be done..only that some sort of "barrier" has been broken. It can be as simple as walking through and open door or putting your hand inside an open window. Don't go there. From what you've described, it's not worth it and she'd only be taking his bait.

                      As for the newspaper/TV stations...believe me, they get enough calls about similar situations that they know in NC that this would be considered a civil matter. I saw this same type deal happen last week and when the "new" producer consulted with their attorneys she was told to not touch it as it was civil matter and being handled in civil court. I wasn't considered "newsworth". If it had already been to court with no results of any sort, that would be another thing. But from what you've said, the paper work hasn't even been filed yet.

                      Civil matters are messy, long and complicated. I wish the OP good luck and hope things work out well for the horse caught in the middle.
                      A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.
                      https://www.facebook.com/Talley-Ho-Saddle-Services

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        If he has the horse for sale - send a prospective "buyer or trainer" that he doesn't know to look at the horse. Then said "buyer" could suggest a trial period with a small deposit and if it doesn't work he can keep the deposit and gets the added bonus of 30 days training. If all the ownership paperwork is in order, and he agrees to a trial period, that might an easier to regain possesion of the horse. Then that 9/10th "thingie" can kick in for the home team. Not sure of the legalities - all I know is that I would be petrified to be pulled over for speeding in the south with my co-habitating boyfriend in the car!

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          I'd say cut her losses.
                          She doesn't really want the horse, she just wants to get the horse because she's out board.

                          Sue him for the board and see how fast he doesn't want the horse any more.

                          I'm glad my husband was 1) my husband so I could rip him a new financial hole and 2) played golf. He kept the clubs.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by dalpal View Post
                            Doesn't work like that here in NC...sheriff would come and escort her off the property.
                            Note to self. Never move to a state that would not allow me to retrieve my possessions!

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by sketcher View Post
                              Note to self. Never move to a state that would not allow me to retrieve my possessions!
                              So far as I know, you're not allowed to trespass to retrieve your possessions in any state. Especially when the legal ownership of those possessions is in dispute. Even if you have a lien on property, you're not allowed to breach the peace to retrieve it, which it sounds like the OP's friend would need to do.
                              I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                It's not that the state doesn't recognize your right to the property once you establish it legally, it is that they require proof of ownership of property before trespassing on someone's property. After all, no one on here would like it if all anyone had to do is phony up some documents, call the cops and basically steal your horse right off of your property. And in some states (Texas as of a few years ago) you can be shot for trespassing after dark-they lose a lot of car repo guys from out of state there that way. You need clear-cut legal ownership to get property back in your control.
                                You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Kinsella View Post
                                  I believe if she has proof she owns the horse, she can have the sheriff go with her to pick it up...
                                  Not in Ohio. I went with a friend to pick up her horse at the boarding barn. His (the horse) board was paid in full (month to month board only). No other fees or charges due---everything paid in full. The barn owner refused to release her horse unless she pre-paid for the next month. We called the sheriff who then came out to the barn. Sheriff looked at all paid receipts and horses papers. Sheriff said that everything was in order and that the barn owner SHOULD release the horse, but, he (sheriff) could not force him to. We would have to go to court and get a court order before he (sheriff) could force the release of my friends LEGAL property!

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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
                                    So far as I know, you're not allowed to trespass to retrieve your possessions in any state. Especially when the legal ownership of those possessions is in dispute. Even if you have a lien on property, you're not allowed to breach the peace to retrieve it, which it sounds like the OP's friend would need to do.

                                    Very true....alot of people "ASSUME" they know how the law works and hand out incorrect advice. Even though something may seem like "common sense" (have ownership papers) doesn't mean it's "lawful"

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                                    • #38
                                      Um "gifted items" doesn't she have a bill of sale and papers in her name?
                                      That would make her the legal owner of this horse wouldn't it gift or not?

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by gdolapp View Post
                                        Um "gifted items" doesn't she have a bill of sale and papers in her name?
                                        That would make her the legal owner of this horse wouldn't it gift or not?
                                        I would think so, yes. The issue here is how to retrieve the property.

                                        As a poster above pointed out, we would not really want law enforcement to be able to enter our property without a warrant and seize things to give to someone else. If the ownership of property is in dispute, it's up to a court of law to dispassionately weigh all the evidence and decide who really owns it. Once that's established, then the court has the power to order the property seized.

                                        How is the dispute here created? Probably because one person has physical possession of something and someone else claims to have legal title. It's up to a court to determine whether or not the title to the property is good.
                                        I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          If she's up to date on her board bill and can prove that I believe it's illegal to prevent her from entering the property. If you pay to be there how can that be considered trespassing?

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