Is this contract Void? Who does this horse legally belong to?
A number of years ago a friend of mine "Jane" did a mare lease and got a beautiful colt from the breeding. He was her soulmate, her bestfriend. A few years later she made the mistake of marrying a man who was horribly abusive. This poor girl was cut off from friends, family, had no phone, had to go to work with him every day and finally he forced her to give up her horses. He would not allow her to buy food for the horses or pay for their board.
One day I recieved an email from her saying that because of "financial reasons", she needed to find homes for her two remaining horses. The mare went to live with a woman who had at one time leased her. My friend did not want to give up ownership of her best friend, the stallion, she wanted to find someone who would lease him. Several people stepped forward offering to lease the stallion as he is an exceptional horse with a fantastic pedigree.
A woman "Sally" offered to do a lease on him and "Jane" sent her the lease agreement contract. The next day "Sally" sent "Jane" a sales agreement contract demanding that she either sign the horse over to her or it was no deal. At the time that "Jane" recieved this contract and email her abusive husband was standing next to her screaming threats in her ear that if she didn't sign the contract that he would never take her out to see him, never buy food for him and that the barnowner would take him to auction. My poor friend was so confused, frightened and not in her right mind because of this and all of the other abuse that she had been enduring. Instead of writing "Sally" and telling her that she would not be giving her this valuable stallion and moving on to the next person who had expressed interest in leasing him, she was so terrified by the threats and not thinking clearly she signed her horse over to "Sally".
A few months later "Jane" escaped with just the clothes on her back and a few possessions shoved in a pillow case, from this monstor after being chased around the kitchen.
She was very much in debt and had very little. But one thing she knew, SHE WANTED HER HORSE BACK! She explained what had happened to "Sally" and "Sally" refuses to give the stallion back to "Jane"
In the past year since escaping she has rebuilt her life, works full time and has a new home. But her life is so empty without her bestfriend.
What I am wondering, given the circumstances surrounding what happened at the time that she was forced to sign the contract under duress, if the contract may actually be void and the horse still legally belong to "Jane"?