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non-payment of board

This is a discussion on non-payment of board within the Horse Law forums, part of the Horse Resources category
  • When are horses considered abandoned after non payment of board in Virginia
  • How many months can you go without paying board for a horse before the owner of the barn can take it?

 
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    11-29-2008, 07:11 AM
  #11
Green Broke
Taking possession of a horse, and then reselling said horse for repayment does not seem right, under current law; again, doing so boarders on the lines of conversion.

It being a verbal contract will be difficult to prove. Anything like that, I highly suggest getting everything in writing. Of course it's your sister's word against your father in law's; and the fact that she has the horse is very convincing.

If your sister is in for a substantial amount, I would suggest, in this case, to go to small claims; but remember any time you are in a court of law, you have the burden of proof, meaning go in with everything you need to win your case. That being said, I would contact an attorney before hand to double check your states laws regarding this matter.
     
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    11-29-2008, 07:54 AM
  #12
Trained
Here in australia if a horse has been left for 3 months without the person visiting or paying board is it considered an abandoned horse. The owners of the property are then legally allowed to sell the horse to recoup lost profits. If this wasnt the case people would be dumping horses left, right and centre.

I know that doesnt apply to you all the way over there in kansas but I would def seek legal advice on this one. I would say though that you would be well within your rights to at least assume care of the horses. Im pretty sure there is no law against feeding horses that are on your own property especially if the circumstances are less than amicable.

But yeah, I would seek legal advice

Good luck
     
    11-29-2008, 06:06 PM
  #13
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxie    
Taking possession of a horse, and then reselling said horse for repayment does not seem right, under current law; again, doing so boarders on the lines of conversion.

It being a verbal contract will be difficult to prove. Anything like that, I highly suggest getting everything in writing. Of course it's your sister's word against your father in law's; and the fact that she has the horse is very convincing.

If your sister is in for a substantial amount, I would suggest, in this case, to go to small claims; but remember any time you are in a court of law, you have the burden of proof, meaning go in with everything you need to win your case. That being said, I would contact an attorney before hand to double check your states laws regarding this matter.
You sound so super smart and edumacated!
     
    11-30-2008, 09:09 AM
  #14
Weanling
As others stated, you need to consult a lawyer who is familiar in this area of the law.

That said, your biggest issue here is the "verbal" contract. Being all related further complicated matters. Many authorities will view this as a "family dispute."

In most states, a barn can put a "mechanics lien" on a horse and/or tack for non-payment of board. Some area may have time constraints on this (after 30 days, after 90 days, etc.). This can usually also be specified in a written contract.

From a legal standpoint, a horse (typically) is not a "pet" - it is livestock. That means it is property with a value, just like the tack that was left behind.

Board has a value, other care provided has a value also. If the agreed upon board is $500/month and you haven't been paid in three months, then you are owed $1500. If you sold the horse for $2000, you would keep $1500 and pay $500 to the old owner. That is usually how it works. If you plan to keep the horse, it is more complicated since an accurate value of the livestock has not been determined.

Getting to that point, however, is a bit more complicated.

With only a verbal agreement, the old owner can claim just about anything. "They agreed to six months free board." "I paid them in cash." ...or a million other excuses/lies that becomes a "he said/she said" in court.

First thing you will need to do is notify the person in writing of the situation. State clearly what is owed and for what time period. Give a reasonable time period for repayment (reasonable may vary by locality and situation) and clearly spell out the consequences for not repaying. "Full payment is due by December 10 or the horse will be sold at auction and the proceeds used to satisfy the outstanding amount." Something along those lines - contact a lawyer for the best wording. Notice should also be sent by a "certified/return receipt" type of mail so you can prove they received it.

You really need to have your i's dotted and t's crossed to go ahead with something like this. Especially if you plan on keeping the horse involved. The old owner can always return to get "their" horse and ignore our claim of ownership. Then they sue you!

Small claims court is a good idea. If you win, then you have an actual court judgement in your favor for a specific amount. From that point, it would be much easier to take the horse/tack as payment for that judgement.

Again, seek out a lawyer for some real advice on this.
     
    12-01-2008, 04:36 PM
  #15
Weanling
I'm pretty sure that you have to have a written contract between boarder and owner, stating that if they do not pay their board in a certain amount of time, you have the right to sell their horse and tack and stuff, or keep them yourself.

It happened next door. The fee wasn't paid for 3/4 months and so they sold this person's horse. Her dad refused to pay, and they had it in contract that if he didn't pay up, they had the right to keep the horse/sell it.

They were sent continuous reminders that it was time to pay up, otherwise they will be selling their horse on, since they have had to pay for everything for the pony since the owner hadn't been seen or in contact for months.

I know that the little girl that owned the pony, was absolutely heart broken. He was a dark bay shetland called Buttons, and a very sweet horse too.
     
    12-03-2008, 02:14 AM
  #16
Started
As of now from the go a head of our lawyer the ponies are in ym sil name, she will not sale the ponies to recoop, but has them and tack for non payment of board.
     
    12-03-2008, 01:48 PM
  #17
Foal
I would think that the first step would be as mentioned above, start a paper trail. Send out a certified letter saying that the rent is owed and list the dollar amount. Send another letter soon after that stating it is still owed, etc, etc. Otherwise when you go to court he could simply say "I did not agree to that" or "she said it was free for a few months because I fixed her car" or worse yet "she sold my highly trained $35,000 horse for $2000". How do you prove what the horse is worth?

Having anything of a paper trail shows that you tried to collect and that you did your part in trying to resolve it in a amicable way before taking it to court.

Of course I would advise getting professional legal assistance since I am not a lawyer.

Eagle Eye 1
     
    12-03-2008, 02:03 PM
  #18
Started
Both his mares are worth about $150.00 each, they are not broken .....like I stated before my sister in law has taken them (on advice of our lawyer), he is in a whole lot of trouble with my sister in law and my husband that he has no choice.
     
    12-03-2008, 02:31 PM
  #19
Weanling
Glad you are making progress with the situation. Read your other post about your FIL too. Hope you can clear it all up now. Bureaucracy takes forever - trust me, I know! - but as long as it moves forward you're good. *Finger's crossed* Keep us updated!
     
    12-05-2008, 09:33 PM
  #20
Started
The barn I work at does sieze the horse. I bought a mare that was siezed.
     

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