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-   -   need ownership...how do I get it? (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-law/need-ownership-how-do-i-get-111690/)

farley 02-03-2012 12:30 PM

need ownership...how do I get it?
 
So Ill start at the beginning so you know the details. A man died, all that was left was his sons old stud, a hand full of brood mares, a yearling, and a 17 month old filly. When his son heard the news he came home from Wyoming to care for the place. When he got to California he became aware that his father had last the property and only had 4 months to pack up and get out. Thats where I came in, I was hired to help with the horses. The fillies hadnt been touched so I started halter training, and I put about 60 days into the 17 month old. At the end of the four months the house and barn were cleaned out, and all that was left was the recently gelded stud, one mare and the babies.
He decided to take the older horses, leaving the yearling with the new property owners and boarding the 17 month with me. He said " if you want her I'll sell her to you for 1500, if not you have two options sell her and get sellers profit, or hold her and Ill come back for her."
Well in this market selling a just started filly with "ok" bloodlines for 2500 is no easy task.
But telling him that was hard going, it was pretty much phone tag. A conversation through voice mails. We would go two to three months with out talking. But he was realizing that I was having trouble selling her. (just to add... his soon to be ex wife would come over every now and then... an I mean Ive only seen her maybe 5 times in the past year and a half, she would just come to see her.O should I say peek over the fence to ensure she was still on the property.)
Anyway before the man died he said that he was going to have to again postpone his trip to Cali, and that he too realized that he wasnt going to sell her for his asking price, and asked if I wanted her, I said of course I have had the filly for thirteen months, she was apart of my family. So in the short he was giving her to me.
However there was no paperwork because of his early death. So I assumed that, that was the end of that. I was wrong, the soon to be ex wife called me to "touch basis". Next thing I know she is on my property telling me she will cover the expenses that her husband hadnt and that she would be picking her up at the end of the week.. then loaded up My hay leaving me with two bales. :evil:
Two months later she calls saying that she had a couple of bales for me but that she couldnt pay the 1000+ dollar bill yet. I responded by telling her that I had purchase four ton a month and half ago, and remind her that 300 was now added to her bill. Then she told me to stop raising the bill, said dont have the farrier out, or the vet I cant afford it. I told her that I if the filly needed it she was gonna get it no matter the cost.
That was about three months ago, I have no phone number, no address and have a padlock on my gate.
I understand that technically she belongs to her because there was no exchange of paperwork. But if she wants her she needs to pay up.
I am also scared that if she does pay up, and something happens to the horse she wont be able to afford it. Where I can.

I want this horse! What should I do???

usandpets 02-03-2012 12:46 PM

Talk to a lawyer. I believe that if you have had no contact in three months, the filly can be assumed as abandoned. Also, I think you can file a lien against the horse for unpaid services and money due as the horse is considered her property. But if the horse is considered abandoned, she would then become yours.

Speed Racer 02-03-2012 12:49 PM

I'm having a little bit of trouble following your story.

To whom did the horses belong? The man that died, or his son? Who was the ex-wife married to, the older man or his son?

Why did you let her take your hay? How did that even come into the equation?

Why don't you have any contact information? If this person called you, wouldn't you have her number on Caller ID?

Do you have ANY written contracts concerning the care of this filly? If not, you could be in deep doo-doo, as you can't file a Stableman's Lien on the horse without having something to back up your story.

Your best bet is to contact an attorney familiar with equine law where you live. They'll be able to give you advice based on laws in your area.

crimsonsky 02-03-2012 03:21 PM

lots of questions to answer here before anyone could even attempt to send you in the right direction. i second what speed racer has said already - find an attorney in your area familiar with equine law and go from there. good luck!

farley 02-03-2012 03:27 PM

The horses belonged to the son and the son was married to the soon to be ex wife.
the hay thing is just one of the reasons why I want the horse. she took it, and if I hadnt bought hay the horse would have gone at least two months with out food.
I have called the number she gave me about a hundred times the last call was sometime around the end of dec... the number had been canceled.
And no I have written documentation

crimsonsky 02-03-2012 03:49 PM

i'm sorry but i still don't understand the hay part... it's YOUR hay but she came to YOUR property and took YOUR hay. that just doesn't equal out to me.

Joe4d 02-03-2012 04:34 PM

when guy said you had two choices, you should have answered, you have two choices, give me the horse or come get him, I will be charging you 20 dollars a day to care for him until you make up your mind. Stop being a door mat.

farley 02-03-2012 04:51 PM

well once he realized he wasnt going to sell her, he was coming to get her, but couldnt get out here to Cali. So he gave her to me, but before he wrote out the paperwork he died.

her husband was buying the hay before he died, I am sure she thought that it was hay he purchased, and I know it sounds odd, but it was an odd morning, everything happened very quickly. The point of that is shes negligent, and didn't offer, make effort to replace the hay til two months later.

sammerson 02-03-2012 05:22 PM

I think we are missing the point. The question that she really wants to know is how to obtain ownership of the filly. I wouldn't even worry about the hay thing anymore, that's one of those things that just happened and not much can be done about it now.

However, if she owes you money, then yes, I'm pretty sure you can hold the horse by putting a lien on it until the debt is paid. I also would check into the abandonment thing. i know there is a law regarding that but not sure what the length of time is. I would check into that first.

Long story short, I think you are going to have to "lawyer up" regardless of what the proper route is. Sounds to me like she doesn't actually want the horse. she just wants it out of spite.

Another suggestion, have you asked her if she would be willing to let you keep the filly in exchange for the amount she owes?

farley 02-03-2012 06:22 PM

Thank you sammeson,
and yea that was one of the things I was going to suggest to her. I just have no way of contacting her,and I dont know anything about her location, she may not even be in the same county for all I know.
Should I contact the sheriff department, and ask them what I should do??


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