Not sure what to do....
Basically long story short a verbal agreement made was broken. Horse is stuck in NC with unwilling relative while owners live in NJ. Owners have proper documentation of ownership that AHA registry & nj state labs are aware of. NJ & NC horse council have been contacted with little help available. We do not have the cash to hire a lawyer, relative has been holding him since January. 11 year old girl is heartbroken, please help with any advice.
A paralegal is much cheaper than a lawyer and may be all you need. Or maybe the local sheriff will make an appearance in NC for you? If you have the papers you have the back-up you need.
Yup even bill of sale.Even if you go to court you can have them pay for all costs. Because tech. they have stolen the horses not giving the horse up is the same thing and a judge should see that. I was in the exact same position but never got my horses back because the legal action was taking so long he sold them and took off. We tried to do everything! I would say hurry or say good buy to the horse.
You can also hire a horse hauler and have the sheriff on site while the hauler picks the horse up. If you fax the sheriff documentation that you own the horse he should do it.
unless they have a valid point on keeping the horse ( i.e mistreat or so forth) and you have all the papers, it is consoderd horse theft...do you have police report?, either with local or other state? if so fax it to local (where the horse is) sheriff's dept and open your case there...helpful hint....send pic's of horse and child togeather......sheriff my need a entry warrent to gain axcess to the horse it might take time
Contact local authorities. If you have the legal documentation that this horse is infact yours thats a step in the right direction. Also get references(people) who can vouche that the horse is actually yours. I suggest charging them with horse theft and carrying on from there. Good Luck and im sorry to hear of the situation :(
One thing to keep in mind, even though you do have your documents of purchase and ownership, which you will need when you contact the authorities, make sure you have your coggins and health certificates, along with brand inspections. Most states have brand inspections which are required by the livestock board when purchasing and selling horses. Having those items will also prevent any debate to proper ownership, and avoid fines or penalties for transfering livestock across county or state lines without proper and required inspections!
Paralegals ethically cannot give legal advice, they cannot fill out paperwork for a client, and I'm pretty sure there are only a few matters where a para can represent a client in the court room.
It sounds like the unwilling relative has committed borderline conversion, and that should be reason enough to get the police involved.
As stated before, I'd get all of the documents rounded up, coggins and what not, and hire a horse hauler and what not. Get down there and claim your horse. The relative has no right to keep the horse against the owner's will, and thus could be charged with an array of different violations.
verbal agremment wouldnt hold up in court anyway if every thing is in your name then the horse is yours
I agree with vcary, a verbal agreement will NOT hold up in court because either side could lie about it.
If you have a WRITTEN bill of sale that is your proof...if it's just a verbal bill of sale then you probably won't win any court case.
The only thing that trumps having the registration papers is a bill of sale from you to them (or them to you). You need a lawyer for advise.
(BTW, they used to hang horse thieves)
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