Owner Looking for 2 Older Horses Sold At Auction in NJ, Camelot
These two older geldings (most likely 20+) were taken from their home because their owner didn't pay our BO back fully. They were at our barn for approximately two days but were gone the Wednesday after they arrived. I thought the woman had paid the BO and got her horses back… Until I saw them on the Camelot website. Their owner is looking for them. If you have been to any auctions in the NJ area, or if you have seen either of these horses (one is lame) please let me know! Their owner just wants them to live the rest of their lives in peace!! I hope with all of my heart that they were not sent to slaughter...
I know it is entirely legal for a BO to do this, it's just very sad.
The owner should try and make a police report. There are rules regarding acting on a lien. It does not sound like the BO followed those rules.
Were the horses also on private property? You said they were there for 2 days? If the horses were moved off the BO's property, and the BO went to someone else's property to get them, that is stealing. It doesn't matter if there is a lien or not. It is a matter for small claims court, it doesn't give the BO the right to go get them.
" Under the laws of most states, boarding stables do not automatically own boarded horses merely because the owner has fallen behind on payments. The answer would be different, however, if the stable followed - to the letter - all of the requirements of the applicable state law. Laws that apply in these situations are known as "agister's lien" laws or "stablemen's lien" laws.
For example, under Michigan's law, Michigan Compiled Laws Section 570.185 (and the sections that follow), a stable must wait until 9 months pass, without payment, before holding a special public sale that a sheriff's deputy or authorized court officer must conduct with the purpose of selling the horse to the highest bidder. The top bidder pays the money and wins the horse. One month before the sale, a specially-worded notice must be sent to the owner using language that has been supplied by the statute."
For another thing, I believe the owner should have been notified that she was behind on payments- some sort of notification, before the horses were taken. If the BO does not pay out any remaining proceeds from the sale, that is also illegal, as it would be stealing money from the horse owner.
What happens to the proceeds of an auction?
After the auction, the expenses from the auction are first deducted from the proceeds of the sale. The remaining proceeds are then applied to the payment of the indebtedness to the stable operator. Any remaining proceeds must be paid to the owner of the horse. If the horse's owner does not claim the remaining proceeds within 60 days of the sale, the remainder must be paid to the municipality in which the stable is situated for the support of the poor.
New jersey lien laws:
New Jersey's Stable Operators Act - Liens For Unpaid Board - AFFIRMED:* A New Jersey Equine Law Blog
If you're on Facebook check out Camelot Horse Weekly. They aren't the actual auction house but advertise the horses up for auction and try to find good homes. They have pics and info for every horse, maybe if you can find them on there they can get you some information as to where they went?
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You might try posting them on the Camelot FB page……you can also look back if you know about what date this happened and perhaps find them that way.
i would move my horse, I would never keep my horse with that BO.
I would bet that there is more to the story. Find it hard to believe any BO would take horses after 2 days for underpayment.
In Ontario a registered letter must first be send regarding amount owing. That doesn't happen over night. Also an ad must be run in the local paper stating owner's name, common name of horses and amount owing. Then the horses can be sold but it has to be by public auction and those don't happen everyday. Usually the time frame for this is approaching 30 days or more. The BO is allowed to file for reasonable expenses, feed, cost of trailering to auctions, newpaper ad, etc. Should the sale exceed the costs the remaining monies are to be paid to the owner. If there is no other story behind this, the BO may have put herself in a position to be sued. Isn't that called Theft by Conversion - selling something you don't own?
I wish I knew where these two were, I hope they are safe.
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