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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5361
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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I had a puppy that i sold the day before it was due to be

Customer Question

Hi, i had a puppy that i sold the day before it was due to be flown to its new owner they pulled out and no longer wanted the puppy. I advised them they could have it flown to them but they wanted me to cancel the flight. I then told them i would refund the money if and ehen i sold it as it was getting older and harder to sell and as i had alot of interest the same week i had sold it to them and had to turn them down. I ended up not selling the puppy and hsd to give it away as i had complaints from neighbors about barking etc. and had it for several weeks longer then expected. They now say they want to take me to court, what are some outcomes from this? Would a court hear case like this? They are in QLD and im in VIC
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. Depending on how much money was involved, it may be that the will now actually want to proceed with court action, which can be complicated and expensive.

That issue aside, your situation is somewhat legally complicated. Initially, it appears you had a simple contract for the sale of the pup. Whilst they would not, ordinarily be entitled to a refund once they'd agreed to purchase, only the dog, but conversely you would not be entitled to retain the dog, unless you did so only because they directed you not to deliver it or refused to pay for its transfer as required under the original agreement. If the above is correct then you should be entitled to keep the original purchase price.

However, they may be able to argue that they should have received the resale value of the dog if it was viable to sell it after they reneged on their purchase agreement, less any costs of feeding and caring for the dog after it should have been off your hands, so they may have a claim for the value of the dog which you failed to realise because you decided to simply give it away. They would have to prove you could reasonably have sold it and at what price in order to claim.

Unless the dog is worth a considerable amount of money, it would seem unlikely that they would ultimately bother pursuing such a case, but I trust the above assists your understanding of what the issues would be if the matter is disputed, which may help you formulate a reasonable settlement if you are inclined to try to settle.

PLEASE RATE MY ANSWER.

Patrick

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thankyou for your help.I had numerous interest in the puppy however noone commiting to purchasing it which i have proof of. They havesought legal advice and want the $2000 refunded in full. The flight was booked and they made me cancel it due to them not wanting the puppy anymore. Based on that are they entitled to a refund?
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 12 months ago.

I cannot see why they would be entitled to a refund if they ordered you to cancel the flight.

They might be able to argue that they are entitled to a refund of the transport costs if you ultimately didn't incur them, but if they paid for the dog and then directed you not to send it, I cannot see how you cease to be entitled to the money they paid for the dog.

Likely they are just trying to pressure you into paying a refund without any actual understanding of whether they are legally entitled. Suggest you write to them and ask them to explain on what basis they claim to have been entitled to void their contract with you, and put the onus on them to make a sensible legal argument. It doesn't appear they have one at this stage.

PLEASE RATE MY ANSWER.

Patrick

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thankyou Patrick. What happens if they do take me to court and we live in different states? Also they dont have my residential address can they access this? Without my address how can they take me to court?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
They have my email address and phone number only
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 12 months ago.

There are certainly various ways in which they can track you down. It takes some effort and know how, however, so this is a further obstacle to them initiating proceedings.

If they do track you down then the question of whether they can sue you in their own state or in your state will be an issue, but it is not a simple issue to determine and will depend on various factors that only a fully briefed lawyer can give you a firm answer about (it requires a close analysis of exactly how the contract was entered into and may depend on what basis they make their claim as different jurisdictional rules can apply to different causes of action).

Regardless, even if they bring proceedings in a different state, the hearing of such a dispute can if necessary be done by teleconference, so that remote parties can 'appear' without actually having to travel.

All of these factors are further issues which are obstacles for them to pursue a claim, which given the modest amount involved, I suspect they won't be willing to pursue such action, more likely they are just threatening such action to pressure you to give them a refund. For peace of mind, however, you could consider making an offer to refunds some portion of the money in exchange for a release (essentially a statement that they accept such a sum in full settlement of their claims) but that is a matter for you to consider and negotiate with them. Or you could just sit tight and see whether they are truly bluffing or not.

PLEASE RATE MY ANSWER.

Patrick

Expert:  Patrick H. replied 12 months ago.

Please rate my answer as I am not paid unless you rate my answer positively.

Thanks,

Patrick

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