an ex-friend has had her horse and foal on my property for 2 years. When we told her and her husband that we were getting rid of our horses and did they want us to get rid of their 2 horses at the same time, the husband agreed, the wife said nothing. Since that conversation, he has been trying to find a home for them, including taking pictures with him to work. We found someone to take all 5 horses and told husband. He said they would give us a letter allowing us to get rid of their horses. Wife refuses to give letter. We are afraid she will sue us over this. Does she have grounds?
Country relating to Question: United States
Offered to husband that we could get the horses back but he would have to take them. He said no, he had no fenced pasture to put them on, no way to cut hay, and he shook my husbands' hand and said they had a "gentlemans"agreement.
Thank you for the post, I am happy to assist you by answering your questions. In what state is the property located?
Regrettably she can sue. The reason she can sue is because she can claim that she never waived the right to enforce her ownership interest in the animals and the transaction was completed despite her objection. Further, there is no written agreement whereby the husband affirmed that he had her consent to act on her behalf. While generally presumed that a spouse may act on behalf of the marital estate, in this case there is evidence that one spouse was acting over the objection of another and this was made known to you before you allowed the horses to be taken. Further, from your description it appears the wife placed the horses in your custody, not the husband, and therefore the wife has a stronger claim of privity of contract with you than the husband whom subsequently entered into the gentleman's agreement voiding the first agreement with the wife. Please let me know if you need additional guidance.
So, I need to get the horses back on my property or can I just tie them to a tree in their yard, but I cannot leave the horses where they are? Would you suggest that we call the husband to warn him or let him know in order to get him to persuade her, or should be get a lawyer to preempt their action by suing them to get them off our property?
You should contact the husband to discuss this informally but explain that he needs to produce a formal written statement waiving any rights to the horse, indicating that he is speaking for himself and his spouse, and the statement be delivered to you by a specified date.You should foollow your informal communication with a written notice of your willingness to retrieve the horses, provided they make provisions for delivery of the horses prior to you taking action to retrieve the horses. Require that if they want the horses back, they state the same in writing by a specified date, describing how the horses are to be received and assuring you that
Negotiate, Draft, and Review many complex commercial agreements each year.
you did not finish your thought above
Thank you for catching that, apparently I clicked the wrong button. The statement was to read "Require that if they want the horses back, they state the same in writing by a specified date, describing how the horses are to be received and assuring you that accomodations will be in place to receive the horses."
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