Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Hi, Martha, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you with your question; my goal is to provide you with Excellent Service,
If you did not transfer ownership to Jeff, then Jeff did not have ownership rights and the right to transfer Snowball which means that you retain ownership. You should draw up a Bill of Sale transferring ownership of Snowball to Jeff and at the very top, put the following:
This Bill of Sale made as of the _____ day of __________ , 2013, etc.
The bill of sale should state "as of" and the date should be a date before Jeff transferred Snowball to the person who has possession right now. That way, the transfer to Jeff will be legal and his transfer to this individual will also be valid. You will, thereafter, not be responsible if anyone gets hurt,
Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you,
Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,
thank you Andrea. I thought I read on a web site yesterday that if a person fails to pay board after 30 days the barn manager may sell the horse to recoup his expenses. I had stopped paying quarantine board to jeff in Jan. but we had nothing in writing. I will certainly get this Bill of sale doen right now, however.
What you read applies to situations where the owner and the individual who boards the horse are at odds about paying for boarding. Jeff and you were never at odds about any payment, therefore, that section does not apply to your situation. Just get that Bill of Sale done and you will be all right,
yes, I am trying..he is now being difficult and not very friendly.....seemingly no reason. I will keep trying. He says via text (his voicemail is full) that he will sign. If he won't and there is an injury, what could happen to me? Am I protected at all?
Jeff does not have to sign the Bill of Sale. You are the only one who has to sign it and give it to Jeff.
If anyone were to sustain an injury, you could be somewhat liable. I say "somewhat" because on paper, you are still the owner, but you had nothing to do with feeding, or training the horse, and did not know anything firsthand about Snowball's personality. Jeff was the one who knew Snowball personally and he made the decision to transfer Snowball to the individual who has possession of Snowball.
ah...ok...I can draft the Bill of Sale and sign it. Shall I notarize it and send it Certified? The other thing I should mention is that as I recall, the original PayPal receipt listed the amount and date but was not itemized. No mention of a specific horse.
Hi, Martha, You do not have to have your signature Notarized, but it would not hurt. It does not matter that the name of the horse was not on the original receipt. Paying for the horse and taking possession was enough to identify the horse,
ok, thanks Andrea. I guess I don't understand how it can be an agreement of sale or transfer without his signature on it too. I am thrilled not to have to have his, but would feel better about it. He did text me that he would sign it. I didn't mention that I am still the owner since this could be a complicated mess if I do that right now.
There can be a sale without a formal written Agreement of Sale. It is the Bill of Sale that counts, it becomes everything all rolled into the Bill of Sale,
Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you,
so the word Bill trumps Agreement in legal terms? This would be much easier from my end since he is difficult to catch and prefers I just e mail this to him. Shall I write it, print it, sign it and notarize it and send it Certified? Will I then be totally clear of any future liability?
I do not use the word "trump" for anything because that would be too general of a statement and that is not always the case. In this particular case, it applies.
Print it, sign it, have your signature Notarized, and send it to Jeff by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested. That will put you in the clear,
Thank you so much Andrea! I appreciate all this help you have provided. I will get this going right now and will get the Notary on Mon. am. Have a great weekend.
Hi Andrea, thanks so much for the followup and a chance to ask more....much appreciated. I did write a Bill of sale and notarized it and opted to send it Express Mail since it would get to Jeff faster and there would be one of those green signature cards that would be sent back to me. The delivery would be attempted twice and the it comes back to me. In the event of a future suit, would that returned letter stand as proof that I did the correct process legally, whether he chose to accept his Bill of sale or not?
The other thing, and I feel stupid about this,is, when I drafted the Bill of Sale, I think I should have included more specifics. I merely referred to a white Appaloosa gelding named Snowball. Now I am thinking I need to send an addendum that includes date of purchase, price paid, his auction number, (the tag for which Jeff never gave me even though I said I would like it as a souvenir), perhaps mention the SunDewSavesHorses Rescue as being involved? Here is what I wrote and sent:
re: White Apaloosa gelding named Snowball
This Bill of Sale made as of the 10th day of Jan.2013 will serve as a legal transfer of ownership of said horse Snowball from Martha K. DiSarlo to Jeffry Merkey. No money has been exchanged in this transfer as he is a gift to Mr. Merkey from Martha DiSarlo, and this gift has been accepted by Mr. Merkey.
signed.....and (I signed it.)
The notary put yesterday's date below his signature and stamp.
Let me know if this is enough or if I need an addendum. I felt foolish when I realized..there are a million white Appaloosa Geldings out there and his name might not even be Snowball now. Sorry to be so clueless. I will send an addendum immediately if needed. Thanks Andrea.
While it would have been nice to have added the other information, what you did should be enough because it cannot be confused with any other horse you dealt with in any other transaction with Jeff,
Thanks...so do you feel as things stand now, that with or without a returned receipt (I do have mine saying I sent it) I am now clear of any liability?
Yes there should be no problem,
Thanks very much...I feel hugely relieved. I do wonder if there is some way going forward, to find out how the horse is doing as he goes through his life. I have a friendly rapport with Lorraine, the woman who runs the rescue and who received my PayPal purchase payment for him last Nov.20th. I am letting her know that I have sent the Bill of Sale to Jeff as well. Do you think it is ok for me to ask her from time to time how Snowball is doing or even to ask for her to put me in touch with the girl who now owns him? I am not a person to just abandon an animal I have taken responsibility for and would like to know he is continuing to be safe.
I think it is an excellent idea and I cannot see why anyone would object. You certainly want to make sure that the person who now owns the horse will not do anything to harm the horse or end its life prematurely,
I am so grateful for your helpful advice and guidance, Andrea. I have done all this on my own and didn't realize the jeopardy I was in. Now that Snowball's owner has a valid ownership and I have a link with Lorraine, i feel that SunDew could step in on his behalf in the future if his situation turns bad. I am older and still have animals here at home so I cannot afford Snowball now, but if he were in trouble later, I might try to repurchase him and field board him and then update my life insurance to cover him for the remainder of his days. Its just an idea that hopefully he will never need.
All the best to you and Snowball is forever grateful as well.
I am an animal lover myself and I am very grateful for people like you who care what happens to animals,
I wish you all the very best,
Thank you, Andrea.
You are very welcome, Martha,
Just wanted to let you know that Jeff and I are talking via text and on a better footing...more friendly. He is an extremely sensitive man so I am never sure how he will respond but I'm glad he will talk a little now. I did get an e mail confirmation yesterday with his signature, that he signed for the Bill of Sale. So relieved. I asked him if he was also protected with the new girl and he said he is not. So, I explained why he needs one along with his binder keeping rights to Snowball if she cannot keep him. It's all I can do now....up to him. I will keep in touch going forward but don't know how that will go either. Thanks for your followup, Andrea. I think things are ok, finally. :)
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).