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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11566
Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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Hello...I have a question about PA Equine Law. I purchased

Customer Question

Hello...I have a question about PA Equine Law. I purchased a horse last Nov. online through a rescue network called SunDewSavesHorses. These horses were on a truck to Mexico to be slaughtered, so it was urgent that they be bailed. I bought the horse via Paypal for close to $400. There was no info on his age, training or health status. I am 63. The pickup was all arranged to get the horse at New Holland Auction and he was to go to a friend's farm nearby. I did not realize that I should have planned for a period of quarantine and the Coggins certificate was not ready at time of pickup. With pregnancies and elder horses at our farm, I could not take him there. We were stuck. A nice friend of the woman who runs the rescuing was there with room on his trailer so he kindly offered quarantine at his farm. As it turned out, the horse was healthy, but young and untrained. I knew I am too old for a young horse and cannot begin to afford training so I asked this man (who loved the horse and who also trains) if he would like to have Snowball for his own and he said he would love to have him. He said he would draw up a letter we could sign but he never did and because we have a nice rapport, I didn't push it. This was in early Jan. I then stopped paying quarantine board and he took him on. There were never any contracts and my PayPal receipt just named the Rescue and the price I paid. After a couple of happy months Jeff mentioned that Snowball was a little too small for him to ride or show and that he would train him and if need be find a rock solid home for him. I was ok with it since he and Lorraine (SunDew woman) often work together to rescue and rehab slaughter horses....Jeff does the rehab, but between them, they have many good placement options. Snowball was difficult to train....sweet and compliant until he had a saddle. He would then hurl himself back and to the ground in anger. jeff was going to send him away to a friend for 2 months training but then decided to do it himself. He mentioned that if it didn't work, euthanasia could be a possibility since the horse could be dangerous in the future. Finally in early June he told me that he had a 20-something young woman who wanted him badly and would offer him a perfect home. When I asked about his rideability he said that Snowball was ok. He had his attorney draw up a contract with the woman...she now owns Snowball although he says no money was involved, and he stipulates in his agreement that Snowball has to be returned to him if there are any problems in the future. This week, I was telling my friend kathy about all this and she asked me if Snowball should seriously injure this woman, do I as the original purchaser/owner have any liability at this point?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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,

 

ANDREA

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


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.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Martha,

 

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,

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

 

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,

 

ANDREA

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

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?

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Martha,

 

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.

 

_______________________________________________________________________

 

 

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,

 

ANDREA

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

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.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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,

 

_____________________________________________________________________

 

 

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,

 

ANDREA

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

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.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Martha,

 

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,

 

Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,

 

ANDREA

 

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

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?

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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,

_____________________________________________________________________

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,

 

ANDREA

 

 

 

 

Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11566
Experience: 25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
Andrea, Esq. and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


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.


Martha

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


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.


Martha


 

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Martha,

 

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,

 

_____________________________________________________________________

 

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,

 

ANDREA

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


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?

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Yes there should be no problem,

 

_____________________________________________________________________

 

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,

 

ANDREA

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


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.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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,

 

 

ANDREA

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

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.


Martha

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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,

 

 

 

ANDREA

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, Andrea.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome, Martha,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Andrea,


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. :)

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