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CaseLaw
CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1297
Experience:  BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
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We are in south africa and purchased dogs from a breeder in

Customer Question

Hi, we are in south africa and purchased dogs from a breeder in America. Its been such disgusting dealings. Bought there top breeding dog "purely for breeding" for 12500 dollars "when he arrived in south africa" we had him tested and he only had a 2% sperm count. The other female we paid and booked by him, he requested to keep her to breed one litter with her. We paid for her and agreed, the first breeding didnt take so he requested she stay on for her next season. We agreed. The next breeding took, when her pups were two weeks old he said we must arrange shipping. At this stage i was on my last with my twins with a very complicated and high risk pregnancy and we told him we will contact him as soon as we able to arrange and babies are born. When things settled and the babies were born we contacted him and he said he sold our dog. He refuses to refund us for the Brredind dog we purchased that we can not do a thing with or for the dog he was meant to send to us and he sold .. please advise what we can do? we are far but this is just totally unacceptable and i need legal assistance there
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 3 months ago.

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I will try to assist you with your legal question but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions as you like until you are 100% satisfied.

My short answer to your question is that it appears to me that he has breached the oral agreement entered into between the two of you to supply to you a male and bitch for breeding purposes. His breach means that you can either sue him for specific performance of the terms of the contract (i.e. he must fulfill his undertaking) or you can cancel the contract and sue him for damages (i.e. the return of your money).

The REAL PROBLEM is that a South African court will only exercise jurisdiction over the breeder if you are able to effect service of the summons / application on him. Typically this means that you will need to apply to court for an edictal citation application which means that you ask the court for direction on how you would go about serving the defendant. Once that is granted, you would then comply with the service requirement.

The breeder would then be "before the court" and you could run a trial against him. Perhaps he wouldn't come to court, and then you could get a default judgment against him.

You would still then need to have that default judgment confirmed in a Californian court of law, and then the sheriff of California will need to attach his assets and sell them in execution - then you'll get your money back.

It is a long road to travel, and my immediate concern is that your legal fees will exceed the money that you will eventually recover from the breeder. I know that USD 12500 is the equivalent to approximately R167k, but you might very well spend that in legal fees! The recovery of legal fees is similar to the medical aid tariff, whereby your lawyer could charge you 400% of the tariff but you can only recover 100% of the tariff from the defendant. You would then need to fund the 300% difference yourself.

Litigating overseas is always risky and full of pitfalls and unexpected costs. If this is a moral issue for you then go for it, especially if you can afford it... otherwise, you might be best advised to let it be... however hard it might be for you.

If my answer hasn't answered all of your questions, please send me a REPLY with follow up questions so that I can continue to assist you in this same thread for as long as you need. Let me know if you need more advice - dont just rate my answer as "bad".

If my are HAPPY with my answer then please click one of the STAR ratings or the SMILEY FACES to rate my answer!

Good luck and best regards,

CaseLaw