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NateLawAnswers, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Over 8 years of legal practice.
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I was defrauded by a livestock breeder and filed a complaint

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I was defrauded by a livestock breeder and filed a complaint with the LBHA Association. He was brought before the board, reprimanded, and he agreed to "make amends." He was on the LBHA Board of Directors himself at the time. I have a record of all our email correspondence. What it boils down to is that he sold me unregistered and unregisterable breeding stock, and he knew I was very specifically looking for just the opposite. In fact, since the time of my complaint, his business, Antaya Acres, has been expelled from the association and any animals purchased from them that are not already registered will never be eligible. I invested considerable money and labor in this enterprise, and I would like to know if I have legal recourse.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  NateLawAnswers replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Be sure to go ahead and bookmark for future questions.

How much do you estimate you've been defrauded?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I paid $700 for two gilts. My son drove all the way to Michigan to pick them up, since the Antayas wanted $500 to meet half-way. I bought 2 portable livestock shelters for $100 each, 2 water tanks (I can find out the price), heaters for the litters I hoped to raise, and provided veterinary care, feed, and housing for them. I had already purchased a registered boar. I purchased an ear tag system for identifying the anticipated piglets and other miscellaneous supplies. The insisted on a deposit to guarantee that I would get gilts from their next litter. That time came and went, and when I inquired, I was told they had "bad luck" and had boar-heavy litters. I requested a refund of my deposit so that I could find another producer, but they refused. I had also had a request in with another breeder, and she refunded my deposit when it was apparent that she could not fulfill the agreement. I didn't even need to ask her! At a minimum, I am out the cost of transportation, feed, labor, and a dream. It would also have to include the cost of the boar, since I wouldn't have purchased him unless I believed I was getting purebred LBH stock. I haven't been able to sell him, either. I guess I would put the figure at $3,000 at a minimum.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Assign my question to a lawyer w/experience in livestock fraud. The attorney who was working on my question apparently went off-line.
Expert:  NateLawAnswers replied 5 years ago.
I apologize for the delay. I am back online and can help you.

Fraud is fraud, no matter what the situation. This is also breach of contract. If your damages are approximately $3,000.00 you can take this person to small claims court in Michigan, since that is where the defendant is located. The Michigan small claims limit is $3,000.00, so you would be asking the maximum and court costs. If you wanted to demand more, that would have to be done in the trial courts and would require the hiring of an attorney in order to be successful.

The Michigan courts have put together a small claims guide that makes the process rather easy. That can be found here

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Do you feel I would have enough evidence to win a claim?
Expert:  NateLawAnswers replied 5 years ago.
Absolutely. You have your testimony. You have your son's testimony. You have a paper trail of deposits and returns. You have receipts for what you spent as well as the money spent on the boar. It seems you have a very good claim here.
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