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Thelawman2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1532
Experience:  Attorney-at-Law
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We are a 23 year old 501 c 3 non profit located in

Customer Question

We are a 23 year old 501 c 3 non profit located in Wisconsin. We place non racing horses in qualified, adoptive homes nation wide. We have a case where a woman acted on our behalf to do a welfare check on a horse and self-helped, taking the horse from the property of the foster home. She has refused to relinquish the horse, and has gone as far as getting him falsely registered as a pleasure horse, claiming to be his owner. Local officials said this is a civil matter. We need help. We are in Wisconsin - the woman is in Georgia
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Our organization is in Wisconsin, and serves the racing industry nation wide
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: The horse that was taken from us is in Georgia.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The county that this woman resides in told us to file a report with our county sheriff's department. We called them and they said they had no idea why we would be referred back to our local county when the horse was taken in Georgia from a different county back to this woman's farm in Georiga (Hahira)
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today.

Unfortunately, unless there is indisputable proof that the horses are yours, the local officials in Georgia will not get involved. She is probably saying that the horse is rightfully hers, while you are saying the opposite. The police won't arrest someone if they do not have clear evidence pointing to a theft. That is why they are saying this is a civil matter. (although there is no reason they should tell you to call your Wisconsin police; that does not make sense).

So that you will need to do is actually bring a lawsuit against the woman to reclaim the horse. You will probably have to bring this lawsuit in Georgia. While this will be a pain since it is so far away, because the woman really has no contacts in Wisconsin, you are unable to bring the lawsuit there. And even if you could, the court would probably say that the case makes more sense to be brought in Georgia since that is where the horse is and require you to transfer the case.

One thing you will have to decide is whether it is worth the cost of bringing the lawsuit and seeing it through in Georgia. As a non-profit, I'm sure expenses need to be somewhat limited. Even if you end up winning the case, that just means that the horse needs to be returned to you. It does not mean that you get to recover fees and costs for bringing the case.

My wife and I actually own in OTTB and it's great what you are doing. I'm sorry that this has happened to you and that the legal system might just be too costly to handle this situation.