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Breeding loan breached contract

Discussion in 'Small Claims & Municipal Court' started by GeckoLoan, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. GeckoLoan

    GeckoLoan Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana and I entered into a breeding loan contract with a person in Coral Springs, Florida. I am now looking at taking him to small claims court because he breached the contract and will not agree to what I think is the fair way to resolve the issue.

    The contract states that he will hold my male and all babies sired by him until breeding has finished and all babies have hatched. We are breeding crested geckos which have a long breeding season, so he has had my male for almost two years. Eight months ago, he said he was running out of room and wanted to go ahead and pick from the babies that had hatched at that point so he could ship them to me. I wanted to help him out, so we started picking even though all of the babies hadn't hatched yet. We got almost all the way through picking from those twelve when I stopped and asked if I would get the first pick of the second batch since he was getting first pick of the first batch. He said no, he would pick first twice. I told him that if he wasn't going to hold all of them until the end (like the contract states) that I wanted first pick of the second shipment. So, he agreed to hold them all and said he would just get more cages.

    We are at the point now that all of the babies have hatched and we will both take turns picking from all of the babies, with him going first. He sent me the pictures of all of the babies so we could start picking, but there were two missing. When told him there were two missing (and sent pictures of them), he said he sold the first one and the second one was there but I just didn't see it. When I asked him to point out the second one because I still couldn't find it, he said oh it actually died. Hmm... I asked for proof that it died and he doesn't have any. He also claims that he sold the first one while it was "his" because we started picking in January. He forgot that he agreed to hold them. I think I finally got through to him that that gecko was never his to sell (he still thinks it was a misunderstanding on both sides).

    So, his offer was to send me two babies from some other breeders he has and I told him I only want babies from my male. My solution was that he has to choose the two missing babies as his first two picks, but he refuses. We went back and forth for a while and I told him that if we started picking, I would choose them as my first two picks and then he will have stolen them from me. I told him he would not only have committed a crime but he would also owe me money and he would not be the one putting the value on my animals. He decided to make his first pick anyway (he picked a different baby) and so I chose the missing one he sold as my first pick. I told him I valued it at $1200, which is a lot higher than what most people sell them for. But occasionally one will go for that much and I was also taking into consideration that it could have been a breeding female for me in a few years. He told me that value was ridiculous and he would not pay it. He claims he sold it for $80 and said he'd give me that. I re-stated my value of $1200 and I let him choose if he wanted to start over and pick it as his first pick. He refused and made his second pick anyway, so I chose the missing baby that "died" as my second pick and valued it at $1200 also.

    We're now 18 babies into picking (there are 47 including the missing two) and I asked multiple times when he would pay me the $2400. He said he isn't going to pay it, so I suggested that a judge decide since we can't come to an agreement. Now my plan is to stop picking and file a claim with the courts in his county. Before I do that, I just wanted to see if everyone else thinks that the judge will side with me and that I'm being fair. It will be small claims court and most likely just me vs him. All of our conversations are in writing, so I will have no problem presenting my evidence. Any and all input is appreciated!
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    If you want odds, try Jimmy the Greek in Las Vegas. Nobody is going to be able to predict which way it's going to or how much you are going to recover.

    Once you strayed from the exact terms of the original contract you got into a he said she said situation.

    You wrote that your conversations were in writing but all I can see is that you were telling him what you wanted and he was saying no. That's not "evidence" on anything.

    As for the "value" of these geckos, that's purely speculative unless you have documentary evidence of what you have previously sold them for. I'm talking about sales invoices, payments to you, and records of deposits for individual sales.

    You also have to understand that you will have to sue him in a court where he is located and you don't get any money back for travel or lost earnings if you have to take off from work.

    I would be interested in reading your "breeding loan contract" word for word in its entirety and I might be able to provide additional comments.

    Unfortunately, I think you have both varied so many times from the original contract that it might be impossible to figure out how much of it still applies.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No court, unless its a tv court, is going to be able to sort your mess.
    From your recitation of events, you don't have a valid contract.
    Why?
    Your contract fails because you never had, and apparently still don't have, a meeting of the minds.

    The lesson here is that contracts, even valid contracts, aren't able to protect your interests; especially when a contract doesn't exist, or your interests can't be protected.

    Your contract fails for many other reasons, beyond an absence of a meeting of the minds.

    I suggest you do the simple thing, take whatever you can get, and don't involve yourself with the other party contractually. Finally, just because you and another call it a contract, doesn't mean it is a contract.
     
  4. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Active Member

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  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    She's, but one among many. Hot Bench is my time waster of choice, because it has three tv judges arguing amongst themselves, as well as two litigants. LOL
     
    Disabled Vet likes this.
  6. GeckoLoan

    GeckoLoan Law Topic Starter New Member

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    What exactly is a meeting of the minds? We talked over the phone to discuss the terms of the contract, and then both signed the contract (note: we never met face to face and neither signature is notarized). Here is the contract: ai367.photobucket.com_albums_oo112_BoaGal_Contract_1.jpg
     
  7. GeckoLoan

    GeckoLoan Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Here are all of the conversations where things got fishy. They are copied and pasted, with only the names changed.

    ----
    Nine months after I shipped my male to him:
    FLORIDA: I actually started my season late this year so I only have 4 eggs from him and Girl #3 right now. Girl #2 isn't back up to weight yet but I should be pairing them soon. Unfortunately Girl #1 had a calcium crash from her last clutch of last season so I won't be breeding him to her. I was thinking maybe I will breed him to Girl #4.
    INDIANA: Aww, hopefully Girl #1 bounces back for you. I think my male and Girl #4 would make a great pair.

    Six months later:
    FLORIDA: The last Girl #3 babies hatched so I will send pictures of all of them so we can make our picks. I will ship you those babies separately because I am running out of room. Your male was only paired with 3 girls.
    INDIANA: Awesome, sounds great. Might have to wait a few weeks before it's warm enough here to ship but I'll keep an eye on the weather! Would you be able to ship my male back with them?
    Picking starts. Before it is finished, I interject:
    INDIANA: Would it be fair if I picked first on the next group?
    FLORIDA: Indiana, the reason I pick first is because I breed the geckos from the loan and hatch and raise the babies.
    INDIANA: We agreed that you get first pick of all the babies sired by my male, not female by female. We also agreed that you would hold all babies until all eggs have hatched, so if we're changing to two different shipments, it would be fair that I get the second first pick, assuming it would have been the second best of all of the eggs if picked at once. If you're not holding them until all of them have hatched, I would like the first pick from the second shipment.
    FLORIDA: Ok I will hold them.

    24 days ago: (takes place over the course of five days)
    FLORIDA: ok took all the pics. who do you want to do first? Girl #2 babies or Girl #4 babies
    INDIANA: Umm, I thought we were going to do all of them at once
    FLORIDA: the group of babies from each female.
    INDIANA: Hmm, I'll have to go back and look at our contract again. I'm pretty sure it says we pick back and forth from all of the babies.
    FLORIDA: I don't think we went over that in the contract since the way breeding loans are usually done are depending on each pair. But feel free to check. If we were going to do that then why did we start with the Girl #3 babies? idk
    INDIANA: It is in the contract, I just found it. We started picking Girl #3 babies because you wanted to ship them out so you could have more room. But stopped because the contract says we're picking from all of the babies and we couldn't agree on an easy way to do that without just waiting until everyone hatched. Now that they're hatched, we should be starting over with your first pick
    FL sends pictures of all of the babies. Then, I send pictures back of the missing babies.
    INDIANA: These 2 are from the last pictures you sent of the GIrl #3 babies, do you see them in the new ones you just sent? Thanks!
    FLORIDA: That one to the left I think was sold, I can't find him anywhere. The one on the right is there
    INDIANA: Why did you sell him before we made our picks and how many have you sold?? The 45 geckos you just sent pictures of makes a complete list of ALL of the babies sired by my male, correct? Minus the one you sold.
    FLORIDA: Yea thats all the babies of your male. I must have sold it because at the time we had already picked geckos and I just looked back and that was one of the ones I picked. We'll work something out
    INDIANA: Will you send me the new picture of the one on the right? I still don't see it.
    FLORIDA: I made a mistake. I thought it was this one. That little one didn't make it.

    ----
    And then we go back and forth for a while about how to resolve this and come to where we're at now...
     
  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Sorry, we aren't going to try the case here. You wrote that he owes you $2400 and refuses to pay.

    Then sue him in Florida for $2400 and present your evidence to the judge.

    If you can't or won't do that then you had better reach a compromise that you can both live with because, from where I sit, it looks like he's got the leverage because he's got your geckos and the money.
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The only thing I'll add to my colleague's suggestions, is that he could decide to give you no reptiles, and no money.

    Then what?

    Your only option would be to take two or three trips to Florida, and try to sue him in small claims court.

    That's not as easy as it looks on TV.

    Even if you prevaiul get a judgment for $2,000, you don't get money.
    You get to try to collect the $2,000.
    In Florida, that's almost impossible.

    As suggested, try to negotiate a compromise.

    Last comment: If you don't know what is meant by "meeting of the minds", you'll be better off by avoiding any additional contracts of this nature.
     
  10. KyleW

    KyleW Member

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    $2000 - round trip tickets - lodging (if needed) - food - gas = $200 if your lucky.
     
  11. GeckoLoan

    GeckoLoan Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks everyone, I appreciate all of the advice. I think we have almost reached an agreement between us and hopefully this will be over soon. Thanks again!
     

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