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Ex suing to take dogs

Discussion in 'Small Claims & Municipal Court' started by Jessica12345, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Jessica12345

    Jessica12345 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My ex and I were together for two years and living in my home. During this time we acquired two dogs which he paid for ($3000). He also did various small renovations around the house. Last month he left the relationship and moved out, leaving the dogs with me. I have registered them under my name and their vet records are also in my name. He is stating that if I do not pay him $9,000 (what he feels he is owed for work on the house, vacations, and the dogs) that he will take everything back he left there, including the dogs. He stated that the local police will see his receipts for the dogs and come to my house and remove them. After checking with local authorities I learned this isn't the case and told him so. Now he said he will sue me and win possession of the dogs back because I have no legal claim to them. Not sure what my rights are. He left them in my care and moved to a place where he is not allowed animals. He left no money for their care and has threatened to possibly sell them when he gets them back. He paid for them and his name is on the AKC paperwork, I have them registered to me and have been caring for them for over a month. Do I have any legal claim to the dogs?
     
  2. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Your ex-what? Ex-spouse? Ex-boyfriend? Ex-something else? Sounds like this man is not a current or ex-spouse. If that's not correct, it could change the comments below.

    Yes. How this will play out if he sues is anyone's guess. You told us that your ex paid for the dogs. That would ordinarily make them his property. You wrote that you registered them, so that gives you a claim, but if you did this unilaterally, it may not matter.

    As far as stuff like "work on the house [and] vacations," he has no viable claim unless he can convince the court that you and he had an agreement for you to reimburse him for those things.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Certainly appears that he has the stronger claim to the dogs than you do since he paid for them.

    However, as long as he is only threatening to due, you are free to ignore him.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You don't have an inherent legal claim to the property purchased by another person, unless the person was your spouse, then maybe.

    However, you are free to defend why you think you own the animals that were purchased by another person, not your lawful spouse.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
     
  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Be honest with yourself... Did you give you the dogs as a gift? If so, you likely have a good argument to make, supported by the fact that he did not express interest in them until you failed to pay his demand.

    His claim for the work done to the house is a frequent claim that falls flat. This will also fall into the category of gifting unless he can prove you had some agreement to reimburse him.

    Do yourself a favor and ignore him. Do not respond in any way. Doing so will only encourage more threats and bullying. If you feel you need it you might even look into getting a restraining order since he is threatening to come and take things and possibly damage your home. He has no business being there. You might not get the order when you go to the hearing, but you will likely get the initial temporary order which will be good for a few weeks. It is something to consider. If he violates the order and comes to your property or contacts you he could be arrested.

    If they aren't already chipped, consider taking the dogs for a visit to the vet. This won't help the argument that the dogs belong to you, but could help if he should come take the dogs and try to sell them. When you report them lost/stolen they will be recovered the next time they are scanned.
     

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