Equine Law

26 Jan Stable Owner Lien Part 2: What is a Public Sale?

Ohio Stable Owner Liens: What is a Public Sale?

ORC 1311.49 is Ohio’s governing law for stable owner liens. ORC 1311.29 allows for:

If the owner of an animal, upon written demand by the lienholder, fails to satisfy a lien acquired under section 1311.48 of the Revised Code the lienholder may sell the animal at public sale to satisfy such lien.

This means that a stable owner who follows the proper notice and waiting period protocols may then sell the horse at a public sale to satisfy the debts of the horse’s owner.

What is a Public Sale?

ORC 1309.610, comment 7, instructs us that a public sale, or “public disposition,” is a sale at which the price is determined after the public has had a meaningful opportunity for competitive bidding. A public auction is a good example of what the statute means as a public sale. Selling the horse on Craigslist or through other similar services (County classifieds, etc) would not be considered a public disposition because the public would not have a chance to competitively bid on the animal.

Keep in mind that the comment instructs us that there must be a meaningful opportunity for bidding. “Meaningful opportunity” means that the public must have received notice or some sort of advertisement before the sale happens. Keep in mind that at a public sale the stable owner can bid on and purchase the horse.

After the Sale

After the horse is sold, the proceeds will be applied to the debt of the horse’s owner. If the proceeds from the sale is more than the debt owed, then the stable owner will have to return the surplus proceeds to the horse’s owner. If there is a deficient, then the horse’s owner will still owe the stable owner money. The stable owner will likely have what is considered an unsecured interest in the horse’s owner and would have to pursue other legal options to have their debt fulfilled.


Authored by: Mary E. Zoldak

MacLaren Law LLC

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