Equine Law Matter - Closed - Get Information, Read Court Documents

IRON GAIT PERCHERONS, INC., Plaintiff, vs. CANDACE ROBINSON LEE., Defendant.

 

No. 14-CV-0032EM
COMPLAINT SEEKING DECLARATORY JUDGMENT, TEMPORARY AND
PERMANENT INJUNCTIVE RELIEF, SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE AND DAMAGES
COMES NOW, Iron Gait Percherons, Inc., Plaintiff in the above-styled action
(hereinafter “Plaintiff’), and files this its Complaint seeking Declaratory Judgment, Temporary
and Permanent Injunctive Relief, Specific Performance and Damages against Defendant Candace
Robinson Lee (hereinafter “Defendant”), and respectfully shows this Court as follows:
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1.
Plaintiff is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation which is duly organized and existing
pursuant to the laws of the State of Georgia with its principal office address located at 114
Hancock Mountain Trail, Waleska, Georgia 30183.
2.
Defendant is a Georgia citizen and resident of Cherokee County, Georgia. Thus,
Defendant is subject to the jurisdiction and venue of this Court.
3.
Subject matter jurisdiction is proper for this case for the reason that, among other things,
equitable relief is sought by Plaintiff.
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS COMMON TO ALL COUNTS
4.
Plaintiff is a 501 ( c )(3) non-profit corporation organized and operated exclusively for the
charitable purpose of rescuing and rehabilitating horses that have suffered from abuse, neglect,
abandonment, slaughter, and the like. Plaintiff also provides adoptive services to help the horses
find safe, loving homes.
5.
On or about September 8, 2012, Defendant entered into an Adoption Agreement
(hereinafter “Trina’s Adoption Agreement”) with Plaintiff, in which Defendant agreed to adopt
from Plaintiff one tri-colored, seven-year-old Paint mare horse named Trina (hereinafter
“Trina”). Trina’s Adoption Agreement is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit “A”.
6.
Pursuant to Trina’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant agreed to allow Plaintiff or its
representative the right to enter the stabling premises where Trina is located, with or without the
presence of Defendant, to allow Plaintiff to ensure that Trina is being properly cared for as per
the terms of Trina’s Adoption Agreement. See Exhibit “A” at page 3.
7.
Pursuant to Trina’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also agreed to provide Plaintiff with
written quarterly updates for the first year of Trina’s adoption, with annual updates thereafter.
See Exhibit “A” at page 3.
8.
Pursuant to Trina’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also agreed to keep Trina in the
same or better condition as she was in at the time of the adoption. See Exhibit “A” at page 3.
9.
Pursuant to Trina’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also agreed to notify Plaintiff any
time that Trina was to be moved to a new location prior to any relocation, and that Defendant
would sign a new affidavit identifying Trina’s new location. See Exhibit “A” at page 3.
10.
Pursuant to Trina’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also acknowledged and understood
that Plaintiff retains ownership of Trina for the remainder of Trina’s life. See Exhibit “A” at page
5.
11.
Pursuant to Trina’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also acknowledged and understood
that Defendant is to immediately contact Plaintiff to facilitate Plaintiffs recovery of the horse in
the event of any abuse, neglect, misuse or any adverse situation which is detrimental to the horse.
See Exhibit “A” at page 5.
12.
Pursuant to Trina’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also agreed to allow Plaintiff the
right to repossess Trina should Defendant breach Trina’s Adoption Agreement. See Exhibit “A”
at page 4.
13.
In December 2012, Defendant entered into an Adoption Agreement (hereinafter “Snow’s
Adoption Agreement”) with Plaintiff, in which Defendant agreed to adopt from Plaintiff one
female horse named Snow (hereinafter “Snow”). While Snow’s Adoption Agreement was
executed by both Plaintiff and Defendant, Defendant retained the original Adoption Agreement,
and has failed to forward a copy to Plaintiff.
14.
Pursuant to Snow’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also agreed to allow Plaintiff or its
representative the right to enter the stabling premises where Snow is located, with or without the
presence of Defendant, to allow Plaintiff to ensure that Snow was being properly cared for as per
the terms of Snow’s Adoption Agreement.
15.
Pursuant to Snow’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also agreed to provide Plaintiff with
written quarterly updates for the first year of Snow’s adoption, with annual updates thereafter.
16.
Pursuant to Snow’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also agreed to keep Snow in the
same or better condition as she was in at the time of the adoption.
17.
Pursuant to Snow’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also agreed to notify Plaintiff any
time that Snow is to be moved to a new location prior to any relocation, and that Defendant
would sign a new affidavit identifying Snow’s new location.
18.
Pursuant to Snow’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also acknowledged and understood
that Plaintiff retains ownership of Snow for the remainder of Snow’s life.
19.
Pursuant to Snow’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also acknowledged and understood
that Defendant was to immediately contact Plaintiff to facilitate Plaintiffs recovery of the horse
in the event of any abuse, neglect, misuse or any adverse situation which is detrimental to the
horse.
20.
Pursuant to Snow’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant agreed to allow Plaintiff the right to
repossess Snow should Defendant breach Snow’s Adoption Agreement.
21.
On or about July 25, 2013, Defendant entered into an Adoption Agreement (hereinafter
“Blade’s Adoption Agreement”) with Plaintiff, in which Defendant agreed to adopt from
Plaintiff one grey, ten-year-old Percheron gelding horse named Blade (hereinafter “Blade”).
Blade’s Adoption Agreement is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit “B”.
22.
Pursuant to Blade’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant agreed to allow Plaintiff or its
representative the right to enter the stabling premises where Blade is located, with or without the
presence of Defendant, to allow Plaintiff to ensure that Blade was being properly cared for as per
the terms of Blade’s Adoption Agreement. See Exhibit “B” at page 3.
23.
Pursuant to Blade’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also agreed to provide Plaintiff with
written quarterly updates for the first year of Blade’s adoption, with annual updates thereafter.
See Exhibit “B” at page 3.
24.
Pursuant to Blade’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also agreed to keep Blade in the
same or better condition as he was in at the time of the adoption. See Exhibit “B” at page 3.
25.
Pursuant to Blade’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also agreed to notify Plaintiff any
time that Blade is to be moved to a new location prior to any relocation, and that Defendant
would sign a new affidavit identifying Blade’s new location. See Exhibit “B” atpage 3.
26.
Pursuant to Blade’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also acknowledged and understood
that Plaintiff retains ownership of Blade for the remainder of Blade’s life. See Exhibit “B” at
page 5.
27.
Pursuant to Blade’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also acknowledged and understood
that Defendant was to immediately contact Plaintiff to facilitate Plaintiffs recovery of the horse
in the event of any abuse, neglect, misuse or any adverse situation which is detrimental to the
horse. See Exhibit “B” at page 5.
28.
Pursuant to Blade’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant also agreed to allow Plaintiff the
right to repossess Blade should Defendant breach Blade’s Adoption Agreement. See Exhibit “B”
at page 4.
COUNT ONE
DECLARATORY JUDGMENT
29.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
30.
There exists an actual controversy with respect to the rights and obligations of Plaintiff
on the one hand and Defendant on the other with respect to Trina, Snow and Blade’s Adoption
Agreements.
31.
Plaintiff has made numerous attempts to communicate with Defendant to receive updates
(as per the horses’ respective Adoption Agreements) concerning Trina, Snow and Blade’s
present location and well-being.
32.
Despite these multiple attempts by Plaintiff, Defendant refuses to communicate with
Plaintiff.
33.
In contravention to their respective Adoption Agreements, Defendant has also refused to
provide Plaintiff with updated medical records for Trina, Snow or Blade.
34.
In contravention to their respective Adoption Agreements, Defendant has refused to
provide Plaintiff with updated affidavits indicating the stabling location(s) of Trina, Snow or
Blade.
35.
Upon information and belief, Plaintiff understands that Defendant has had surgical
procedures performed upon Snow and/or Blade, against Plaintiffs request and without Plaintiffs
consent.
36.
By failing to provide Plaintiff with updated affidavits indicating the stabling location(s)
of Trina, Snow and Blade, and by failing to provide Plaintiff with updated medical records for
the horses, and by having surgical procedures performed upon the horses, Defendant has
breached the Adoption Agreements for Trina, Snow and Blade.
37.
Plaintiff seeks to ensure that the best interests of Trina, Snow and Blade are looked out
for, and thus Plaintiff now seeks to enforce its rights to repossess Trina, Snow and Blade.
38.
Plaintiff is in a position of uncertainty concerning its rights as per the Adoption
Agreements to repossess the horses, and therefore, Plaintiff seeks a declaration of rights from
this Court upon the Findings of Fact. Plaintiff requests that this Court schedule as early as
possible a hearing on this Declaratory Judgment Count of its Complaint.
COUNT TWO
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
39.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
40.
Plaintiff has no viable alternative but to ensure that the Defendant is prevented from
selling, relocating, hiding, concealing or taking any other type of related action concerning Trina,
Snow and Blade, as Plaintiff fears that Defendant, based upon her refusal to communicate with
Plaintiff, will take such action to thwart Plaintiffs repossession efforts of the horses.
41.
Plaintiff will suffer immediate and irreparable injury if such relief is not granted, as
Trina, Snow and Blade are adopted horses, and are not chattels for which monetary damages

could be a substitute.

42.
Plaintiff has a substantial likelihood of succeeding on the merits of the underlying action at trial.

43.
Granting this relief will help preserve the Status Quo while the case is pending before the Court.
44.
With the foregoing in mind, Plaintiff seeks immediate equitable relief from this Court.
COUNT THREE
PERMANENT INJUNCTION
45.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
46.
The Court should also enter a permanent injunction against the Defendant to prevent any
and all of Defendant’s future attempts at selling, relocating, hiding, concealing or taking any
other type of related action concerning Trina, Snow and Blade.
47.
Without the grant of the requested injunction, Plaintiff will have no adequate remedy at
law.
48.
With the foregoing in mind, Plaintiff seeks permanent equitable relief from this Court.
COUNT FOUR
SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE
49.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
50.
For Trina, Snow and Blade’s respective Adoption Agreements, Defendant signed a Stable
Owner’s Affidavit which states the following: “I understand that if any abuse/neglect/misuse or
any adverse situation occurs which is detrimental to the horse, I must contact [Plaintiff] promptly
to facilitate recovery of the horse”.
51.
Upon information and belief, Plaintiff understands that Defendant has had surgical
procedures performed upon Snow and/or Blade, in direct contravention to their respective
Adoption Agreements and without Plaintiff’s consent.
52.
Additionally, Defendant’s refusal to communicate with Plaintiff, as well as Defendant’s
refusal to provide mandatory quarterly updates and her refusal to provide Plaintiff with updated
affidavits indicating the stabling location(s) of Trina, Snow and Blade in direct contravention to
the Adoption Agreements, are all indications that the horses are suffering through abuse, neglect,
misuse or other such adverse conditions.
53.
Plaintiff is entitled to the Specific Performance of the Adoption Agreements, which is to
compel Defendant to facilitate the recovery of Trina, Snow and Blade by Plaintiff.
54.
Additionally, Plaintiff is entitled to Specific Performance for the completion and return of
the portions of Trina and Blade’s respective Adoption Agreements that indicates where Trina
and Blade are presently being stabled by Defendant.
55.
Also, Plaintiff is entitled to specific performance for the return of Snow’s Adoption
Agreement from Defendant, as Defendant promised Plaintiff that she would return to Plaintiff
the complete, executed Adoption Agreement (including the affidavit indicating Snow’s stabling
location) at the time of Snow’s adoption, but Defendant has failed to return this Adoption
Agreement to Plaintiff.
COUNT FIVE
BREACH OF CONTRACT -TRINA’S ADOPTION AGREEMENT
56.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
57.
By refusing to provide Plaintiff with updated affidavits indicating Trina’s stabling
location, refusing to provide medical records and quarterly updates, and refusing to allow
Plaintiff access to Trina as required by the Adoption Agreement, Defendant has breached Trina’s
Adoption Agreement.
58.
As per Trina’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant agreed to pay liquidated damages to
Plaintiff in the amount of three-thousand dollars ($3,000.00), as well as agreed to pay for
Plaintiff’s Attorneys’ fees.
COUNT SIX
BREACH OF CONTRACT- SNOW’S ADOPTION AGREEMENT
59.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
60.
By having surgical procedures conducted on Snow without Plaintiffs consent, refusing to
provide Plaintiff with updated affidavits indicating Snow’s stabling location, refusing to provide
medical records and quarterly updates, refusing to allow Plaintiff access to Snow as required by
the Adoption Agreement, and by failing to return the executed Adoption Agreement to Plaintiff,
Defendant has breached Snow’s Adoption Agreement.
61.
As per Snow’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant agreed to pay liquidated damages to
Plaintiff in the amount of three-thousand dollars ($3,000.00), as well as agreed to pay for
Plaintiffs Attorneys’ fees.
COUNT SEVEN
BREACH OF CONTRACT-BLADE’S ADOPTION AGREEMENT
62.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
63.
By having surgical procedures conducted on Blade without Plaintiff’s consent, refusing
to provide Plaintiff with updated affidavits indicating Blade’s stabling location, refusing to
provide medical records and quarterly updates, and refusing to allow Plaintiff access to Blade as
required by the Adoption Agreement, Defendant has breached Blade’s Adoption Agreement.
64.
As per Blade’s Adoption Agreement, Defendant agreed to pay liquidated damages to
Plaintiff in the amount of three-thousand dollars ($3,000.00), as well as agreed to pay for
Plaintiff’s Attorneys’ fees.
COUNT EIGHT
RESCISSION OF TRINA’S ADOPTION AGREEMENT
65.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
66.
Rescission of Trina’s Adoption Agreement is justified by Defendant’s breach of the
Adoption Agreement as stated previously.
67.
Defendant’s breach of Trina’s Adoption Agreement is so substantial and fundamental
that it defeats and frustrates the purpose of the Adoption Agreement.
68.
Rescission is an adequate remedy, as Defendant and Plaintiff may be restored to their
respective positions prior to their entry into the Adoption Agreement for Trina, as Defendant
may be disgorged of Trina, and be compelled to return the horse to Plaintiff, and Plaintiff may be
disgorged of any adoption fees that it may have received from Defendant, and compelled to
return said fees to Defendant.
COUNT NINE
RESCISSION OF SNOW’S ADOPTION AGREEMENT
69.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
70.
Rescission of Snow’s Adoption Agreement is justified by Defendant’s breach of the
Adoption Agreement as stated previously.
71.
Defendant’s breach of Snow’s Adoption Agreement is so substantial and fundamental
that it defeats and frustrates the purpose of the Adoption Agreement.
72.
Rescission is an adequate remedy, as Defendant and Plaintiff may be restored to their
respective positions prior to their entry into the Adoption Agreement for Snow, as Defendant
may be disgorged of Snow, and be compelled to return the horse to Plaintiff, and Plaintiff may
be disgorged of any adoption fees that it may have received from Defendant, and compelled to
return said fees to Defendant.
COUNT TEN
RESCISSION OF BLADE’S ADOPTION AGREEMENT
73.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
74.
Rescission of Blade’s Adoption Agreement is justified by Defendant’s breach of the
Adoption Agreement as stated previously.
75.
Defendant’s breach of Blade’s Adoption Agreement is so substantial and fundamental
that it defeats and frustrates the purpose of the Adoption Agreement.
76.
Rescission is an adequate remedy, as Defendant and Plaintiff may be restored to their
respective positions prior to their entry into the Adoption Agreement for Blade, as Defendant
may be disgorged of Blade, and be compelled to return the horse to Plaintiff, and Plaintiff may
be disgorged of any adoption fees that it may have received from Defendant, and compelled to
return said fees to Defendant.
COUNT ELEVEN
SLANDER
77.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
78.
Defendant has injured and damaged Plaintiff in an amount to be determined by a jury but
not lower than $25,000.00 by falsely and maliciously saying, among other things, the following
words to others such as “[Plaintiff] does not have their horses checked by a Veterinarian”, and
“[Plaintiff] did not actually rescue Trina, Snow or Blade”.
79.
Defendant’s statements are targeted against Plaintiff in reference to its professional
existence as a horse rescue operation, and are calculated to injure Plaintiffs reputation in its
community.
80.
As a result, Plaintiff has been injured in its good name, credit and reputation and has been
brought into public scandal and disgrace, as well as shunned by many persons with whom it
previously had social and/or business relations.
COUNT TWELVE
LIBEL
81.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
82.
Defendant has injured and damaged Plaintiff in an amount to be determined by a jury but
not lower than $25,000.00 by publishing specific postings on social media websites such as
Facebook with the intent to injure the reputation of Plaintiff.
83.
Defendant’s false and malicious statements, which include a published statement that
“[Plaintiff] does not provide any medical treatment for any of [Plaintiffs] horses”, resulted in an
inspection of Plaintiffs rescue facilities by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
84.
As a result, Plaintiff has been injured in its good name, credit and reputation, and has
been brought into public scandal and disgrace, as well as shunned by many persons with whom it
previously had social and/or business relations.
COUNT THIRTEEN
ATTORNEYS’ FEES
85.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
86.
By taking possession of Trina, Snow and Blade, refusing to provide Plaintiff with
updated affidavits indicating the stabling location(s) of the horses, refusing to allow Plaintiff to
visit and inspect the horses, having surgical procedures upon the horses in direct contravention to
their respective Adoption Agreements, refusing to provide medical records and quarterly updates
to Plaintiff, and publicly defaming the Plaintiff, Defendant has acted in bad faith, has been
stubbornly litigious, and has caused Plaintiff unnecessary trouble and expense, thereby entitling
the Plaintiff to recover litigation expenses and attorney’s fees pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11.
COUNT FOURTEEN
PUNITIVE DAMAGES
87.
The foregoing portions of this Complaint are repleaded and incorporated herein by
reference.
88.
By taking possession of Trina, Snow and Blade, refusing to provide Plaintiff with
updated affidavits indicating the stabling location(s) of the horses, refusing to allow Plaintiff to
visit and inspect the horses, having surgical procedures upon the horses in direct contravention to
their respective Adoption Agreements, refusing to provide medical records and quarterly updates
to Plaintiff, and publicly defaming the Plaintiff, Defendant’s actions are willful, wanton and
malicious, thus reflecting Defendant’s indifference to the consequences of her actions.
89.
As such, Plaintiff is entitled to an award of punitive damages against Defendant so as to
punish, deter and thwart Defendant’s incorrigible actions.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays:
(a) that service of process issue according to the terms ofthe law;
(b) that this Court issue a Declaratory Judgment regarding the Plaintiffs right to
repossess Trina, Snow and Blade as per Count One of this Complaint;
(c) that this Court grant a Preliminary Injunction as requested under Count Two of
this Complaint;
(d) that this Court grant a Permanent Injunction as requested under Count Three of
this Complaint;
(e) that this Court enter an Order directing Defendant to Specific Performance as
requested under Count Four of this Complaint;
(f) that Plaintiff recover three-thousand dollars ($3,000.00) from Defendant as
liquidated damages per Count Five of this Complaint, in addition to the recovery
of Plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees as per Trina’s Adoption Agreement;
(g) that Plaintiff recover three-thousand dollars ($3,000.00) from Defendant as
liquidated damages per Count Six of this Complaint, in addition to the recovery
of Plaintiff’s attorneys’· fees as per Snow’s Adoption Agreement;
(h) that Plaintiff recover three-thousand dollars ($3,000.00) from Defendant as
liquidated damages per Count Seven of this Complaint, in addition to the recovery
of Plaintiffs attorneys’ fees as per Blade’s Adoption Agreement;
(i) that this Court rescind Irina’s Adoption Agreement between Plaintiff and
Defendant, thus disgorging Trina from Defendant, and restoring the
horse to Plaintiff as requested in Count Eight of this Complaint;
G) that this Court rescind Snow’s Adoption Agreement between Plaintiff and
Defendant, thus disgorging Snow from Defendant, and restoring the
horse to Plaintiff as requested in Count Nine of this Complaint;
(k) that this Court rescind Blade’s Adoption Agreement between Plaintiff and
Defendant, thus disgorging Blade from Defendant, and restoring the
horse to Plaintiff as requested in Count Ten of this Complaint; ·
(1) that under Count Eleven, Plaintiff be awarded an amount not less than
$25,000.00;
(m) that under Count Twelve, Plaintiff be awarded an amount not less than
$25,000.00;
(n) that under Count Thirteen, Plaintiff be awarded a sum in an amount to be
determined by this Court;
(o) that linder Count Fourteen, Plaintiff be awarded punitive damages in an amount to
be determined by this Court;
(p) that this Court schedule an emergency hearing for the equitable relief prayed for
in Counts One, Two, Three, Four, Eight, Nine and Ten requested herein on its
next available trial calendar;
(q) for all such further relief as this Court deem just and proper.
Respectfully submitted this 8th day of January, 2014.
MOORE INGRAM JOHNSON & STEELE, LLP
J Marshall “Buzz” Wehunt

View Complaint 

View Plaintiff’s Exhibits

Defendant’s Answer, Counterclaim, & Exhibits

Case dismissed with prejudice June 2015 after parties settled.