Can I hold possession till I am paid for services

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Can I hold possession till I am paid for services

Back in Nov. a friend asked me to dog sit for her dog. She was moving
to Hawaii end of dec and because of restrictions it takes 4 months to
get a dog in. To make a long story short I asked for some money I laid
out of pocket and found out she only planned on paying me 100 a
month. I charge 20/day. i have repeatedly asked for a payment to no
avail. She was supposed to come get her dog to transport in April.
Stating upon satisfactory return of her dog she will give me money,
but did not state an amount. i told her her dog will be given to her
after her bill is paid. She has threatened to call the police and
necessary agencies when she returns. Can I legally hold the dog till
she pays her bill? New York

Asked on March 1, 2016 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can *only* legally hold her dog if there was a previous written agreement stating that if not paid in full, the dog would not be returned. Otherwise, without such an agreement, what you are doing is form of theft ("conversion"). Your recourse is to sue her (e.g. in small claims court) for the money she owes you.


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