Can I hold possession till I am paid for services

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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. New Link Destination
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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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