Who do I have recourse against if i purchased euipment thatI cannot access?

UPDATED: Jan 9, 2012

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Who do I have recourse against if i purchased euipment thatI cannot access?

Purchased a boat lift from a private seller who told me he was in good standing with the marina. When I went to remove the boat lift I was told they were putting a lock and a lien on the lift until he pays 5 months of rent (last month, next month, plus 3 month exit penalty). Which the seller has no means to do so pending divorce. Can they prevent me from removing the lift? Can I sue the seller and pending ex-wife for my money back and damages? What recourse do I have and against who?

Asked on January 9, 2012 under Business Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the seller cannot provide you the item--the boat lift--that you purchased, he is in breach of the agreement of sale (all sales are essentially per contracts, even if it is only an oral contract: there is an offer to sell an item, acceptance of that offer, and an exchange of consideration, or things of value, like money). If the seller cannot fulfill a material, or vital, part of his obligations--that is, he can't actually provide you what you purchased--you are entitled to terminate the agreement and receive you money back; if he won't provide it voluntarily, you could sue him.

In addition to breach of contract, the seller might be guilty of fraud as well, if he entered into the transaction knowing he could not turn over the lift, but hiding that fact from you; this would provide yet another ground to recover your money.

The marina most likely has the right to not turn over the lift until the arrears is paid; taking action against the seller is likely your best recourse.

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