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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70011
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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In short, im a cat breeder and recently took a deposit for

Customer Question

In short, im a cat breeder and recently took a deposit for a kitten , that was to be born early march. Deposits are non refundable and this is made clear on two pages on my website, on the kittens available page and again on the contact us page. Sadly the kittens were stillborn so under vet advice i have re-bred the cat and hope to have a litter soon. Meanwhile the other party wants the deposit back and i told her its non refundable. She has told me so many reasons, which i think are untrue, as to why i should make an exception for her, finding out whe is 4 and half months pregnant, saying she lost the baby, her husband now has to work abroad, she s made a big mistake and its the wrong time to have a cat. It turns out she has ordered a cat elsewhere so thats the real reason she doesnt want one from me.although only a verbal agreement , and emails, she wanted a kitten and i have re bred the cat to fulfil her order. She is going to trading standards and small claims court to force me to refund her. where do I stand. the other issue is she is dragging my name through the mud , posting on cat sites that I am a scammer and defrauding her , she has even been on my twitter site and copied a picture of my cat that had an operation , she then posted my cats pic on the cat forum site without my permission. I had used the picture on twitter in a bid to raise £4000 for his double leg operation and had tweeted it to some celebs ect in the hope of raising the funds, maybe a bad idea but does she have the right to take that information and post it elsewhere . If i did not produce a kitten for her i would have refunded the deposit after 12 months anyway but after the way she has behaved im now loathed to do that. She has started a hate campaing against me with other breeders and cat owners believing im a scammer , one saying , iv looked on her website and I dont like her already.What are my rights in this she is slandering my good name.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What was said please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

about what exactly..sorry me and her have had loads of emailsbetween us

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok.

Lets try to summarise this.

Are you asking if she is entitled to her deposit back?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes thats the crux of it , and as she is in scotland im in england, is the law the same. She asked if a deposit defo secured her an f3 male, and i said it did , i had also said in a previouse email that if she missed out on this litter it could be 9 months until the next one, she still went ahead and deposited the money at no time saying she had a totaly fixed time to get the kitten, this has all come about since, and after agreeing the sale with me she has then placed another deposit with another party, telling me a load of lies about not the right time for a cat etc, she probably found a cheapr one, but i have been turniong down clients in favour of this deposit. THESE ARE EMAILS BETWEEN ME AND THE CLIENT SHOWING WHAT WAS SAID

Thanks so much for the info Gillian. Actually I hadn't seen any cheaper kittens,. I was only going by what I had read in a book and online but I know it varies. And yes I would be just the same if I was in your position, I have personally campaigned against puppy and kitten mills and have reported several over the years as like you, it breaks my heart to see animals exploited in this way.
I have had my eye on the Savannahs for quite a while but always felt a bit guilty to spend so much on one cat when there are so many cats in shelters looking for homes. I've rescued 4 dogs and 2 cats in my lifetime but I just can't seem to get the savannah out of my head, grrr.
I just find them the most beautiful creatures and the more I read, the more I need one lol

I would love to have one of your F3 boys! So you think it will be mid June? Would I get one from this litter?
Leigh :-)

GillXXXXX [email protected]

15 Feb
to L
hiya, yes they should be ok to go by then if all goes to plan , all I can do is put you on the waiting list and let you know , theres 18 on list at mo and another just enquired. lol. Once they are born the person who paid the reserve last year will get first choice then I contact each on the waiting list in order and some are on the list for lower gen cats anyway. If you miss out this time the next breed for f3 will probably be around 9 months , depending on how the mum is of course. regards Gillian

L [email protected]

15 Feb
to me

Ok, so I can't pay a deposit to be sure? Ta

GillXXXXX [email protected]

15 Feb
to L
hiya oh yes sure you can sorry wasnt sure you wanted to , can you afford the 2000 deposit , if so details below,
Account name MRS G. S. MITCHELL
Account number: 26682789 Sort Code 09 01 36

Leigh [email protected]

15 Feb
to me
Hi, yes I can pay the 2k deposit if it defo secures me an f3 boy :-)
The timing should work really well as we are in Florida the last week of May & the first week of June so I guess he will be ready when we come home?
Leigh(excited! Lol)

Sent from my iPad
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

I'm really sorry if I'm missing the point but I'm not sure why you are hoping to keep this deposit?

Have I got this right? She has not received a cat or any other consideration for this contract?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi, no she has not recieved a kitten as they were stillborn so she will be offered a kitten from the next litter . Most breeders take deposits that are non refundable if the client back outs as we turn down other sales in favour of the client with a reserve. I myself placed a £4000 deposit on a cat last year and had to wait 7 months for my kitten, full price £9000, if I pulled out i would not get my money back, in fact of my 22 cats there is only one that I didnt put a reserve on, its the way we operate and so now im breeding i have adopted the same stratagy. The cat has been re bred specifically for this client.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.

I know most breeders do take non-refundable deposits but that does not mean that it is enforceable in law.

In fact, generally it would not be because it's just plain a punitive measure.

You are right, unless she agreed with you that time was of the essence in this contract then the fact that you could not supply from this litter is a nonissue. If she pulls out now then she will be in breach of contract because you are able to supply her kitten. However, she can only be charged for the sum of your loss. I do realise that you have suffered some costs in breeding again and I know how expensive that is but the problem is that you still have the kittens from that litter to sell to another and so that is not really amount to loss I'm afraid.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

so legally does she have a case to force me to repay her the deposit , am i breaking the law in keeping the money as i have kept to my side of the contract and could supply a kitten in due course, end of May , and i did wan her that if things dont go to plan she may be waiting upto 9 months.also what about her dragging my name through the mud by calling me a scammer and saying imdefrauding her on variouse cat forums as well as emailing the same to many breeders giving me a bad name, is this not slander , can i afford to do anything about it.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.


Yes, she does afraid.

You are not committing any offences in keeping the money for the moment because you are complying with contract.

It's just that if she went to court then she would succeed in recovering the money.

In terms of calling you a scammer, that is emotive language and it would have been better if she hadn't said that. You could sue her in defamation. That is a very expensive business even with the changes. You do also face the risk that she will defend on the basis that this amount to a reasonable comment which can be quite hard to knock down. She will not defend on the basis of truth because that is difficult to show.

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70011
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

if she does take me to court, the scc as shes in scottland, and wins a judgement that i must repay the £2000 as you said , will I also then have to pay court costs , well her court costs is what i man , or just the £2000

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.


Sorry? I am not sure what you mean?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

if we go to court and she wins will i have to pay court costs,

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
yes, but only a very small amount that wouldn't deter anybody.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i shall let her take me to court then and pay her back when the judge says

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks Jo , i will keep you for further cat issues

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
no problem. All the best.

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