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Old 04-10-2012, 20:06   #121
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

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To have a legally binding contract does not require a written document prepared by a lawyer and signed by both parties. A completely verbal agreement between two parties can be a legally binding contract. May be difficult to prove but does not change the legality. In certain specific situations a fax from one party to another, if unanswered by the recipient can be binding on that recipient. This was told to our company by one of the largest law firms in the state of Florida.
Suffice it to say that verbal contracts are useless in settling disputes between the two adversarial parties.

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The OP asked for help and forum members, in good faith responded, some with very good, informed information, some maybe not so good. Either way, unless I missed one do not recall any reply claiming to have the full, correct, certified, legal answer so it's up to the OP to decide how to use the information.

A sailing forum may be a good place to read opinions about boats but he needs far more than good intentions at this point.
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Old 04-10-2012, 20:25   #122
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

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Suffice it to say that verbal contracts are useless in settling disputes between the two adversarial parties.
Yes, more or less what I tried to say.

"A completely verbal agreement between two parties can be a legally binding contract. May be difficult to prove but does not change the legality."

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A sailing forum may be a good place to read opinions about boats but he needs far more than good intentions at this point.
Without a doubt. Unless a lawyer with some experience in contracts and interstate commerce happens to chime in what we have here is the blind leading the blind. Unfortunately it appears that the OP was not very diligent in contracting the move and it came back to bite him in the posterior. At this point, unless he gets lucky he will probably have to pay the ransom and/or spend money for a real lawyer.
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Old 04-10-2012, 20:38   #123
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Again many thanks. I obviously did not make a wise choice. Didn't even ask about the equipment used to haul. Assumed it would be a semi. Was not at the boatyard when she was picked up. The boatyard sold me it was loaded on a trailer pulled by a large pickup. Evidently a 6 wheel trailer. The company is small. Listed on the internet as one employee. He had a driver pick it up. Said when he inspected his driver's work, found it lacking and therefore had to reposition it. Confirmed with garage in El Paso that a new transmission was installed, all under warrenty.

Boat is 10.5 feet wide, requiring wide load permits. WOULD A PICKUP TRUCK / TRAILER COMBINATION NEED TO GO ON WEIGHT SCALES? ONE OF THE OTHER MOVERS I SPOKE WITH COMMENTED THAT THE SIZE OF MY BOAT MADE THINGS A LOT SIMPLIER. DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. POSSIBLY NO SCALES.

I did receive certification of insurance coverage directly from his insurance agent.

On the plus side, if there is a plus side, this guy has been in the marine transport business a number of years and was recommended by a large local boatyard. More bad news. His website which was quite extensive, is no longer available.

THANKS AGAIN
All commercial vehicles must enter weigh stations. The first thing the driver should have done was go to the nearest truck stop scale and weigh the load. It is the drivers responsibility for the load and safe transport. I have been in the trucking business for 25 years... This guy is clearly an idiot .
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Old 04-10-2012, 20:44   #124
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

Someone stole your boat. Call the cops.
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Old 04-10-2012, 21:37   #125
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Yes, more or less what I tried to say.

"A completely verbal agreement between two parties can be a legally binding contract. May be difficult to prove but does not change the legality."




.
We may be debating semantics but an enforceable agreement (contract) must be "legally binding" to be a contract. In this case, from what we are told, no contractual understanding, agreement or obligation exists. There is no contract. The question of proof derives from a dispute of a contract term. There are none.

In the context of a verbal contract, both parties must have a common understanding of the conditions under which duties are to be executed. When both parties are adversarial, there is no common understanding and therefore no (verbal) contract.

This scenario play out every day in various permutations with the same predictable result.
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Old 04-10-2012, 21:39   #126
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

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Someone stole your boat. Call the cops.
No one stole anything; the owner gave him the boat with no written contract. What's the lesson here?
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Old 04-10-2012, 22:11   #127
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

Do your homework. This may be a costy lesson but it ain't cancer. All the best to the many contributors to a rough education.
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Old 04-10-2012, 22:18   #128
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

So are we to take that response as you gave in and paid him? I probably would have waited it out - after all, he isn't making any money hanging on to it.

Did you ever try contacting a lawyer?

Would love to hear more details
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Old 04-10-2012, 22:22   #129
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

A contract is in place. An offer was made and accepted, terms are specified via email. This is legally a contract and enforceable. Intention was clear for both parties. If you go to court and win, which you absolutely should, the court will grant you costs. But if the trucker refuses to pay or has no assets the victory will be a hollow one.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:38   #130
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

As an attorney, I cannot give legal advice out here on the interent, but I can say this:

There is a contract, An offer was made via the email, the OP's actions (payment and turing over of the boat), even if there is no written/email confirmation, constitute acceptance. The original email would be considered a "writing" by courts and thus would be construued to constitute the entire terms of the contract. In a commercial setting, a person offering goods and/or serivices is presumed to be able to fulfill the contract, that is, the mover would be presumed to have equipment sufficient to fulfill the contract. If he fails to have the proper equipment to fulfill, the failure of the contract, and all attendant costs, falls on him. It is his responsibility to make sure the equuipment he will use will be sufficient for the job. If the boat weight was stated at 19,500 lbs, and there is no material misstatement of that by the OP, whether deliberate or not, the trucker loses. If in fact the boat is materially over the weight as agreed (and that weight exceeds the carrying capacity of the trailer) at the time of the contract, the trucker may have a case. The issue of the weight should be easily provable-whereever he is, there are truck scales available nearby.

It sounds like you are able to contact him, so the first thing I would do is to contact an attorney. Have the attorney deal with him, not you. Decide with the attorney what result you want. My suggestion would be-if the trucker can prove the boat is overweight, and you want that weighed with you or someone repesenting you present, negotiate a solution. Remember that he is not making any money by sitting there with your boat on his trailer. If the boat is not overweight, and by that I mean over the rated carrying capacity of the trailer, give him 24 hours to be on the road with a delivery time stated. Deliver that in writing. If he refuses, or does not get on the road, the attorney can adivse you but contacting law enforcement should not be out of the question.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:47   #131
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

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No one stole anything; the owner gave him the boat with no written contract. What's the lesson here?
The owner did not give the Trucker the boat (he still owns it and has the documents to prove it!). he simply let the trucker take possession of it. I think pretty hard to argue against it simply being a delivery job - even with nothing in writing..........the argument is simply (?!) over the terms (and for which the Trucker has as much problem as OP (if not more) with the lack of written terms as he is claiming that certain terms exist -without proof).

The problem of course for OP is both the legal and the practical. I certainly favour getting a lawyer and finding out the size of the hole both he and the Trucker is in now (and will later be) legally........and use that info to negotiate a settlement. If the Trucker is a one truck business and the rig is not up to completing the journey then sounds like the best that can be acheived is the boat being unloaded where it is and a new carrier engaged.......without paying another dime to the Trucker. The risk is that the boat gets somehow damaged, visibly or not.

Obviously none of the above without cost - Lawyer and new delivery Truck. But we are where we are . It might even be worth paying the Trucker $500 as a goodwill gesture only (not for the repairs) to handover the boat in one piece / smoothly to the new Haulier in the hope that the boat does not get "accidently" damaged and to encourage the Trucker to accept a swift resolution .....even if that sticks in the craw .

Afterwards, depending on what the lawyer advices, can then decide whether to go after the Trucker in court for whatever is possible (the original half of the delivery money?). But most likely OP just gets to suck it up .

Am still not a lawyer
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:56   #132
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

Jaycall said ...."you but contacting law enforcement should not be out of the question."

DING DING DING, WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER ! ;-)
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:44   #133
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

This is extracted from an email I sent the boat mover as reason I am not responsible for repairs of his rig.
According to Google Maps, XXXXXXX Marina in XXXXXXXXXXXX where you reset the boat is 251 miles from XXXXXXX Marina where you initially picked up the boat. From XXXXXXXX to San Francisco CA by way of XXXXXXX is 3025 miles. You emailed me that when resetting the boat, you obtained an accurate weight for the boat and assert it to weigh 27,000 pounds. You have been in the boat transport business a long time and should certainly be knowledgeable of the carrying capacity of your truck and trailer. At that point, if you knew the truck and trailer to not be capable of transporting my boat, you could have contacted me, returned the boat to XXXXXXX boatyard, provided me with proof of the weight, charged me a reasonable price for your time and effort, and returned the remainder of my deposit. You chose to continue with a 3000 mile delivery of my boat.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:48   #134
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It would be really helpful to this forum if you were able to publish more detail with what has happened, the communication, and your steps to resolve this. Obviously leave out certain details to protect yourself and the forum.

It would be a great learning tool, as many here have offered differing advice on how to handle this, and if it's civil or criminal.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:50   #135
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

Creole, he would have HAD to have this vessel weighed somewhere on his route and that means he would have had to be incompliance or the state DOT would NOT have allowed him to continue. This isnt adding up.
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