The partnership between humans and horses goes back thousands of years, having evolved from horses being essential for human survival to them now being cherished companions and athletes. Since horses have become so woven into human society, many legal issues can come into play.
Whether you are a horse owner, farmer, rancher, or anyone in the equestrian community, you might need a New Jersey equine lawyer when legal complexities arise.
The horse attorneys at The Animal Law Firm can review any equine matter you have and protect the rights and safety of you and your horse.
Equine law in New Jersey includes any legal aspect that includes horses and their owners. We provide legal representation to individuals, businesses, and organizations involved in the equine world. We assist clients with law matters, including:
Equine boarding contracts are legal agreements between the owner of a horse and the operator of a boarding facility. These contracts outline the terms and conditions of boarding services provided to the horse and outline how the horse will be cared for, who is responsible for what, and the financial arrangements.
Equine lesson contracts are legal agreements between a riding instructor or equestrian facility and an individual (or their legal guardian) seeking horse riding lessons. These contracts outline the terms and conditions of the lessons, which can include scheduling, fees, responsibilities, and liabilities.
It is essential for equine training facilities to ensure compliance with regulations to safeguard the interests of the facility. Equine facilities may want legal assistance in contract drafting and reviewing, liability waiver and release drafting, risk management, insurance matters, equine purchases and sales, employment laws, equine welfare laws, client disputes, understanding applicable laws, and facility lease and land use issues.
Equine activity owners use liability waivers and releases to protect themselves from legal claims. The enforceability of these waivers may depend on various factors, including the specific language used and the circumstances.
It can be crucial to have an equine lawyer assist you in creating these waivers as we understand applicable laws, can tailor the waiver to your specific activities, use clear and enforceable language, promote informed consent, and can continue to review and update the waiver with you over time.
An equine lien is a legal right that one party may have over a horse to secure payment for a debt owed by another party. Equine liens are commonly associated with stable or boarding arrangements where a horse is kept on someone else’s property and the owner incurs fees or expenses related to the care, boarding, training, or veterinary services for the horse.
Veterinary malpractice happens when a veterinarian fails to meet a reasonable standard of care and causes injury or death to a horse under their care. The standard of care refers to the level of skill, knowledge, and care that is commonly exercised by competent veterinarians under similar circumstances.
Veterinary malpractice cases are very fact-specific and require a thorough investigation into the alleged malpractice. To prove this, you will have to demonstrate veterinary negligence, breach of duty, and causation and show that the horse suffered actual damages, such as veterinary bills and diminished value.
Keep in mind that if the veterinarian exercised reasonable professional judgment and adhered to accepted practices in the field, failure to achieve specific results, diagnostic limitations, unsuccessful treatment or diagnosis, lack of improvement despite care, or unexpected complications that arise are not veterinary malpractice.
Every case is unique and has its complexities. Let us help you understand your case, your rights, and how we can defend you by contacting our team.
A: There are many common legal issues in the horse industry. These issues include the purchase and sale of horses, liability for injuries caused by horses, boarding and agistment disputes, zoning and land use regulations, equine welfare and anti-cruelty, employment issues, intellectual property, liability waiver disputes, and equine insurance matters.
A: When starting an equine business, there are many legal aspects to take into consideration, such as business structure, client contracts, zoning law compliance, purchasing insurance, developing liability waivers and releases, obtaining any necessary permits, and more. Consulting with an equine lawyer during the planning stages can help you avoid problems in the future.
A: A horse purchase agreement is a legally binding document that should include details such as the horse’s description, health condition, purchase price and payment terms, warranties, conditions of sale, and the responsibilities of both the buyer and seller. Having a purchase agreement can help prevent future misunderstandings and disputes.
A: Yes, equine law can differ significantly from state to state. While there are some common legal principles and federal regulations that may apply universally, many aspects of equine law are governed by state laws. Most states have enacted Equine Activity Liability Act, which limit the liability of equine professionals and facility owners for injuries resulting in equine activities.
A: The New Jersey Equine Activities Liability Act was passed in 1998 and expresses support for protecting equine-related activities because of how important they are to New Jersey’s economy and the recognition that horse farms preserve environmental land space.
It protects horse providers, camps, and stables from certain types of lawsuits from accidents that are deemed unavoidable, such as the horse’s unpredictable reaction to sounds, movements, unfamiliar objects, persons or animals, or other natural hazards.
The act also covers negligent acts committed by the participant that may cause injury to themselves or others, such as not maintaining control over the horse. Immunity is never guaranteed, but this law can protect you.
The Animal Law Firm will evaluate your equine-related matters and work to protect you and your horse. Equine law is often misunderstood in the court of law, so it is important to have an experienced animal law attorney by your side. For more information about equine law or how we can help, contact our equine law practice today.
We know how important your furry family member is to you. Whether they have no legs, two legs, or four or more legs, our priority is making sure you and your pet receive the best representation possible.