Under Section 183 of NY Lien Law, any veterinarian who renders treatment to or boards any dog, cat, or other domestic animal or person keeping a livery stable, boarding stable or pasturing animals has a lien over the animal and any equipment kept and stored in conjunction with the animal, such as a “wagon, truck, cart, carriage, vehicle or harness”. Possession of this property is required for this lien. The bailee may detain the property until the amount due for professional services rendered, care, keeping, boarding or pasturing of the animal or for keeping the wagon, truck, cart, carriage, vehicle or harness, for the amount agreed upon between the parties.
This lien is oftentimes referred to as a “stableman’s lien.” The keeper of a livery stable or barn who boards horses at a certain monthly rate per stall but does not feed or care for the horses are still entitled to this lien. See Selner v. Lyons, 110 N.Y.S. 1049 (1908).
This statutory lien does not apply to a livery stable keeper who takes the horse around the country and enters him/her for horse races. See Armitage v. Mace, 96 N.Y. 538 (1884). The court must find that there was an express or implied agreement between the owner of the animal and the bailee. See Cocciolone v. Nastasi, 773 N.Y.S.2d 452 (2nd Dep’t 2004). This lien also does not apply to a person who herds or pastures animals as an employee of the owner of animals; this lien is only applicable to independent contractors who provide animal related services. See Dairy Herd Management Corp. v. Goodwin, 534 N.Y.S.2d 590 (3rd Dep’t 1998).
There is no statutory filing requirement for the stableman’s lien in New York and it is not given priority over other liens.
This is an excerpt from my first book that I co-authored with Pat Dillon, an Iowa agriculture lawyer titled “Field Manual: Legal Guide for New York Farmers and Food Entrepreneurs” available on CreateSpace, Amazon, Kindle and iBooks. You can find out more about this book here.