New York Agriculture Liens: Stableman’s Lien

Rincker Law Business/Commercial Law, Food & Ag Law 4 Comments

Fotolia_64873519_XSUnder 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 racesSee 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.

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Comments 4

  1. I had a boarder walk away from her horses 3 years ago. I moved the horsrs 3 times, all the while providing the care, buying the feed, and leading the pastures and barns. The past 4 months I have boarded the horses out at a fill board stable. I have a 501c3 and fundraise for the board. I cant move them back to pasture I lease untill they are in my name. I want to get them out of that barn amd back to being cared for by me! I did file a lien with the county in addition to my automatic lien since the horses are not in my barn now. I want to keep the horsrs. If I forclose on the lien and Auction them can I set a minimum price? I am owed over 100,000.
    Do I need to have cash to bid on them myself? Thankyou for this infoation.

  2. what if the person is not a vert or own a livery stable and has a shed in their yard and htey rented to a friend with the intent to sway her to swap the horses for rent due, she is trying ot steal a young girls horse? she is not a licensed vet nor does she own a boarding business, this is simply a yard with an open shed in it and the two woman were friends, but now the friend with the yard is demanding payment of her other friend before she can remove the horses from her property, she has also threatenend her and said she will have her arrested if she attempts to remove her horses. She wants the horses and has made numverous attempts to sway the young woman with the horses to swap for payment owed.

  3. Does all this have to be filed with a court to get a lien first, can someone who has a gentlemens agreement between friends with no expressed contract, owing someone money for rent at a friends property, (not a livery or stable or licensed vet’s facility or a licensed business owner of a boarding facility. Remove her horse without threat of being arrested? If their is no contract or a court ordered lien? PLEASE HELP, THIS IS A CHILDS HORSE, and the friend of a friend is trying to steal a childs horses from her mother. after a friendly arrangement was made to board the horses as a favor, now wants over 1600 dollars for 3mths.

  4. A boarder has not been here to see her horse since last February 2020, I have sent a certified letter to her address giving her the amount past due on her board. I also sent the letter via Messenger (FB) and could see that she had seen it. I have given her till the 15th of September to pay up and remove the horse from my facility. NO RESPONSE from her at all.
    Can I send this horse to auction? Or if it has to be sold by auction in my Town, how do I do that?

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