For those of us who have stabled our horses at horse boarding barns, it is important to understand the concept of an “agister’s lien” or perhaps you are more familiar with a “stable keeper’s lien.”
For a working definition of lien, I’ll look to Webster’s Online Dictionary, “a charge upon real or personal property for the satisfaction of some debt… .”
While the concept of a lien may be commonly understood, you may wonder where the term “agister” comes from, and how it relates to equine lien laws. As it turns out, “agister” is an old English term which has the meaning of “an officer of the royal forests in England who has the care of livestock.” Because our law here in the United States derived from the common law of England the term agister’s lien finds its way into the law of equine liens.
In Oklahoma, “(e)very person who shall keep, board or train any animal, shall, for the amount due therefor, have a lien on such animal… .” Okla. Stat. tit. 4, §193. Simply stated, if you board a horse or horses with a private individual or a commercial horse-boarding stable, Oklahoma has granted a statutory lien on your horse or horses in favor of the boarding facility. Because of this statutory lien, if you owe money for boarding or other related services, you would not be able to remove your horse or horses from the stable keepers property without that stable-keepers consent. Foreclosure on an equine lien does require a specific notice and process all of which is spelled out in Oklahoma statues.
Other types of Oklahoma equine statutory liens include but are not limited to: feeding, grazing and herding liens; feed liens; stallion service liens; livestock liens and farriers liens, etc.
This blog post is not intended to give legal advice and is for informational purposes only. You should seek the advice of an attorney who would be in the best position to advise you on your legal rights or duties.