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Ethics Delima

Old 08-12-2011, 03:50 PM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Need some opinions. My father-in-law owns a piece of property in Ga. that he has leased to a group of guys for the last 4 or 5 years. In March he told them that he was not going to lease it to them this year because he may sell it or he had someone else interested in leasing it. Well never heard from them again and the beggining of June he decided to have the hardwood timber cut off the property. I went with him to the property the day a couple of days after the loggers got started cutting and noticed several stands. Knowing the loggers were going to either take the stands or tear them down I took the several of the stands down. 2 ladder stands, 2 lock ons, 1 tower stand, 1 feeder. I have the stands at my farm a few mile away and told my father-in-law that if they called for them in a reasonable time frame they were more than welcome to them . They called yesterday raising he** about their stands. My father-in-law told them I took them down to keep them from being destroyed and he would get in touch with me about it. I live in Fl., Father-in-Law and the stands are in Ga.
Part of me feels like telling them tough sh** . They have had 5 months to get them and did not. As a hunter I would hate the thought of losing my stands but I would not leave them there that length of time either.
What would ya'll do?
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:08 PM
  #2  
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Back up, you left out some pretty important info. what date did the lease expire?
Were the tenants informed in writing that they had a date (prior to the loggers coming in) to remove their property?

Common courtesy would have required that. Anyway, you have THEIR stuff- give it back. You knew who it belonged to and didnt call them? Be the bigger man.

Now, if you (Uncle) sent them a reg. letter stating that if they didnt remove their property by a certain date you were not responsible as loggers were coming in (and we all know what thievin devils they are!). If that was the case then I think you have a small argument. Turn it around, how would you handle it?
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:25 PM
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Give em their stands. Life's to hard to create problems. Sounds to me like you had gotten used to the idea that they weren't coming back for the stands.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:39 PM
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The lease expired in January 2011 and they were notified in March that they weren't going to be leasing it this year and that it was either going to be sold, logged or leased to someone else. Father-in -law says he thinks I should just keep them.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:08 PM
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So basically you have committed theft of property that is not your own. By taking the stands down, you were doing the other hunters a favor.

They have called attempting to claim THEIR property. It is now your DUTY to return the stand to the rightful owners.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:29 PM
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You are right I did them a favor by taking down their stands and they are more than welcome to them, never had any intention of keeping them but at what point would you consider them abandoned.
I have lost leases in the past including giving up the rights to hunt this same property for several years before they leased it. I always had my stands down within a couple of weeks of losing the lease or giving it up.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:05 PM
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I wouldn't think anything less of you either way. If they were polite about their stands i and apologized for leaving them on your property then i would say give them back. But since they would have had no right to go get the stands since their lease was up... it can go either way.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:54 PM
  #8  
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Sconny since you are so quick to call someone a thief let me give you a little advice. Don't throw rocks in your glass house. Here are a few facts that I did not post since I was looking for opinions, not to be called names.
1-Legally thier lease ended on 1-16-11. It was a year to year lease with no gaurantee of renewal from year to year.
2-The previous years they renewed the lease on March 1. When they inquired about renewing the lease on March 1 they were told they were not going to be able to lease it again for several reasons 1 of which was the property was for sale.
3- They never inquired about it again or their stands until yesterday.
4- The property was sold on April 2, 2011. I bought out one of the partners so now I legally own the property along with my father-in-law.
5-According to the State of Ga. they abandoned the stands and have no legal claim to them.
6-Would it change your opinion of the hunters to know that 2 of the stands I took down were within 40yrds of a feeder and during the 2010-2011 hunting season baiting in the state of Ga. was illigal.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:31 AM
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Sconny since you are so quick to call someone a thief let me give you a little advice. Don't throw rocks in your glass house.
Don't try to back out now. You did them a favor, by removing their stands and feeder for them.
Now your trying to keep their property?
After admitting they have contacted you to attempt to retrieve that property.

I'll consider the source of the advice.

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Here are a few facts that I did not post since I was looking for opinions, not to be called names
.

Why did you not give those details in the OP. That may have given more insight to what was happening, thus allowing those who you asked for advice more information. Allowing them to give a better answer.

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1-Legally their lease ended on 1-16-11. It was a year to year lease with no guarantee of renewal from year to year.
Doesn't matter when the lease ended, the stands are legally theirs, not yours. As the property owner, you could have tried to contact them to remove them.

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2-The previous years they renewed the lease on March 1. When they inquired about renewing the lease on March 1 they were told they were not going to be able to lease it again for several reasons 1 of which was the property was for sale.
See above.

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3- They never inquired about it again or their stands until yesterday.
So since they have now contacted you about their property, you are obligated to return it.

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4- The property was sold on April 2, 2011. I bought out one of the partners so now I legally own the property along with my father-in-law.
It matters not when the property was sold. You still have their stands, and are obligated to return them.

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5-According to the State of Ga. they abandoned the stands and have no legal claim to them.
That is a matter for a judge and lawyers to settle. Since they have a good idea who has the stands and feeder, they may sue to get them back.

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6-Would it change your opinion of the hunters to know that 2 of the stands I took down were within 40yrds of a feeder and  during the 2010-2011 hunting season baiting in the state of Ga. was illigal.
Not even a little bit. They didn't come on here, and ask for advice about returning items that didn't belong to them.
For all you know them may be members here, and you have just admitted to taking their stands.

Last edited by sconnyhunter; 08-13-2011 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:32 AM
  #10  
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Ethics dilemma, or conscience dilemma? My conscience would never allow me to keep those stands. Even if the stands were legally now mine. If they called for them back, I would tell them no problem come get them, and be done with it.

Here is what I would have done in the first place. Not going to lie, I would have taken the stands down but not call them if they had my number. I would leave it up to them to call back for them. If I did not live in the area, I would leave them with my father-in-law. If they did not call for them for awhile I would probably use them myself, but as soon as they asked for them I would feel obligated to give them back. Even if I took them with me and I did not live nearby. I would bring them back to the father-in-laws and let them pick them up there. I would also apologize and tell them I was not sure if they were ever going to come back for them.
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