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Steve Hopland

London, KY

#1 Jun 17, 2014
I was hired by dr. Steve Hopland to transport his houseboat from South Carolina to carter county Tennessee ( rat branch) boat ramp .. We were delayed due to permit restrictions & had a total of 6 extra days of down time that we had to additionally charge for .. It clearly stated on our contract that additional charges would apply for downtime due to permit restrictions .. Dr. Steve Hopland reviewed & signed contract at the time he hired us .. I'm just a normal hard working man trying to make a living !! When our job was complete he didn't pay us in full for our service !!! So we didn't put his boat in the water & left to come home .. I advised mr. Hopland we were going to come back & disassemble his boat & haul it to our lot in Kentucky until he pays his balance !!! At that time he advised me , that he was well connected in that county & would make sure we didn't leave the state with his boat .. My answer to him was , try to stop me !! Keep in mind his boat was still on my trailer !! This houseboat is 100ft long !! This was now a civil matter .. Before I arrived I contacted carter county Sheriffs office to let them know what my intensions were .. They said they would have a officer present .. When I got to the boat ramp I was shocked to see about 6or 8 deputy's there !!! I got out of my vehicle & stated to the officers that I was there to collect balance on dr. Steve Hoplands bill or disassemble boat & haul to Kentucky until bill was paid .. Wow did I get a surprise !!! The officers had a talk amongst themselves & after they spoke with district attorney Brooks of carter co. Tennessee .. They told me I had 3 choices , First , I can leave boat on my trailer until matter was resolved in civil court ... Second , I could put dr. Hoplands boat in the water, Without being payed in full & taking him to court ... Or Third , if I disassemble dr. Hoplands boat or try to leave with it , I would be charged criminally for vandalism & theft !!!! Keep in mind I'm a small business owner & dr. Hopland owes me almost $40,000.00 on final bill !!! I had a signed contract that I showed to law enforcement !!! They all told me that they couldn't force him to pay his balance because of it being a civil matter !!! So my question is if it's a civil matter how were they legally able to stop me from leaving with the boat ???? I never turned possession over to owner !!! The district attorney illegally stopped me from protecting my interest !!! It was not criminal for dr. Hopland to not pay me in full , because it was a civil matter , but it was criminal for me to take the houseboat until balance was paid !!! They used the law to fit their own needs to protect One of the good o'l boys needs !!! To top all of that off , dr. Steve Hopland is now saying we damaged his boat & is filling false claims with my insurance !!! U guys tell me why our government protects the rich & fails to protect the working man ?? Thank you for reading .. My Freedom of speech !!!
OldTennGranny

Jonesborough, TN

#2 Jun 18, 2014
Because whoever has the most money wins in court! Its evil as hell but thats just the way it is. I'm sorry this happened to u.
Yep

Knoxville, TN

#3 Jun 18, 2014
Steve Hopland wrote:
I was hired by dr. Steve Hopland to transport his houseboat from South Carolina to carter county Tennessee ( rat branch) boat ramp .. We were delayed due to permit restrictions & had a total of 6 extra days of down time that we had to additionally charge for .. It clearly stated on our contract that additional charges would apply for downtime due to permit restrictions .. Dr. Steve Hopland reviewed & signed contract at the time he hired us .. I'm just a normal hard working man trying to make a living !! When our job was complete he didn't pay us in full for our service !!! So we didn't put his boat in the water & left to come home .. I advised mr. Hopland we were going to come back & disassemble his boat & haul it to our lot in Kentucky until he pays his balance !!! At that time he advised me , that he was well connected in that county & would make sure we didn't leave the state with his boat .. My answer to him was , try to stop me !! Keep in mind his boat was still on my trailer !! This houseboat is 100ft long !! This was now a civil matter .. Before I arrived I contacted carter county Sheriffs office to let them know what my intensions were .. They said they would have a officer present .. When I got to the boat ramp I was shocked to see about 6or 8 deputy's there !!! I got out of my vehicle & stated to the officers that I was there to collect balance on dr. Steve Hoplands bill or disassemble boat & haul to Kentucky until bill was paid .. Wow did I get a surprise !!! The officers had a talk amongst themselves & after they spoke with district attorney Brooks of carter co. Tennessee .. They told me I had 3 choices , First , I can leave boat on my trailer until matter was resolved in civil court ... Second , I could put dr. Hoplands boat in the water, Without being payed in full & taking him to court ... Or Third , if I disassemble dr. Hoplands boat or try to leave with it , I would be charged criminally for vandalism & theft !!!! Keep in mind I'm a small business owner & dr. Hopland owes me almost $40,000.00 on final bill !!! I had a signed contract that I showed to law enforcement !!! They all told me that they couldn't force him to pay his balance because of it being a civil matter !!! So my question is if it's a civil matter how were they legally able to stop me from leaving with the boat ???? I never turned possession over to owner !!! The district attorney illegally stopped me from protecting my interest !!! It was not criminal for dr. Hopland to not pay me in full , because it was a civil matter , but it was criminal for me to take the houseboat until balance was paid !!! They used the law to fit their own needs to protect One of the good o'l boys needs !!! To top all of that off , dr. Steve Hopland is now saying we damaged his boat & is filling false claims with my insurance !!! U guys tell me why our government protects the rich & fails to protect the working man ?? Thank you for reading .. My Freedom of speech !!!
It's not your boat. You cannot take another persons property without their permission. Your argument needs to be brought to court.
Steve Hopland

London, KY

#4 Jun 18, 2014
I've tried to hire several lawyers in town only to get denied because they r friends with dr. Steve Hopland or have conflicts of interest !! I also reached out past surrounding counties for lawyers & had a few said they would take the case but wanted between.$5,000.00 & $10,000 .00 for retainer !!! Like I said in my post I'm a working man & can't afford those extra cost !!! It's like this , if Ur car has been towed , u can't get it back until u pay tow bill !!!! This is no different !!!
Stanly

Piney Flats, TN

#5 Jun 18, 2014
I was at the lake this past weekend that boat is gigantic. I can not believe they are putting that in Watauga Lake. Sorry to hear about the problems you are having. In my opinion you should have just packed up and left with the boat. When you get the police involved you are asking for problems, they are not there to help anyone out.
Yep

Knoxville, TN

#6 Jun 18, 2014
Steve Hopland wrote:
I've tried to hire several lawyers in town only to get denied because they r friends with dr. Steve Hopland or have conflicts of interest !! I also reached out past surrounding counties for lawyers & had a few said they would take the case but wanted between.$5,000.00 & $10,000 .00 for retainer !!! Like I said in my post I'm a working man & can't afford those extra cost !!! It's like this , if Ur car has been towed , u can't get it back until u pay tow bill !!!! This is no different !!!
A lawyer is not taking the case because they don't think they can win. The others want a retainer because they want your money and they expect you to lose. This tells me there is another side to this story. Towing is different. You are having someone else's property removed from your property and you do not have possession of it. Having possession is what matters. You did the smart thing by calling the sheriff. If you would have taken the boat to your premises, you would have been charged with stealing.
Yep

Knoxville, TN

#7 Jun 18, 2014
Stanly wrote:
I was at the lake this past weekend that boat is gigantic. I can not believe they are putting that in Watauga Lake. Sorry to hear about the problems you are having. In my opinion you should have just packed up and left with the boat. When you get the police involved you are asking for problems, they are not there to help anyone out.
That would have landed him in jail. He seems to be a lot smarter than you.
Stanly

Piney Flats, TN

#8 Jun 18, 2014
Yep wrote:
<quoted text>
That would have landed him in jail. He seems to be a lot smarter than you.
Yeah, sounds like it. Why would he go to jail?
Yep

Johnson City, TN

#9 Jun 18, 2014
Stanly wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, sounds like it. Why would he go to jail?
Taking possession of something you don't own without the owner's permission is stealing.
Stanly

Piney Flats, TN

#10 Jun 18, 2014
Yep wrote:
<quoted text>
Taking possession of something you don't own without the owner's permission is stealing.
The boat is sitting on the mans trailer? So if he moves his truck and trailer he goes to jail?
Siam I Am

Johnson City, TN

#11 Jun 18, 2014
Yep wrote:
<quoted text>
A lawyer is not taking the case because they don't think they can win. The others want a retainer because they want your money and they expect you to lose. This tells me there is another side to this story. Towing is different. You are having someone else's property removed from your property and you do not have possession of it. Having possession is what matters. You did the smart thing by calling the sheriff. If you would have taken the boat to your premises, you would have been charged with stealing.
You got a valid contract sue him and if the good ol boys find against you in court be prepared to appeal. The further away from the lake you get the less influence they have. You dealt with the first wave of flunkies - the deputies. Then the reinforcements- the tin pan attorneys. Ninety percent hike after that and I expect you will also.
Yep

Johnson City, TN

#12 Jun 18, 2014
Stanly wrote:
<quoted text>
The boat is sitting on the mans trailer? So if he moves his truck and trailer he goes to jail?
If he is in possession of the boat without the owner's permission, legally that is stealing.
Yep

Johnson City, TN

#13 Jun 18, 2014
Siam I Am wrote:
<quoted text>
You got a valid contract sue him and if the good ol boys find against you in court be prepared to appeal. The further away from the lake you get the less influence they have. You dealt with the first wave of flunkies - the deputies. Then the reinforcements- the tin pan attorneys. Ninety percent hike after that and I expect you will also.
Sounds like he does not have a valid contract. If he did, an attorney would have taken the case. Or he might have a valid contract and he violated it. Otherwise, an attorney would have taken the case - without a retainer.
Steve Hopland

London, KY

#14 Jun 18, 2014
I do have a valid contract with dr. Steve Hopland signature !!!! But the legal system in that county is corrupt from what I experienced !!! My attorney here in ky told me legally they absolutely no grounds to make it criminal if I took boat for unpaid bill !!! It is a civil matter !!! That's where they screwed up & I will prove my case for all of u non believers !!! They unlawfully stopped me due to Tennessee statue !! Don't take my word for it , look it up !!! Bottom line is this guy ripped me off for services that I provided & nobody was to worried about that !!! When u go to work all week , u get a paycheck don't ya !!! If they didn't give u what u earned that would be illegal !!! No dam difference here !!!
Yep

Knoxville, TN

#15 Jun 18, 2014
Steve Hopland wrote:
I do have a valid contract with dr. Steve Hopland signature !!!! But the legal system in that county is corrupt from what I experienced !!! My attorney here in ky told me legally they absolutely no grounds to make it criminal if I took boat for unpaid bill !!! It is a civil matter !!! That's where they screwed up & I will prove my case for all of u non believers !!! They unlawfully stopped me due to Tennessee statue !! Don't take my word for it , look it up !!! Bottom line is this guy ripped me off for services that I provided & nobody was to worried about that !!! When u go to work all week , u get a paycheck don't ya !!! If they didn't give u what u earned that would be illegal !!! No dam difference here !!!
We are hearing your side. There is always another side.
Yep

Knoxville, TN

#16 Jun 18, 2014
Steve Hopland wrote:
I do have a valid contract with dr. Steve Hopland signature !!!! But the legal system in that county is corrupt from what I experienced !!! My attorney here in ky told me legally they absolutely no grounds to make it criminal if I took boat for unpaid bill !!! It is a civil matter !!! That's where they screwed up & I will prove my case for all of u non believers !!! They unlawfully stopped me due to Tennessee statue !! Don't take my word for it , look it up !!! Bottom line is this guy ripped me off for services that I provided & nobody was to worried about that !!! When u go to work all week , u get a paycheck don't ya !!! If they didn't give u what u earned that would be illegal !!! No dam difference here !!!
Call Doug Carter in Johnson City. If you are indeed being ripped off, he will help you out. He is a good and decent attorney.
Steve Hopland

London, KY

#17 Jun 18, 2014
I will call him tomarrow , thanks ..

To the folks that ask about other side of tho or his side !!heres the other side !! To be completely fair & honest , Steve Hopland & myself did not have a problem until it was time to pay me the balance on bill .. We incurred additional cost to haul his houseboat due to permit restrictions , police escorts & delay waiting on his crane to arrive so we could set upper cabin !! A total of 6 extra days on the road for a job that should have been finished in one week !! I will read a part of my contract so u understand ..( It is understood that additional cost will be the responsibility of the customer if any state re-routes our haul from our original route and additional miles are assessed .. It is also understood that if restrictions outlined on permits result in downtime additional charges will be the responsibility of the customer) this was agreed & signed by Steve Hopland who also had a witness sign as well !!!
Yep

Bristol, TN

#18 Jun 18, 2014
Steve Hopland wrote:
I will call him tomarrow , thanks ..
To the folks that ask about other side of tho or his side !!heres the other side !! To be completely fair & honest , Steve Hopland & myself did not have a problem until it was time to pay me the balance on bill .. We incurred additional cost to haul his houseboat due to permit restrictions , police escorts & delay waiting on his crane to arrive so we could set upper cabin !! A total of 6 extra days on the road for a job that should have been finished in one week !! I will read a part of my contract so u understand ..( It is understood that additional cost will be the responsibility of the customer if any state re-routes our haul from our original route and additional miles are assessed .. It is also understood that if restrictions outlined on permits result in downtime additional charges will be the responsibility of the customer) this was agreed & signed by Steve Hopland who also had a witness sign as well !!!
Well, if that is indeed true, then it sounds like you have a valid case. The outcome will be strictly determined by what is in the contract. I can assure you there is no "good ole boy" network when it comes to money. Every attorney has to make a living and no attorney is not going to take a case simply because he or she is friends with someone. There are "conflicts of interest" rules attorneys must follow and an attorney cannot represent you if he or she is doing work for the defendant. I will also state that if an attorney does not feel confident he or she can win this case, they will not do it "pro bono" or agree to do it for whatever he or she recovers in damages. If an attorney does not feel the case has a good chance of being won, they will charge a retainer fee.

Doug Carter used to own a marina and is trustworthy of giving a credible recommendation. I can also assure you he is not part of any "good ole boy" network.
Hahaha

Winnsboro, SC

#19 Jun 19, 2014
Yep wrote:
<quoted text>
It's not your boat. You cannot take another persons property without their permission. Your argument needs to be brought to court.
you sound like a crook $40,000 for six extra days ....
agree

Johnson City, TN

#20 Jun 19, 2014
Hahaha wrote:
<quoted text>you sound like a crook $40,000 for six extra days ....
Agree!! Hard working man but making 40,000 for a weeks work??? Something sounds a little fishy!

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