Man pursues legal action to retrieve sailboat

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 4, 2013, 10:29am

GALVESTON - Complaining that a boat he owns was illegally taken away, Joseph Van Huntington has filed a lawsuit.

Recent court papers filed Oct. 30 in Galveston County District Court show the boat's original owner, Florida resident Joseph Abbott, committed the seizure in question.

Abbott, who currently lives in the Philippines, was reported to have entrusted the vessel to Van Huntington in an effort to donate it to charity and obtain the maximum taxable deduction.

The suit shows the plaintiff represented to Abbott that he can find a better donation service for the Perry 47-foot sailboat.

Both parties subsequently engaged in a title transfer, which included the charity UNICEF.

Van Huntington says he spent close to $30,000 taking care of the boat, but the defendant "unilaterally breached the agreement" by going to his property and removing said boat without his knowledge and consent.

According to the suit, the respondent felt that "he was not going to receive his anticipated charitable deduction."

The plaintiff has a request for a temporary restraining order pending.

Attorney Keith Gross of League City is representing the claimant, and Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the litigation.

Case No. 13-CV-1379

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