Q: If I buy something is it legal for previous owner to sell it to someone else after I have paid them?
A: Your question does not contain sufficient facts to provide a complete answer. That said, it sounds like the seller may have breached his or her contract with you and you would be entitled, at least, to a refund of what you paid to the seller. In a conventional breach of contract situation, the most frequent type of remedy is monetary damages, which is otherwise known as restitution. Whether you could obtain other monetary damages or relief beyond that (such as attorney fees, for example) is unclear. In terms of other potential claims or relief, you would likely not have a viable claim for specific performance (in such a situation, a court would compel the seller to sell the item to you instead of the other buyer), which is an equitable remedy, unless the goods you were buying are rare or unique, monetary damages are somehow inadequate to fix the harm, and/or other proper circumstances exist.
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