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2010 Significant Animal Law Cases

Cynthia Hodges, J.D., LL.M., M.A.


Animal Legal & Historical Center
Publish Date:
2011
Place of Publication: Michigan State University College of Law
Printable Version

2010 Significant Animal Law Cases

Below are the significant animal law cases (state and federal) for 2010. The cases are listed alphabetically by case name. Please see the following links for previous years:

 

2008 Significant Animal Law Cases

2009 Significant Animal Law Cases 

 

2010 Animal Law Cases

Summary


Alliance for Wild Rockies v. Lyder, 728 F.Supp.2d 1126, 2010 WL 3023652 (D. Mont. 2010)

Defendant U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("FWS") designated 39,000 square miles of critical habitat for the U.S. distinct population segment of Canadian lynx. Plaintiff environmental organizations contested the FWS’ designation, arguing that the Service: (1) arbitrarily failed to designate occupied critical habitat in certain national forests in Montana, Idaho, and Colorado; (2) arbitrarily failed to designate any unoccupied critical habitat; and (3) failed to base its decision on the "best scientific data available." The Court concluded that FWS arbitrarily excluded areas occupied by lynx in Idaho and Montana by "treat[ing] evidence of reproduction as a litmus test rather than as a relevant factor to consider." The court held that FWS failed to properly determine whether areas occupied by the lynx in Colorado possess the attributes essential to the conservation of the species. The court concluded that FWS did not act unreasonably in rendering its decision to not designate any unoccupied critical habitat. The Court disagreed that the FWS failed to base its decision on the "best scientific data available." Accordingly, in order to preserve the previously-established  critical habitat for the lynx, the court kept in place FWS’ February 2009 critical habitat designation, pending a new final ruling consistent with the findings made by the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana.


Animal Welfare Institute v. Martin, 623 F.3d 19, 2010 WL 4104633 (1st Cir. 2010)

Animal welfare organizations sued the State of Maine under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to stop the authorization of trapping activity that allegedly affected threatened Canadian lynx. The Court of Appeals held that such organizations had standing to sue where an organization’s purposes were to advocate for wildlife and reduce pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans, and members stated they wished to observe lynx in the wild, and that trapping regulations would interfere with that interest by increasing lynx's risk of death.
However, the Court of Appeals held that the District Court did not err in its refusal to grant a permanent injunction banning foothold traps or other relief, such as new working group or new regulations.


Barber v. Pennsylvania Dept. Agriculture, CIV.A.9-1462, 2010 WL 1816760 (W.D. Pa. May 3, 2010)

Plaintiff owners of a non-profit animal rescue and kennel alleged that officers of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement prosecuted them pursuant to a faulty warrant, conspired in violation of 42 U.S.C. sect. 1985, and failed to take reasonable steps to protect them from conspiratorial activity in violation of 42 U.S .C. sect. 1986. Plaintiffs claimed to have been improperly issued citations, deprived of personal property, and suffered harm to their reputation. The court found these losses  to not be a deprivation of liberty consistent with a seizure and were insufficient to state a § 1983 claim against defendants for malicious prosecution.


Bassani v. Sutton, CV-08-3012-RHW, 2010 WL 1734857 (E.D. Wash. Apr. 28, 2010)

Plaintiff's two dogs were seized by Yakima County Animal Control after a citizen complained he had been menaced by plaintiff’s dogs. Plaintiff dog owner claimed the officer violated his 4th and 14th Amendment rights by refusing to release one of the dogs after a judge ordered its release, and claimed money damages under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, and 1988. The court held that the county animal control officer was immune from plaintiff’s § 1983 claims and was entitled to qualified immunity because he reasonably relied on the deputy prosecuting attorney's advice. In addition, there was no evidence of a pattern of behavior on the part of the County sufficient to be a constitutional violation.


Beckett v. Warren
, 2010-Ohio-4, 124 Ohio St. 3d 256, 921 N.E.2d 624, 2010 WL 46003 (2010)

On a certified conflict from the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Ohio decided whether a plaintiff pursuing a claim for bodily injuries caused by a dog must elect either a statutory remedy under R.C. 955.28 or a remedy at common law for negligence. In looking at the plain language of R.C. 955.28, the Court found that the statute itself does not preclude a simultaneous common law action for damages for bodily injuries caused by a dog. Under both theories of recovery, compensatory damages remain the same so there is no double recovery. Thus, a plaintiff may, in the same case, pursue a claim for a dog bite injury under both R.C. 955.28 and common law negligence.


Carpenters Indus. Council v. Salazar, 734 F. Supp. 2d 126, 2010 WL 3447243 (D.D.C. 2010)

In 1990, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("FWS") listed the northern spotted owl as a "threatened species" under the Endangered Species Act ("ESA"). In 1992, FWS designated 6,887,000 acres in California, Oregon, and Washington as critical habitat. 17 years later, FWS issued a revised draft recovery plan that replaced the 1992 Critical Habitat Designation. Plaintiff timber companies sued, alleging that FWS’ critical habitat designation violated NEPA, ESA, and APA. The District Court held that newly discovered information that raised substantial concerns about the rule-making process made a voluntary remand appropriate. However, the court lacked the authority to vacate a rule without considering its merits, and a vacatur could not be based on the consent decree, because not all parties had joined in the decree.


Carroll v. State, 2010 WL 932363, 922 N.E.2d 755 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010) transfer denied, 929 N.E.2d 794 (Ind. 2010)


Defendant's two dogs viciously attacked his neighbor. Defendant pled guilty to two counts of class A misdemeanor dog bite resulting in serious bodily injury, but appealed his sentence. While the court noted that Defendant's lack of criminal history was a mitigating factor, the "great personal injury" suffered by the victim far exceeded any mitigation. On each count, the trial court sentenced defendant to 365 days, with four days suspended, to run consecutively. On appeal, Defendant argued that any consideration of  his dogs' breed was improper. However, the court found that the other evidence was sufficient to support his sentence.


Conservation Force v. Salazar, 715 F. Supp. 2d 99, 2010 WL 2244122 (D.D.C. 2010)

Plaintiff organizations and individuals that supported sustainable hunting of the Canadian Wood Bison, an "endangered species" under Endangered Species Act (ESA), alleged that the Secretary of the Department of Interior violated provisions of the ESA in his treatment of that species. The District Court held that notice of intent to sue under ESA for the Secretary’s failure to issue a 90-day finding did not provide the required notice of intent to sue for the failure to issue a 12-month finding. The Court also held that the request for declaratory judgment was moot.


Daskalea v. Washington Humane Society, 710 F. Supp. 2d 32, 2010 WL 1741118 (D.D.C. 2010)

Paintiff pet owners' dogs were seized, detained, and damaged by the defendant-humane society without due process of law. Plaintiffs sued the District of Columbia, alleging that D.C.'s Freedom from Cruelty to Animal Protection Act was facially unconstitutional because it failed to provide animal owners with a meaningful right to contest the seizure, detention, and terms of release of their pets prior to final action. The Court found that Plaintiffs' challenge to the Act's constitutionality had been rendered moot by the 2008 Amendment.


Defenders of Wildlife v. Salazar, 729 F. Supp. 2d 1207, 2010 WL 3084194 (D. Mont. 2010)


Environmental organizations challenged Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) decision to partially remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection from a distinct population segment of the northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf. The District Court held that FWS violated ESA by listing the distinct population segment as endangered but only applying ESA’s protections to a limited geographical area of the segment. The Court also held that the legislative history of ESA did not support the FWS’ interpretation of "significant portion of its range," but instead supported the long-standing view that ESA does not allow a distinct population to be subdivided. FWS’ ruling to delist the wolf was vacated and Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment was granted.


Dunham v. Kootenai County
, 690 F. Supp. 2d 1162, 2010 WL 556803 (D. Idaho 2010)


Animal control officers seized plaintiff’s horses based on allegations of animal abuse. Horse owner sued county and animal control officer under 42 USCA § 1983, alleging unreasonable search and seizure, malicious prosecution, due process violations, excessive force, equal protection violations, cruel and unusual punishment, conspiracy to interfere with civil rights, and municipal liability. The District Court held that the search of the round pen was lawful, the seizure of the horses was lawful, that the animal control officer was entitled to qualified immunity, and that evidence did not support a claim of malicious prosecution.


Fabrikant v. French
, 722 F. Supp. 2d 249, 2010 WL 2774043 (N.D.N.Y. 2010)


Plaintiff animal owner and her former attorney sued defendant not-for-profit animal protection organization, its employees, and individuals who provided information to organization under 42 USCA § 1983, after plaintiff’s animals were seized and she was arrested and prosecuted for animal cruelty under New York law. The Court of Appeals vacated and remanded. The District Court held that the organization's employees had probable cause to believe that plaintiff owner had committed animal cruelty, that defendants' rendering of medical attention on seized animals was not done under color of state law, and defendants' actions did not sustain a First Amendment retaliation claim.


Forest Guardians v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 611 F.3d 692
, 2010 WL 2674990 (10th Cir. 2010)

Plaintiff environmental group challenged Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) decision to reintroduce a captive-bred experimental population of endangered Northern Aplomada Falcons (Falcons) into southern New Mexico. Plaintiff alleged that the rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Court of Appeals held that FWS’ definition of the Falcon population was reasonable under ESA; that FWS’ actions were not tantamount to a predetermination of environmental analysis (EA); and the district court properly considered evidence that was outside of the EA.


Friends of Animals v. Salazar, 696 F. Supp. 2d 16, 2010 WL 936222 (D.D.C. 2010)

Plaintiff animal advocacy group sued the Secretary of Interior, United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and FWS director under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that defendants failed to make required 90-day and 12-month findings relating to plaintiff’s petition to have 13 species of birds listed as threatened or endangered. The District Court held that the plaintiff could recover fees for work done on the letter of notice, complaint, and petition for fees to the extent that it related to the claim that encouraged FWS to issue its 90-day finding. The court held that 17.3 hours spent by attorneys drafting the notice letter was reasonable, but the district court reduced the amount of time spent on the complaint by 50 percent.


Giacalone v. Housing Authority of Town of Wallingford, 122 Conn. App. 120, 998 A.2d 222, 2010 WL 2365559 (Conn. App. Ct. 2010)

Plaintiff tenant was bitten by a neighbors' dog and sued landlord under common-law negligence. The landlord was aware of the dog's presence and that the dog was dangerous and aggressive. The Appellate Court held that the tenant stated common-law negligence claim against landlord, even though he was not the owner or keeper of the dog.


Gromer v. Matchett
, SD29942, 2010 WL 3467727 (Mo. Ct. App. Sept. 7, 2010), reh'g denied (Sept. 29, 2010)


A horse escaped from defendant’s farm and was struck by a car, which then collided with plaintiff’s car. Plaintiff motorist sued farmer for damages, and was awarded $12,250. The Court of Appeals held that Stock Law on liability of livestock owners for accidents on roads did not apply to mere possessor of horse (not owner). The Court reversed and remanded.


Habitat for Horses v. Salazar, 10 CIV. 7684 WHP, 2010 WL 4151863 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 21, 2010)


Animal rights organizations sued the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management (BLM), alleging BLM’s decision to remove wild horses from public lands violated Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, Information Quality Act (IQA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA). The District Court held that people who frequently visited land to see horses would suffer irreparable harm without an injunction; BLM adequately determined that horses permanently residing outside of designated herd management area were “excess animals” subject to removal; BLM’s failure to evaluate effect on those observing the removal of all horses did not render its environmental assessment defective under NEPA; and the hardships weighed against issuing the injunction.


Harris v. Barefoot, COA09-1313, 2010 WL 3001399 (N.C. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2010) review denied, 392P10, 2010 WL 5441966 (N.C. Dec. 15, 2010)


Plaintiff mail carrier sued dog owners for negligence after a dog attack. The Court of Appeals held that the owner of each dog was not liable without evidence that his or her dog had a vicious propensity and knew or should have known that the dog posed a danger to others based on the dog’s past conduct, which would make it foreseeable that it would injure people or property if not restrained. The court noted that state courts have found Rottweilers to be aggressive by nature and that it might be negligent not to keep them restrained.


Humane Soc. of U.S. v. Locke
, 626 F.3d 1040, 2010 WL 4723195 (9th Cir. 2010)


The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) authorized Oregon, Washington and Idaho to kill up to 85 California sea lions annually at Bonneville Dam under section 120 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Plaintiffs filed action for declaratory and injunctive relief against Defendants, alleging violations of section 120 of the MMPA and NEPA. The Court held that NMFS 1) did not adequately explain its finding that sea lions were having a “significant negative impact” on the decline or recovery of listed salmonid populations; and 2) NMFS did not adequately explain why a California sea lion predation rate of 1 percent would have a significant negative impact on the decline or recovery of these salmonid populations. Therefore, the agency's action was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.” under the Administrative Procedure Act.


Huntingdon Life Sciences, Inc. v. Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, 71 A.D.3d 734, 896 N.Y.S.2d 440, 2010 WL 818490 (N.Y. App. Div. 2010)

  

 

Animal rights protestors appealed the decision of the Supreme Court, Westchester County that permanently enjoined the protestors from engaging in protest activity that constituted a private nuisance (participating in targeted protest at the home of the plaintiff). This court found that the protestors failed to refute the evidence from the lower court that showed the plaintiffs were entitled to a permanent injunction as a matter of law (including evidence of the appellant's federal conviction conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992). While the court did find that the appellant-protestor's incarceration did not render the appeal academic, imposition of the injunction was a reasonable and constitutional restriction on protest activity.

  


Hurd v. State
, 190 Md. App. 479, 988 A.2d 1143, 2010 WL 366582 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2010) cert. denied, 415 Md. 40, 997 A.2d 790 (2010)


Defendant shot and killed two dogs, which led to his conviction on two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts of malicious destruction of property. The Court of Special Appeals held that evidence established cruelty and defendant’s knowledge that he was destroying the property of another. Evidence did not establish defendant's intention to avoid a greater harm to a wild turkey as part of a necessity defense. In addition, under the rule of lenity, the former version of the statute restricting the methods of deer hunting would be construed as giving persons a right to kill a dog pursuing a deer whether or not the dog was being used to hunt game, and therefore, precluded defendant's conviction with respect to the killing of one of the dogs.


Idaho Dairymen's Ass'n, Inc. v. Gooding County
, 148 Idaho 653, 227 P.3d 907, 2010 WL 337939 (2010)


Plaintiff cattle ranching and dairy associations sued county to challenge a county ordinance regulating confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief. The Supreme Court held that the ordinance was not preempted by state law; neither did it violate CAFO operators' substantive due process rights.


Jaeger v. Cellco P'ship
, 3:09CV567SRU, 2010 WL 965730 (D. Conn. Mar. 16, 2010) aff'd, 10-1347-CV, 2010 WL 4997606 (2d Cir. Dec. 7, 2010)


The Connecticut Siting Council granted Cellco Partnership a Certificate allowing the company to build a cell tower. Plaintiff sued Cellco and the Council to enjoin the building of the tower. In her complaint, she cited the harmful effects of radio frequency emissions, and alleged violations of the International Migratory Bird Treaty, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA), the Telecommunications Act (TCA), and the 10th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Court found in favor of the Defendants, holding that the TCA preempts local and state regulation of cell towers solely on the basis of RF emissions. 
 


Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida v. U.S.
, 697 F. Supp. 2d 1324, 2010 WL 1037962 (S.D. Fla. 2010)


Plaintiff Native American tribe sued United States Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA),
alleging the biological opinion it issued that found the Army Corps of Engineers' plan to restrict water flow to a marsh in the Everglades benefited the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow, an endangered species,
was faulty for failing to adequately consider the plan’s effect on two other endangered species, the Everglades Snail Kite and the Wood Stork. The District Court held that the establishment of a numerical incidental take trigger was not impractical as to the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow, but was impractical as to the Everglades Snail Kite and Wood Stork.


Modesto Irr. Dist. v. Gutierrez
, 619 F.3d 1024, 2010 WL 3274499 (9th Cir. 2010)


Coalition of irrigation districts sued the Secretary of Commerce and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) officials under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) for listing steelhead salmon as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Court of Appeals held that the definition of “species” in ESA did not require NMFS to place interbreeding steelhead and rainbow trout in the same distinct population segment (DPS), and NMFS adequately justified its decision to apply DPS policy to species of fish to which steelhead and rainbow trout belonged.


Moore v. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc.
, 402 Ill. App. 3d 62, 932 N.E.2d 448, 2010 WL 2266081 (Ill. App. Ct. 2010) appeal denied, 237 Ill. 2d 560, 938 N.E.2d 522 (2010)


Plaintiff dog trainer and dog-training business sued defendant for defamation after defendant made statements about her dog training methods. The Appellate Court held that defendant’s statements about the trainer's placement of dog collar on dog's genitals did not impute criminal activity and were substantially true, defendant’s reference to plaintiff as a “so-called dog trainer” did not impute lack of ability in trainer's profession, defendant’s statements about other people’s reactions to the plaintiff did not impute criminal behavior or lack of dog-training abilities.


Morehead v. Deitrich, 932 N.E.2d 1272 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010)

Postal carrier sued landlord for negligence after tenant's dog bit her. The Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendant, holding that landlord did not have a duty to keep the dog from biting the postal carrier unless he had control over the property. The owner and the keeper of an animal has the duty to keep it confined, not the possessor of the land. For the landowner to have been liable for the actions of the tenant’s dog, he must have both retained control over the property and had actual knowledge that the dog had dangerous propensities.


People v. Romano
, 29 Misc. 3d 9, 908 N.Y.S.2d 520, 2010 WL 3339158 (N.Y. App. Term. 2010)


Defendant appealed a conviction of animal cruelty under Agriculture and Markets Law § 353 for unjustifiable injury to her dog. Defendant failed to groom the dog for a prolonged period of time and failed to seek medical care for it. Defendant argued that the term “unjustifiably injures” in the statute was unconstitutionally vague. The Court held the term was not vague because a person could readily comprehend that he or she must refrain from causing unjustifiable injury to a domestic pet by failing to groom it for several months and seeking medical care when clear, objective signs are present that the animal needs such care. The Court also held that evidence supported the convictions for animal cruelty and for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.


Renzo v. Idaho State Dept. of Agr.
, 149 Idaho 777, 241 P.3d 950, 2010 WL 3855338 (2010)


The developer of a tiger habitat sued the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (Department) under the Idaho Tort Claims Act (ITCA) for breach of ordinary care by refusing to grant an exotic animal possession permit and a propagation permit, and for intentional interference with developer's prospective economic advantage. The Supreme Court held that the 180-day time period under which the developer had to file a notice of its claim began to run from the date the Department sent its letter stating that a possession permit would be conditioned upon the sterilization of tigers. The letter put developer on notice that he would not receive a possession permit without sterilizing the tigers, and therefore, had knowledge by that date that he would not be granted a propagation permit.


Sierra Club v. California American Water Co.
, C 09-2870 JF, 2010 WL 135183 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 8, 2010)


The Sierra Club and the Carmel River Steelhead Association (CRSA) sued the California American Water Company (CAW), a water and wastewater utility, seeking injunctive relief and alleging that the company was wrongfully diverting water from the Carmel River and causing harm to the South Central California Coast Steelhead fish, an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Court found that the Younger abstention applied and dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. 


Sligar v. Odell
, 156 Wash. App. 720, 233 P.3d 914, 2010 WL 2674037 (Wash. Ct. App. 2010) review denied, 85093-3, 2011 WL 192735 (Wash. Jan. 4, 2011)


Plaintiff homeowner sued neighbors for damages after bitten by neighbors’ dog. The claim was based on statutory strict liability and common law negligence. The Court of Appeals held that there could be no presumption that defendants impliedly consented to plaintiff’s presence on defendants' property. It also held that defendants were not liable under common law negligence.


Smegal v. Gettys
, 2010-0648 La. App. 1 Cir. 10/29/10, 48 So. 3d 431, 2010 WL 4272594 (La. Ct. App. 2010)



Plaintiff sued neighbor dog owner and neighbor’s liability insurer, for damages after being injured by a dog bite after dog had been hit by a bus. The Court of Appeal held that the dog posed an unreasonable risk of harm, that the plaintiff’s dog-bite injuries were not the result of his provoking the dog, that evidence supported the trial court's finding that neighbor was 50 percent at fault, and that $20,000 in general damages was not excessive.


State v. DeMarco
, 124 Conn. App. 438, 2010 WL 3860400 (Conn. App. Ct. 2010)


Defendant pled nolo contendere and was convicted of two counts of cruelty to animals. The Appellate Court held that the police officers’ warrantless entry into defendant's residence was unjustified under the emergency exception to the warrant requirement. Accordingly, the conviction was reversed and the case was remanded.


State v. Mauer
, 688 S.E.2d 774, 2010 WL 537493 (N.C. Ct. App. 2010)


Defendant was convicted of cruelty to animals, and was ordered to pay restitution. The Court of Appeals held that the evidence was sufficient to support the submission of a cruelty to animals charge to the jury, but there was no evidence to support an order requiring defendant to pay restitution to animal control.


State v. Mumme
, 2009-0705 La. App. 4 Cir. 1/13/10, 29 So. 3d 685, 2010 WL 117680 (La. Ct. App. 2010)


The defendant was charged with “cruelty to an animal, to wit, a bat, belonging to Julian Mumme, by beating the animal with a bat causing the animal to be maimed and injured.” The State moved to amend the information to strike the phrase “to wit: a bat." On appeal, defendant alleged that this was improper. The Court disagreed holding that the amendment corrected a defect of form, not a defect of substance;  defendant was informed that the offense concerned his own dog and there were photographs presented from the crime scene depicting the dog severely beaten with a baseball bat.


State v. Spade
, 225 W. Va. 649, 695 S.E.2d 879, 2010 WL 2243519 (2010)


Defendant was convicted of one count of cruelty to animals, which she appealed. The Supreme Court of Appeals held that the rule and statute restricting the right of appeal upon a plea of guilty in the magistrate court did not prevent the defendant from challenging the magistrate court's failure to provide a restitution hearing reserved in the plea agreement. It also held that the defendant had a due process right to appeal the magistrate court's failure to provide a restitution hearing as provided for in the plea agreement and sentencing order,  and she was entitled to such restitution hearing unambiguously reserved in the plea agreement.


State v. Taylor
, 322 S.W.3d 722, 2010 WL 3023282 (Tex. App. 2010), reh'g overruled (Sept. 14, 2010)


Defendant failed to restrain his dog, which then attacked and seriously injured the victim without provocation. The State charged him with criminal negligence, citing the dog attack statute. The Court of Appeals held that the dog attack statute set forth a culpable mental state with sufficient definiteness, and that it imposed criminal liability upon dog owners in accordance with section of penal code requiring voluntary act or omission for criminal liability. Therefore, the indictment should have been quashed without prejudice because the statute was constitutionally valid.


State ex rel. Humane Society of Missouri v. Beetem
, 317 S.W.3d 669, 2010 WL 3167457 (Mo. Ct. App. 2010)


Plaintiff sued for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, arguing that the Secretary of State’s summary statement for an initiative petition describing the creation of a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” was unfair. Plaintiff also sought discovery of information gathered by animal rights group and its partners. The Court of Appeals held that the discovery sought was not relevant to the determination of whether the Secretary's summary statement describing the initiative petition was unfair, and therefore did not allow compulsory disclosure.


U.S. v. Apollo Energies, Inc.
, 611 F.3d 679, 2010 WL 2600502 (10th Cir. 2010)


Defendants were convicted of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) after dead migratory birds were found lodged in parts of their oil drilling equipment. The Court of Appeals held that a misdemeanor violation of MBTA for taking or killing of migratory birds was a strict liability crime, that MBTA was not unconstitutionally vague, and that defendant did not have notice prior to conviction that heater-treaters used in oil industry could kill birds.

 

Waters v. Powell 2010 UT App 105, 232 P.3d 1086, 2010 WL 1710797 (2010)

 


Plaintiff dog kennel manager sued defendant dog owner after the dog bit the plaintiff. Plaintiff alleged that the dog owner was strictly liable for the dog bite. The Court of Appeals held that the manager was the dog's “keeper” under the strict liability statute, and was, therefore, liable in damages for any injury committed by the dog, and owner was not strictly liable.

 


WildEarth Guardians v. Salazar
, CIV.A. 08-1596 CKK, 2010 WL 3832061 (D.D.C. Sept. 28, 2010)


Plaintiff environmental organization sued to challenge Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) decision denying the organization's application to reclassify the Utah prairie dog as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The District Court held that FWS’ decision not to reclassify the prairie dog was arbitrary and capricious because it failed to consider the cumulative effect of listing factors. However, FWS’ denial of petition for rule-making was not arbitrary and capricious.


Zuckerman v. Coastal Camps
, Inc., 716 F. Supp. 2d 23, 2010 WL 2301145 (D. Me. 2010)


Horseback riding student sued equine activity sponsor, alleging that sponsor's instructor was negligent in saddling student's horse, which caused the saddle to slip and the student to fall. The District Court held that the opinion of an equine expert was not the type of speculation prohibited at the summary judgment stage, that sponsor had the burden of proof on its assumption of risk defense, and that fact issues existed as to whether equipment provided by the sponsor was faulty under the Maine Equine Activities Act. The Motion for Summary Judgment was  denied.

 

 

 

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