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Case Name Citation Summary
Brackett v. State   236 S.E.2d 689 (Ga.App. 1977)   In this Georgia case, appellants were convicted of the offense of cruelty to animals upon evidence that they were spectators at a cockfight. The Court of Appeals agreed with the appellants that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction, and the judgment was reversed. The court found that the statute prohibiting cruelty to animals was meant to include fowls as animals and thus proscribed cruelty to a gamecock. However, the evidence that defendants were among the spectators at a cockfight was insufficient to sustain their convictions.  
Californians for Humane Farms v. Schafer   Slip Copy, 2008 WL 4449583 (N.D.Cal.) (Not Reported in F.Supp.2d)  

Plaintiff, a nonprofit ballot committee established to sponsor Proposal 2, a State ballot initiative that would result in prohibiting the tethering and confinement of egg laying hens and other farm animals, brought an action against Defendant, the United States Secretary of Agriculture, alleging a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, after Defendant approved a decision by the American Egg Board (the “Egg Board”) to set aside $3 million for a consumer education campaign to educate consumers about current production practices.  The United States District Court, N.D. California granted Plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction, finding that Plaintiff was likely to succeed on the merits, direct harm to Plaintiff was likely to occur if the injunction was not granted, and that the public interest would be served by granting the preliminary injunction.

 
Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah   508 U.S. 520 (1993)   Local ordinance prohibiting animal sacrifices under the guise of an anti-cruelty concern was an unconstitutional infringement on church's First Amendment rights because (1) ordinances were not neutral; (2) ordinances were not of general applicability; and (3) governmental interest assertedly advanced by the ordinances did not justify the targeting of religious activity.  
Claddie Savage v. Prator   886 So.2d 523 (La.App. 2 Cir. 2004)   A Parish Sheriff informed game clubs the parish ordinance against cockfighting would be enforced, despite the fact that cockfighting tournaments had been held at the game clubs since 1991.  The game clubs filed for and received a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the parish ordinance.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court decision. Reversed by Savage v. Prator, 921 So.2d 51 (La., 2006).  
Commonwealth v. Gonzalez   403 Pa. Super. 157 (Pa. 1991)   Appellant was convicted of cruelty to animals for cockfighting. On appeal, appellant claimed that the delegation of police power to animal welfare agents was unconstitutional. The court found that appellant was without standing to complain because he failed to show an injury. Appellant also argued that the animal fighting statute was preempted by a federal statute, 7 U.S.C.S. §  2156. The court disagreed. Finally, appellant asserted that §  5511 was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. The court determined that appellant lacked standing to challenge the statute's overbreadth.  
Edmondson v. Oklahoma   91 P.3d 605 (Okla. 2004)   Petitioners sought relief from a temporary injunction for the Respondents, which prevented petitioners from enforcing the statute banning cockfighting.  The Supreme Court assumed original jurisdiction and held that the statute did not violate the Oklahoma State Constitution, and was not unconstitutionally overbroad.  Relief granted for petitioners.  
Farm Sanctuary, Inc. v. Department of Food & Agriculture   74 Cal.Rptr.2d 75 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.,1998.)   Environmental group brought suit challenging regulation allowing ritual slaughter exception to statute requiring that animals be treated humanely. The Superior Courtupheld regulation and appeal was taken. The Court of Appeal, Masterson, J., held that: (1) group had standing to sue, and (2) regulation was valid.  
Farmegg Products, Inc. v. Humboldt County   190 N.W.2d 454 (Iowa 1971)   Court held that intensive egg-laying facilities did not constitute buildings used for 'agricultural purposes' and were not exempt from county zoning ordinances.  
GREEN v. LECKINGTON   236 P.2d 335 (Or. 1951)  

In this Oregon case, defendant appeals a judgment of $700 in damages obtained against him after he shot plaintiff’s dog. The dog had gone onto to defendant’s property and was chasing his chickens. On appeal, the Supreme Court found that because it was a general verdict, there was no way to determine a basis for the jury’s verdict; specifically, whether erroneous instructions on exemplary damages and the proper measure of damages influenced the verdict. Because the Court had the whole record before it (and in the interest of “harmony between neighbors”), the Court fixed the damages at the true market value of the dog ($250).

 
Hawaii v. Kaneakua   597 P.2d 590 (Haw. 1979)   Defendants stipulated that they were involved in cockfights and were prosecuted for numerous violations of § 1109(1)(d), part of Hawaii's cruelty to animals statute.  The reviewing court found that the statute was not vague, and was sufficiently definite to satisfy due process with regard to the charge against defendants; nor was the statute overly broad as applied to defendants.  
Humane Society of U.S. v. U.S. Postal Service   609 F.Supp.2d 85 (D.D.C.,2009)   The question in this case centers on whether a response from the United States Postal Service (USPS) to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) qualifies as a "final agency action" for purposes of judicial reviewability under the APA. At issue is the HSUS's petition to the USPS to declare a monthly periodical entitled The Feathered Warriror unmailable under the AWA. While the USPS has been broadly exempted from judicial review under the APA, there are exceptions, which include “proceedings concerning the mailability of matter." While the term "proceedings" is largely undefined in the Act, the Court held that it would not limit the term to the post hoc meaning ascribed by the USPS that limits it to only "formal" proceedings. Despite finding that the actions taken by the USPS were indeed judicially reviewable, the court remanded the matter because, after the Humane Society initiated this lawsuit, Congress amended § 2156 of the Animal Welfare Act again, further defining issue of nonmailable animal fighting material.  
Humane Society of United States v. State Board of Equalization   61 Cal.Rptr.3d 277 (Cal. App. 1 Dist., 2007)  

Humane society and four state taxpayers brought action attacking government waste, requesting injunctive and declaratory relief that would bar implementation of tax exemptions for farm equipment and machinery as they applied to “battery cage” chicken coops that allegedly violated animal cruelty laws. State Board of Equalization demurred. Superior Court sustained without leave to amend the complaint and dismissed the case, which the Court of Appeal affirmed, stating that the plaintiffs did not allege a valid cause of action attacking government waste.

 
Levine v. Vilsack   587 F.3d 986 (C.A.9 (Cal.),2009)  

Animal advocates filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) challenging the USDA's interpretive rule excluding chickens, turkeys, and other domestic fowl from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA).  The United States District Court for the Ninth District of California had entered summary judgment in favor of the Secretary of the USDA and the Plaintiffs appealed.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Plaintiffs-Appellants lacked standing to challenge the USDA's interpretive rule and vacated and remanded the case to the district court. 

 
New Jersey Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Board of Education   219 A.2d 200 (N.J. Super. Ct. 1966)  

In this action, the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, sought recovery against the Board of Education of the City of East Orange of penalties of the rate of $100 per alleged violation arising out of cancer-inducing experiments conducted by a student in its high school upon live chickens. By permission of the court, defendants, New Jersey Science Teachers’ Association and National Society for Medical Research Inc. were permitted by the court to participate as amicus curiae. The court found that because the board did not obtain authorization from the health department, an authorization which the health department did not think was needed, it was not thereby barred from performing living animal experimentation. The court concluded that the experiment at issue was not per se needless or unnecessary, and that such experiment did not fall within the ban of N.J. Stat. Ann. § 4:22-26 against needless mutilation, killing, or the infliction of unnecessary cruelty.

 
Oregon Game Fowl Breeders Ass'n v. Smith   516 P.2d 499 (Or. 1973)   This is an appeal of an action by a fowl breeder's association to declare Oregon laws against cockfighting unconstitutional.  Game fowl breeders brought an action against a district attorney and State Attorney General seeking judgment that statutes prohibiting cruelty to animals were unconstitutional and seeking an injunction against enforcement of statutes against breeders for cockfighting. The Court of Appeals held that the practice of breeding birds suitable for cockfighting did not qualify as 'good livestock husbandry' and that cockfighting was prohibited by statute.  
Park v. Moorman Mfg. Co.   241 P.2d 914 (Utah,1952)   Plaintiffs sued defendant corporation for breach of warranty as to fitness of purpose of poultry feed concentrate after egg production dropped, hens became malnourished, and an unusual amount of picking and cannibalism developed. As to the issue of damages, the Supreme Court held instruction that plaintiff was entitled to damages in amount of market value of chickens destroyed and that provided formula by which market value of suitable replacements could be determined was correct.  
Peck v. Dunn   574 P.2d 367 (Utah 1978)  

Subsequent to the game cockfighter's conviction for cruelty to animals, she sought a declaratory judgment that the ordinance was unconstitutional on the grounds: (1) that it was vague and uncertain in that innocent conduct of merely being a spectator could be included within its language; and (2) that presence at such a cockfight was proscribed, without requiring a culpable mental state. On review the court held that the board, in the exercise of its police power, had both the prerogative and the responsibility of enacting laws which would promote and conserve the good order, safety, health, morals and general welfare of society. The courts should defer to the legislative prerogative and should presume such enactments were valid and should not strike down legislation unless it clearly and persuasively appeared that the act was in conflict with a constitutional provision.

 
People v. Baniqued   101 Cal.Rptr.2d 835 (Cal.App.3 Dist.,2000).   appealed from a judgment of the Superior Court of Sacramento County, California, ordering their conviction for cockfighting in violations of animal cruelty statutes.  The court held that roosters and other birds fall within the statutory definition of "every dumb creature" and thus qualify as an "animal" for purposes of the animal cruelty statutes.  
People v. Sanchez   114 Cal. Rptr. 2d 437 (Cal. App. 2001).   Defendant on appeal challenges six counts of animal cruelty. The court affirmed five counts which were based on a continuing course of conduct and reversed one count that was based upon evidence of two discrete criminal events.  
Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine v. Tyson Foods, Inc.   13 Cal.Rptr.3d 926 (Cal.App. 1 Dist.,2004)  

In this California case, PCRM, a nonprofit health-advocacy organization, filed suit for injunctive relief against Tyson alleging that the company made false and deceptive representations about chicken products that it sold to consumers in California. The complaint alleges that Tyson engaged in two advertising campaigns, which disseminated false and deceptive statements about its products in violation of Business and Professions Code section 17500. Tyson filed a motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against public participation) statute. On appeal, the Court of Appeal held that the amendment to the anti-SLAPP statute, which was enacted while the appeal was pending did not apply to actions against sellers of goods as to the representations about or promotions of those goods. Further, by holding that Tyson was not entitled to invoke the anti-SLAPP remedy, the court stated that it did not compromise or prejudice Tyson’s right to raise First Amendment issues in defense of PCRM's suit.

 
Puckett v. Miller   381 N.E.2d 1087 (Ind.App.,1978)   In this Indiana case, a dog owner brought action against a farmer for the negligent destruction of his two "coon dogs." The lower court granted the farmer's motion for involuntary dismissal, and dog owner appealed. The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiff's two dogs, at time they were shot by defendant farmer, were “roaming unattended.” This meant that an attempt to find them had been abandoned, and they were, according to defendant's uncontradicted testimony, trying to get into defendant's chicken enclosure. Thus, defendant farmer was protected in his shooting of those dogs by state statutes that provided that any dog known to have worried any livestock or fowl or any dog found roaming over the country unattended may be lawfully killed.  
Reichley v. Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture   427 F.3d 236 (Pa. 2005)   Poultry Producers brought claims against the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for deprivation of their property without adequate due process in response to an outbreak of avian influenza. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, granted defendants' motion for summary judgment and the Court of Appeals affirmed, reasoning there was no due process deprivation by failing to issue notice and an opportunity for a hearing before the quarantine and depopulation of the producers' flocks.  
Reichley v. Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture   427 F.3d 236 (3rd Cir. 2005)  

Poultry Producers brought claims against the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for deprivation of their property without adequate due process in response to an outbreak of avian influenza. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted defendants' motion for summary judgment and the Court of Appeals affirmed, reasoning there was no due process deprivation by failing to issue notice and an opportunity for a hearing before the quarantine and depopulation of the producers' flocks.

 
Savage v. Prator   921 So.2d 51 (La., 2006)  

Two Louisiana "game clubs" filed an action for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against parish commission and parish sheriff's office after being informed by the sheriff that an existing parish ordinance prohibiting cockfighting would be enforced. The clubs contended that the ordinance was violative of the police power reserved explicitly to the state (the state anti-cruelty provision is silent with regard to cockfighting).  The First Judicial District Court, Parish of Caddo granted the clubs' request for a preliminary injunction.  The Supreme Court reversed the injunction and remanded the matter, finding that the parish ordinance prohibiting cockfighting did not violate general law or infringe upon State's police powers in violation of Constitution.

 
Savage v. Prator   921 So.2d 51 (La. 2006)   After being informed by the Caddo Sheriff's Office that a 1987 Parish ordinance prohibiting cockfighting would be enforced, two organizations, who had held cockfighting tournaments since the late 1990s and the early 2000s, filed a petition for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. After the trial court granted the organizations' request for a preliminary injunction, the Parish commission appealed and the court of appeals affirmed. Upon granting writ of certiorari and relying on the home rule charter, the Supreme Court of Louisiana found that local governments may authorize or prohibit the conduct of cockfighting tournaments within municipal boundaries. The case was therefore reversed and remanded to the district court with the injunction being vacated.
 
State ex rel. Miller v. Claiborne   505 P.2d 732 (Kan. 1973)   The Kansas Attorney General had advised the cockfighter that cockfighting was illegal in Kansas under the provisions of § 21-4310 (Supp. 1972). The gamecock fighter believed the Attorney General was wrong and advised a county attorney that he intended to fight gamecocks on his farm so the State then sought a declaratory judgment.  On appeal, the court found that cockfighting did not fall within the prohibition of § 21-4310 as constituting cruelty to animals, as Kansas statutes proscribing cruelty to animals had traditionally been directed toward protection of the four-legged animal, especially beasts of the field and beasts of burden.   
State v. Bonilla   2011 WL 3903354 (Conn.App.)   The issue before the court in this case is whether defendant's felony conviction for being a spectator at a cockfight (contrary to General Statutes § 53–247(c)) violates defendant's constitutional rights to assemble and associate, and his equal protection rights. In rejecting defendant's arguments, the court noted first that the right to assemble does not encompass the right to assemble for an unlawful purpose. Further, the right to associate was not infringed because "[a]ttending a cockfight as a spectator is neither a form of 'intimate association' nor a form of 'expressive association' as recognized by our courts or the United States Supreme Court . . ." As to defendant's claim of violation of equal protection, the court found that the aim of § 53–247(c)(4), criminalizing being a spectator at a cockfighting event, is rationally related to the legislative goal of preventing such fights from being staged.  
State v. Hartrampf   847 P.2d 856 (Oregon 1993)   Defendant appealed a conviction for attempted involvement in animal fighting, arguing that the statutes at issue were unconstitutionally vague.  Since the defendant admitted he knowingly was among spectators at farm hosting a cockfighting event, the Court of Appeals held that a person of common intelligence could discern that defendant's conduct constituted a substantial step toward involvement in animal fighting.  
State v. Scott   2001 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 561   The appellant pled guilty to one count of animal fighting, one count of cruelty to animals, and one count of keeping unvaccinated dogs, and asked for probation. The trial court denied the appellants request for probation and sentenced him to incarceration. The appellant challenged the trial court's ruling, and the appellate court affirmed the trial court's decision to deny probation, stating that the heinous nature of the crimes warranted incarceration.  
U.S. v. Braddock   Slip Copy, 2011 WL 327416 (C.A.4 (S.C.),2011)   Defendant-appellants appealed their convictions following guilty pleas to offenses relating to illegal cockfighting and gambling activities. On appeal, they challenged the denial of their motion to dismiss for selective prosecution or, in the alternative, for discovery in support of their selective prosecution claim. In particular, appellants contend that district court should have dismissed the indictment or granted leave to obtain discovery because they, as Caucasians, were prosecuted federally, while two Hispanic co-conspirators and thirty-six Hispanic people arrested in connection with another cockfighting ring in Hampton County, South Carolina, faced only state charges. The Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, found that appellants failed to show that they were similarly situated to the Hispanic defendants who were not prosecuted on federal charges.  
Volosen v. State   227 S.W.3d 77 (Tex. Crim. App., 2007)  

Appellant killed neighbor's miniature dachshund with a maul when he found it among his chickens in his backyard, and he defends that Health & Safety Code 822 gave him legal authority to do so.  At the bench trial, the judge found him guilty of animal cruelty, but on appeal the court reversed the conviction because it found that the statute gave him legal authority to kill the attacking dog.  However, this court held that appellant did not meet his burden of production to show that the statute was adopted in Colleyville, TX and found as a matter of fact that the dog was not "attacking."

 
White v. U.S.   601 F.3d 545 (C.A.6 (Ohio), 2010)   The Plaintiff-Appellants are citizens (show bird breeders, feed store owners, and game bird judges) who allege that the AWA amendments to § 2156 concerning animal fighting ventures have caused them various individual and collective injuries. The plaintiffs-appellants allege that these provisions are unconstitutional insofar as they constitute a bill of attainder; violate the principles of federalism contained in, inter alia, the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Amendments to the United States Constitution; and unduly impinge on the plaintiffs-appellants' First Amendment right of association, constitutional right to travel, and Fifth Amendment right to due process for deprivations of property and liberty. The district court dismissed the lawsuit for lack of Article III standing. The Sixth Circuit held that while economic injuries may constitute an injury-in-fact for the purposes of Article III standing, the plaintiffs' alleged economic injuries due to restrictions on cockfighting are not traceable only to the AWA. Additionally, because the AWA does not impose any penalties without a judicial trial, it is not a bill of attainder. The decision of the district court was affirmed.  

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