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Great Apes and the Law
Maps of State Laws
Pleadings, Briefs and Jury Charges
We now have two ways to search for pleading materials from various cases. In the box below, you may search by looking up the case name (alphabetical by plaintiff) by clicking on Table of Material by Case Name. Alternatively, you may use the pull-down menu below under Search by Issue Topic. Here you will find the pleadings listed by a variety of legal topics.
Karstan Lovorn – Student Editor (updated by Rebecca F. Wisch)
Attorneys and other legal professionals are well-acquainted with the procedural steps involved in bringing a lawsuit. Laypersons, however, may not fully realize the multitude of filings that accompany the average lawsuit. For purposes of this website, the "pleadings" are those documents filed by either party in a lawsuit before, during, or after trial. These documents include complaints, motions, memoranda of law, briefs, and opinions, which are organized by the case name and topic addressed (see the box above).
Generally speaking, a plaintiff (the party bringing the civil lawsuit) files a complaint that sets forth a claim(s) for relief by alleging the wrongdoings by defendant and outlines the claimed damages. Damages are the money compensation sought by the plaintiff for the loss to his or her person, property, or rights. Motions, written or oral applications submitted to the court to obtain a rule of law or introduction of evidence, are then submitted by either party to be decided by the court. Following motions and trials, courts issue opinions and orders that determine the legal and sometimes factual issues of a case. After trial, the party who disagrees with the court's decision is usually allowed to file an appeal that contests the decision of the court. For a more detailed introduction on the functioning of the federal and state court systems, please click here to see How Does our Court System Work, by Karstan Lovorn.
Through this page the pleadings and/ or legal briefs – trial and appeal – for animal related cases will be provided. For an example of one case that has eleven documents please see, Burgess v. Taylor
We need the help of practicing attorneys to provide us with the materials to post in this section of the Web Center. If you have an animal related case that you think others might be interested in viewing the pleadings / briefs / jury charges, please contact us.
Plaintiffs in this case consist of the Wake County Animal Care, Control, and AdoptionCenter and the local chapter of the ALDF. They seek preliminary and permanent injunctions pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. Secs. 19A-1 through 19A-4 against Defendant Janie Conyers, who was found to have 106 animals living in her house under deplorable conditions.
This Washington case involves plaintiff's suit against defendant animal hospital for the escape of her cat while the cat was being boarded at the hospital. Plaintiff sued for simple negligence with a presumption of res ipsa loquitur and breach of bailment contract. With regard to damages, plaintiff pleads intrinsic value of "Moochie," which includes as component the emotional distress suffered by plaintiff.
This case involves an action by plaintiffs, consumers who have eaten pork from defendant's company, against defendant pork-producers under California's anti-cruelty and unlawful business practices laws. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that defendant's use of gestation crates for pregnant sows is illegal under California Penal Code Section 597t (a section that requires anyone who keeps an animal confined in an enclosed area must provide it with an adequate exercise area).
In this Georgia case, plaintiff ran a pet rescue out of his home. DefendantElbertCounty enacted an ordinance effective in October 2005 that requires every owner or custodian of more than 15 dogs to obtain a kennel license from the Elbert County Animal Control Department. To obtain this license, the applicant must also have a signed document stating that neighbors do not object. Plaintiff was unable to obtain these signed statements and challenged the ordinance as unconstitutional and unenforceable because it conditions the granting of a license upon the subjective approval of neighbors.
This Miami-Dade County, Florida case concerns the unauthorized euthanization of the plaintiff's dog, "Cowboy." In August of 2005, Cowboy got loose. Plaintiff was at first inaccurately informed that no dog matching Cowboy's description was at the shelter. The shelter euthanized the dog despite assurances to plaintiff that he would be kept safe. Plaintiff sued animal control, the county, and police department for intentional infliction of emotional distress, conversion, wrongful disposition of a body, and negligence.
Thanks to the Animal Legal Defense Fund who has provided many of the documents included in this section as well as the funding to allow the development of this topic.