Cases

  • Environmental and wildlife organizations brought challenge under the Endangered Species Act [ESA] against a final rule promulgated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS] designating the Western Great Lakes distinct population segment of gray wolves and simultaneously delisting it from the ESA.  The court vacated and remanded the Rule to the Fish and Wildlife Service because the ESA was ambiguous about whether it authorized the FWS to simultaneously designate and delist a distinct population segment.  There was no Chevron deference due.

  • In this case, plaintiffs alleged that by creating a fee-for-service ante-mortem horse slaughter inspection system without first conducting any environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), has violated NEPA and the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ's) implementing regulations, abused its discretion, and acted arbitrarily and capriciously in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). At the time Plaintiffs filed their Complaint, horses were slaughtered at three different foreign-owned facilities in the United States to provide horse meat for human consumption abroad and for use in zoos and research facilities domestically. The instant case pertains to the web of legislation and regulations pertaining to the inspection of such horses prior to slaughter. Based on the Court's finding of a NEPA violation, the Court declared the Interim Final Rule to be in violation of the APA and NEPA, vacated the Interim Final Rule, permanently enjoined the FSIS from implementing the Interim Final Rule, and dismissed this case. This present action is defendant-intervenor Cavel International, Inc's Emergency Motion for a Stay of the Court's March 28, 2007 Order. The Court notes that as of the Court's March 28, 2007 Order, Cavel was the only facility still in operation processing horsemeat for human consumption. The Court finds that a stay of its March 28, 2007 Order would not be in the public interest, and particularly in light of Cavel's failure to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits and adequately demonstrate irreparable injury, the Court finds that a balancing of the factors enumerated above supports denying Cavel's request for a stay. 

  • 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.


  • On May 13, 2011, Animal Welfare Organizations sought a declaratory judgment against the State of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Agriculture stating that Senate Bill (SB) 795 violated the Missouri Constitution by amending a bill to change its original purpose.  The trial court found the Animal Welfare Organization's cause of action was moot and granted the State and the State Department's motion for summary judgment. On appeal, in an en blanc opinion, the Missouri Supreme Court found the repeal and reenactment of § 273.327 in SB 161 rendered moot any decision as to whether SB795 was properly enacted. The lower court's decision was therefore affirmed.
  • 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.

  • Subspecies of the taxonomic species “gray wolf” were declared endangered by the federal government between 1966 and 1976. When the numbers of the wolves started rebounding, the federal government reclassified the gray wolf from its regional listings (Mexican wolf, Texas wolf, Timber Wolf, etc.) into a single species listing divided into two groups: Minnesota gray wolves and the gray wolf. The government determined that the Minnesota gray wolf had recovered to a point of only being threatened. The gray wolf remained endangered. In 2003, the Fish and Wildlife Service (“The Service”) subdivided the gray wolf listing into an Eastern, Western, and a Southwestern segment. The Minnesota gray wolf and any gray wolf that existed in the Northeast region were included in the Eastern segment. The wolves in the Eastern and Western segments were listed as threatened by the Service rather than endangered. The wolves in the Southwestern segment were listed as endangered. In that same year, two district courts struck down the Rule’s attempted designation of those three population segments. The first one was a district court in Oregon which ruled that “by downlisting the species based solely on the viability of a small population within that segment, the Service was effectively ignoring the species’ status in its full range, as the Endangered Species Act requires.” Then a second district court in Vermont held that the Service designated and downlisted the Eastern segment of gray wolves impermissibly. Specifically, the Court stated that the Service should not have lumped the Northeast region into the Eastern region without first checking to see if there were any gray wolfs in the Northeast region. In 2007, the Service enacted a new rule which created a Western Great Lakes gray wolf population segment and at the same time removed that segment from the Endangered Species Act’s protections. A district court again vacated the rule. The Solicitor of the Department of the Interior issued a memorandum in 2008 that concluded that the Service has the statutory authority to identify a segment and then delist it. In 2009 the Service republished the 2007 rule without notice and comment. As result of this the rule was challenged and vacated after the Service acknowledged that it impermissibly enacted the rule without notice and comment. As a result of all of this, the status of the gray wolves remained in 2009 what it had been in 1978. In 2011, the Service issued a final rule that revised the boundaries of the Minnesota gray wolf population to include the wolves in all or portions of eight other states. The Service then delisted the segment. The Service used the solicitor’s opinion to back up its authority to delist the segment. The Humane Society filed suit alleging that the 2011 Rule violated both the Endangered Species Act and the APA. The District court vacated the 2011 Rule holding that the Service does not have the authority to designate a segment only to delist it. On appeal, the Court identified the main issue in this case as “whether the Endangered Species Act permits the Service to carve out of an already-listed species a distinct population segment for the purpose of delisting that segment and withdrawing it from the Act’s aegis.” The Court concluded that the Service’s interpretation of the statue allowing them to designate a distinct population segment within a listed species is reasonable. The statutory language expressly contemplates new designations and determinations that would require a revising of the listing. “The Service permissibly concluded that the Endangered Species Act allows the identification of a distinct population segment within an already-listed species, and further allows the assignment of a different conservation status to that segment if the statutory criteria for uplisting, downlisting, or delisting are met.” Although the Service had legal authority to act as it did, it did not properly assess the impact that extraction of the segment of gray wolves would have on the legal status of the remaining listed species. “[T]he Service's disregard of the remnant's status would turn that sparing segment process into a backdoor route to the de facto delisting of already-listed species, in open defiance of the Endangered Species Act's specifically enumerated requirements for delisting.” The Court found that although the Service’s interpretation of the word “range” was reasonable, the Service’s conclusion about the threat to the gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes segment was arbitrary and capricious. The service’s analysis wrongly omitted all consideration of lost historical range. The Court also held that the absence of conservation plans for gray wolves in North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Indiana does not render the Service’s decision to delist the Western Great Lakes gray wolves arbitrary and capricious. The Court further found no improper political influence in this case. Due to the three major short comings: (i) the Service failing to address the effect on the remnant population of carving out the Western Great Lakes segment; (ii) the Service misapplied the Service’s own discreetness and significance tests; and (iii) the Service ignored the implications of historical range loss, the Court ultimately decided that vacating the 2011 rule was appropriate and, therefore, affirmed the district court’s ruling.
  • Minnesota allowed trapping and snaring activities. Plaintiffs sued the state, arguing that this policy was causing the death of some endangered Canada lynx, in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The plaintiffs and defendants had the case dismissed after they agreed that Minnesota would seek a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act, and that conservation measures would be taken for the protection of the lynx.

  • Plaintiff Humane Society Western Region (d/b/a "Happy Paws Farm") filed this lawsuit against Snohomish County alleging provisions of the county code regulating barking are unconstitutionally vague in violation of the state and federal constitutions, and that the SCC provision governing the temporary housing of animals in shelters violates its federal constitutional right to substantive due process. Plaintiff argued that the noise ordinances invite subjective evaluation resulting in arbitrary enforcement because the code contains no reference to identifiable levels of noise, only to noises that are repetitive.  The absence of identifiable levels of noise, or decibel levels, does not render the noise ordinances unconstitutionally vague. Plaintiff fails to demonstrate that this method is not easily understood by individuals of ordinary intelligence or that it fails to protect against arbitrary enforcement. This opinion was Affirmed in Part, Reversed in Part by Humane Society Western Region v. Snohomish County, 357 Fed.Appx. 144 (9th Cir., 2009).

  • 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 (to wit, participating in targeted protest at the home of the plaintiff Mark L. Bibi). 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.

  •  In this Maryland case, Defendant appealed his convictions for two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts of malicious destruction of property valued under $500 relating to the fatal shooting of two of his neighbor's (Randolph's) dogs. On appeal, Defendant maintains the language of the former text of 10-416(b)(3), a section of the Natural Resources Code dealing with deer hunting, renders the shooting justifiable. The Court found that Section 10-416(b)(3) is ambiguous; as such, based on the rule of lenity, the Court construed section 10-416(b)(3), with one exception, as giving persons in Washington County (prior to the 2009 amendment) a right to kill a dog pursing a deer whether or not the dog was being used for purposes of deer hunting. However, the Court found that Section 10-416 of the Natural Resources Article gave Defendant no privilege to kill a dog pursuing a turkey.

  • Plaintiff was injured by a police dog during the arrest of her husband.  Plaintiff sued under a Minnesota Statute requiring strict liability for dog injuries.  The trial court held the statute applied to police dogs, the Court of Appeals reversed, and the Supreme Court ultimately held the statute does apply to police dogs.

  • Plaintiff Heather Hyland brought this action for damages after defendants' dog, an American bulldog, trespassed onto plaintiff's property and attacked her ten year old shih tzu, causing serious injuries to the dog.  Defendants appeal the award of "repair costs" ($2,500) in excess of the dog's market value or "replacement cost" ($500).  In upholding the award, the court distinguished companion animals from other personal property, finding that market value fails to take into account the owner's relationship to the animal. 

  • Defendant was convicted of four counts of animal cruelty and one count of simple assault. The portion of the sentence depriving defendant of animals which the State failed to demonstrate were abused vacated and case remanded; judgment affirmed in all other respects because the motion to suppress was properly denied, and defendant was not prejudiced by the trial court's refusal to sever the trial.

  • After Gooding County adopted an ordinance regulating confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), cattle ranching and dairy associations brought suit challenging the constitutionality and validity of provisions within the ordinance and seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.  The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the county, and the associations appealed.  The Idaho Supreme Court affirmed the district court's findings. 

  • This case involves a challenge by several organizations to the proposed move of Timmy, a lowland gorilla, from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to the Bronx Zoo in New York for the purposes of mating Timmy with female gorillas at the Bronx Zoo. Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit on October 25, 1991, in the Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County, and moved for a temporary restraining order.  The District Court held that the claim was preempted under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and that plaintiffs failed to state a claim under the ESA.  Further, the court held that plaintiffs had no private cause of action under the AWA. 

  • This FOIA case was brought against the National Institutes of Health ("NIH") by In Defense of Animals (“IDA”) seeking information related to approximately 260 chimpanzees located as the Alamogordo Primate Facility (“APF”) in New Mexico. Before the court now is NIH's Motion for Partial Reconsideration as to the release of records. This Court rejected NIH’s arguments that the records are not “agency records” because they belong to NIH's contractor, Charles River Laboratories, Inc. (“CRL”), a publicly held animal research company. Also, the Court was equally unconvinced that the information requested here is “essentially a blueprint of the APF facility,” and that release of such information presents a security risk to the facility. This Order was Superseded by In Defense of Animals v. National Institutes of Health , 543 F.Supp.2d 70 (D.D.C., 2008).

  • This FOIA case was brought against the National Institutes of Health ("NIH") by In Defense of Animals (“IDA”) seeking information related to approximately 260 chimpanzees located as the Alamogordo Primate Facility (“APF”) in New Mexico. Before the court now is NIH's Motion for Partial Reconsideration as to the release of records. This Court rejected NIH’s arguments that the records are not “agency records” because they belong to NIH's contractor, Charles River Laboratories, Inc. (“CRL”), a publicly held animal research company. Also, the Court was equally unconvinced that the information requested here is “essentially a blueprint of the APF facility,” and that release of such information presents a security risk to the facility.

  • A nonprofit corporation petitioned the trial court for injunctive and declaratory relief regarding fees charged by a state university primate research center for document inspection.  The circuit court dismissed the action with prejudice, reasoning it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the fee issue and, assuming jurisdiction existed, the fees were in compliance with law.  The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, holding the circuit court had jurisdiction to review the basis, reasonableness and amount of fees charged by the university.

  • In this case, the Plaintiffs, In Defense of Animals, Craig C. Downer, and Terri Farley, attempted to obtain a preliminary injunction that would stop the defendants, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and representatives of the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (“the Bureau”), from implementing a plan to capture or gather approximately 2,700 wild horses located in western Nevada (“gather plan”).   The plaintiffs contended that the gather plan had to be set aside pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq., because the Bureau did not have the statutory authority to carry out the gather plan, and because the plan did not comply with the terms of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (“Wild Horse Act”), 16 U.S.C. §§ 1331 et seq.   The Court denied the Plaintiffs request for an injunction.  
  • Plaintiff animal non-profits filed a Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction to stop the government from rounding up, destroying, and auctioning off wild horses and burros in the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area. Plaintiffs alleged that the government's actions violated the Wild Free–Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. However, the initial phase of the plan sought to be enjoined (the roundup) had taken place. The court held that the interlocutory appeal from the denial of a preliminary injunction was moot because the roundup had already taken place.

  • In this Pennsylvania case, the testatrix directed in her will that her Irish setter dogs to be destroyed in a humane manner. The executors were unsure of what action to take and sought declaratory relief. In attempting to construe the testatrix's intent, the court found that she "evidently feared that either they would grieve for her or that no one would afford them the same affection and kindness that they received during her life." The court found that the intent of testatrix would be carried out if her two favored Irish setters were placed in an environment where they are given the same care and attention that she she gave them during her life. The final question the court grappled with was whether it was against public policy to hold valid a clause in a will directing the summary destruction of certain of decedent's property after her death. The court held that the clause was void as not being within the purview of the Wills Act of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and being against the public policy of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

  • Synopsis from the court: County filed notice of claim, directed toward estate of cattle farmer who had passed away after he was charged with animal cruelty, seeking reimbursement for costs incurred in connection with care of seized cattle. The Surrogate's Court, Clinton County, Timothy J. Lawliss, J., held that: (1 ) county failed to establish that it was entitled to any relief based upon a theory of quantum meruit, and (2) even assuming that service providers, and thus county upon payment of service providers' bills, enriched farmer, county was not entitled to recover based upon a theory of unjust enrichment because criminal charges against farmer were dismissed upon his death. Notice of claim denied and dismissed.
  • After parties in a lawsuit over listing species as endangered or threatened agreed upon a settlement, the Safari Club motioned to intervene because the settlement might affect three species that the club's members hunt. The district court denied the motion to intervene as of right because the club lacked Article III standing and denied a permissive intervention because it would cause undue delay and prejudice to the parties; the court then approved the settlement and the club appealed. The appeals court affirmed the lower court's decision that the club lacked Article III standing for intervening as of right. The appeals court, however, in view of uncertainty whether Article III standing was required for permissive intervention, declined to exercise pendant appellate jurisdiction over the permissive intervention appeal.

  • The owners of a cooperative unit kept a dog in their dwelling despite a no pets policy. There was, however, an exception in the policy for service animals, and the Jessups argued that the small dog they kept was necessary due to various medical problems they had, including arthritis and depression. The housing authority denied the request, stating that only animals certified for the particular disability qualify as a "service animal." The West Virginia Court of Appeals held that a housing authority may require that a service animal be properly trained without violating federal law.

  • The Defendant was convicted in the Superior Court in Spokane County, Washington of second degree assault and first degree animal cruelty.  The Defendant requested that he receive credit against his term of community custody for the extra 24 months' confinement time he served before he was re-sentenced.    The Court of Appeals held that the Defendant was entitled to 24 months credit against his term of community custody.   

  • This action relates to a court order in an estate case.  The decedent left a legacy in the form of some timber reserves to the Human Society of Portland Oregon "to be used solely for the benefit of animals."  The executor refused to pay the legacy.  This is an appeal from a circuit court decision directing and authorizing Andrew Hansen, executor of the estate of Otto Kulka, deceased, to pay the petitioner a legacy from proceeds in the executor's hands.  The court affirmed the payment of the legacy.

  • Joe Berger appeals from the provisions of the decree of divorce from Cira Berger, including the court’s grant of Max, the family golden retriever, to Cira. He argues that it would be more equitable to grant him ownership of Max because Cira already owns another dog, Sophie, and the parties’ son, who lives with Joe, is very attached to Max. The district court made their decision based on which party would be more available to care for the dog. This court affirms that decision, citing evidence that Max is licensed to Cira, only Cira’s name is in the dog’s ‘GEO tracker’ device, and Cira got Max medical attention even when Max was in Joe’s care. The court specified that they need not determine a pet's best interests when deciding custody.
  • In this case, Michael A. Baker appealed the trial court’s decision regarding property distribution and visitation rights with regard to his two dogs, Grace and Roxy, following his divorce from Kimberly K. Enders. The trial court awarded custody of both dogs to Enders and denied Baker any visitation rights. In making its decision, the trial court relied on a New York case in which the New York Supreme Court did not allow dog visitation. (Travis v. Murray, 42 Misc.3d 447, 977 N.Y.S.2d 621, 631 (N.Y.Sup.Ct.2013). The New York Supreme Court refused to apply the “best interests of the dog” standard and instead applied a “best for all standard,” holding that “household pets enjoy a status greater than mere chattel.” Baker appealed the trial court’s decision arguing that Illinois courts have the authority to order pet visitation. On appeal, the court determined that there was no case law to suggest that an Illinois court had ever addressed the issue of dog visitation. As a result, the court found that the trial court was well within its discretion to apply the standard used in the New York case. Additionally, the court of appeals applied the statutory definition of “dog owner” in Illinois and determined that Enders was the dogs’ rightful owner. The Illinois statute defined owner as “any person having a right of property in an animal, or who keeps or harbors an animal, or who has it in his care, or acts as its custodian.” The court found that because the dogs were left in Ender’s care following the divorce, she is the one who “keeps or harbors” the dogs and is therefore the owner. Ultimately, the court affirmed the trial court’s decision and denied Baker visitation rights.

  • The parties both appealed from the district court’s orders distributing the marital estate upon the parties’ divorce. Kara Pilskalns claimed that the court erred when it granted ownership of Maggie, the couple’s dog, to Andrew Pilskalns. This court affirms the decision, declining to use the best interest of the child standard for the distribution of pets as they are marital property.
  • Dog which had been gift from husband to wife was awarded to husband in divorce decree; wife appealed.  Appeals court found that the trial court did not err, considering both "the property division as a whole" and that the dog had accompanied husband to work each day.  Court held that a dog is personal property whose best interests need not be considered.

  • A couple had agreed to a divorce settlement where they each had visitation rights with their dog; the trial court approved of the arrangement.  The wife later tried to have that section removed from the decree, but the trial court held that they did not have jurisdiction to make such a change.  The appellate court affirmed the decision, which left visitation intact
  • In this order, the court held that Respondent shall cease and desist from transporting live animals in primary enclosures which are not sufficiently large to insure that each animal contained therein has sufficient space to turn about freely in a standing position using normal body movement, to stand and sit erect, and to lie in a natural position, which spatial requirements are contained in the regulations issued pursuant to the Act. (9 CFR 3.12(c)).

  • In this Minnesota case, the appellant challenges the district court's order designating his dog a "dangerous dog" under Minn.Stat. § 347.50, subd. 2(2) (2004). The appellate court held that the city lacked authority to bring action to enforce non-self-executing statutory provision concerning dangerous dogs. While the city of Arden Hills argues that the legislature, in section 347.53, gives cities "the power to enforce the dangerous dog statute, section 347.53 authorizes cities to "regulate potentially dangerous dogs," a statutory category expressly separate from and exclusive of "dangerous dogs." The court stated that the issue is whether Arden Hills may enforce the statute without first adopting it or promulgating procedures for its enforcement. Further, while it is undisputed that Scooter was badly injured by Molly during the attack, she was not dead then or upon arrival at the veterinary clinic. The owners undertook the decision to euthanize rather than treat the injured dog.

  • This case concerns the approval of a settlement agreement for a residential development project that contained habitat critical to the survival of a local population of timber rattlesnakes, an endangered species in New Jersey.  The court's review of the record found that there is no reason to interfere with the determination by the Commission, since there was ample evidence to support the Commission's decision to approve the settlement.  The court also agreed with the lower court that the environmental organizations lacked standing to bring an endangered species counterclaim before the lower court.  Specifically, the court found that the Department of Environmental Protection and the Commission did not fail to act in implementing the endangered species act; thus, no standing was conferred upon the groups.  The court also noted that the DEP and the Commission acted in their requisite complementary roles in effecting the Act.

  • A trustee in a bankruptcy proceeding sought turnover of Sioux Indian Ghost Dance Shield containing eagle feathers.  The court observed that normally the laws of the UCC would prevail and the merchants to whom the item was entrusted would have legitimate title to transfer, but since the BGEPA prohibits the sale of eagle artifacts, only the original owner had title to the shield, not the bankrupt who allegedly tried to sell the shield nor the potential purchasers.  The court held that the underlying public policy outlined in Allard weighed heavily in the decision to invalidate what it termed an illegal contract.  For further discussion on commerce in eagle parts under the BGPEA, see Detailed Discussion of Eagle Act .

  • Hunters and hunting organizations sued the Secretary of Interior, the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Service itself after the Service listed the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and barred the importation of polar bear trophies under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). On appeal, the appeals court affirmed the lower court’s decision to grant the defendants' motion of summary judgment.

  • Plaintiffs Safari Club International and Safari Club International Foundation brought this action under the APA challenging the FWS's legal determination that the listing of the Polar Bear as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act was a final agency action. At issue here is defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on the grounds that plaintiffs fail to challenge a final agency action as required for judicial review under the APA. Alternatively, defendants argue that the plaintiffs lack standing to bring this action. This Court found that the action challenged by SCI and SCIF is final agency action for purposes of judicial review pursuant to the APA. On the issue of standing, defendants argue that plaintiffs' suit must be dismissed for lack of standing because plaintiffs have not alleged facts to establish that they have suffered an injury-in-fact. The court disagreed, finding that the plaintiffs have sufficiently pleaded that the “procedures in question” threaten a “concrete interest" - an interest in conservation that is impacted by the import ban. Defendants Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings was denied.

  • This Ohio case dealt with a deceased testator's will that bequeathed his dog to a certain person, including $1000 to be used for the care of the dog. The issues in this case were whether the testamentary bequest for the care of the dog was valid in Ohio as a proper subject of a "honorary trust," whether the bequest violated the rule against perpetuities, and whether the bequest was subject to the inheritance tax laws of Ohio. Ohio's Ninth District Court of Appeals held: 1) the testator's purpose was not capricious or illegal, and that such gift, whether designated as an 'honorary trust' or a gift with a power which is valid when exercised, is lawful; 2) such a bequest does not, by the terms of the will, violate the rule against perpetuities; and 3) a succession tax based on the amount of money expended for the care of the dog cannot lawfully be imposed, since the money is not property passing for the use of a "person, institution or corporation."
  • This appeal presents a challenge by Anthony Tavalario to the manner in which the State Agricultural Development Committee (SADC) determines whether keeping horses on property constitutes a "commercial" agricultural operation that exempts the property from local zoning and other land use restrictions as the result of the preemptive force of the Right to Farm Act, N.J.S.A. 4:1C-1 to -10.4. The SADC found that Tavalario's use of the land did not qualify for protection under the Act, because he could not demonstrate that, as of July 3, 1998, his operation produced "agricultural or horticultural products worth $2,500 or more annually" as required by the definitional section of the Act. Tavalario contends on appeal that the SADC erred because it failed to consider as income in 1998 uncollected stud fees, the imputed value of a horse sold as a broodmare in 2002 for $8,000 and another horse sold in 2003 for $5,400, and race winnings of an undisclosed amount allegedly awarded at an unspecified time after 1998. The court found no grounds for reversal of the SADC's interpretation of the production requirements of the definition of "commercial farm" found in N.J.S.A. 4:1C-3 or its application to Tavalario's case.

  • The court concluded that respondent had committed more than thirty violations of the AWA for his abuse of his exhibition animals (mainly leopards).  Among the violations were a failure to maintain required records, failure to provide veterinary care, failure to comply with standards affecting all aspects of cat care, and physically abusing animals. As a result, respondent's license was suspended, a civil penalty was imposed and an order was issued directing respondent to cease and desist from violating the Act. Although respondent sought the protection of the bankruptcy code, the automatic stay of proceedings provided by bankruptcy law does not prevent the Department from obtaining corrective action to preserve animal welfare.

  • Only requirement of 7 USCS § 2149(a), which authorizes suspension or revocation of license of exhibitor if exhibitor has violated or is violating any provision of Animal Welfare Act (7 USCS §§ 2131 et seq.) or any regulation or standard promulgated by Secretary under Act, is that at least one of violations be willful; existence of additional violations not shown to be willful does nothing to take away Secretary's authority to suspend or revoke exhibitor's license.
  • This is a disciplinary proceeding under the Animal Welfare Act, as amended (7 U.S.C. s 2131 et seq.), and the regulations and standards issued thereunder (9 C.F.R. s 1.1 et seq.). On November 20, 1992, Administrative Law Judge Edwin S. Bernstein (ALJ) issued an Initial Decision and Order assessing a civil penalty of $2,000, and suspending Respondents' license for 30 days, and thereafter until they are in full compliance with the Act, regulations and standards, because Respondents failed to keep their primary enclosures sanitary and in suitable condition, failed to maintain complete records, failed to keep food and watering receptacles clean, failed to handle wastes properly, failed to provide adequate veterinarian care, and failed to utilize sufficient personnel to maintain proper husbandry practices. (Respondents were licensed exhibitors of captive wildlife, including deer, non-human primates, and bears, among other animals.) The court also found the sanctions were not too severe, considering the willfullness of the violations.

  • Respondents, Craig and Marilyn Lesser, were respectively, president and vice-president of LSR Industries, a Wisconsin corporation that was in the business of breeding and selling rabbits to research institutions, and licensed dealers under the Animal Welfare Act. The ALJ issued an Initial Decision and Order assessing civil penalties of $9,250, and suspending Respondents' license for 30 days, after respondents interfered with APHIS inspections of their facilities and failed to maintain their facilities in accordance with the standards involving housing, sanitation, cleaning, ventilation, storage of food and bedding, and lighting. However, the Judicial Officer increased the civil penalties of $9,250 assessed by the ALJ by $500, because of sanitation and waste violations, for which the ALJ assessed no civil penalties. Since Respondents did not raise any issue before the ALJ as to whether warrantless inspections are unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment, they cannot raise the issue on appeal. The Fourth Amendment is not violated by warrantless inspections under this regulatory statute.

  • Purpose of sanctions is to deter respondent, as well as others, from committing same or similar violations.
  • Ongoing pattern of violations establishes "history of previous violations" for purposes of 7 USCS § 2149(b), and it is appropriate to view evidence as establishing prior violations in determining appropriate level of civil penalty.
  • The Judicial Officer affirmed the Decision by Chief Judge Palmer (Chief ALJ) assessing civil penalties of $140,000, with $60,000 held in abeyance for 1 year, for transporting 108 dogs and cats in a cargo space that was without sufficient air, causing the death of 32 dogs. The Order also directs Respondent to cease and desist from violating the Act, regulations and standards, and, in particular, to cease and desist from failing to ensure that dogs and cats have a supply of air sufficient for normal breathing.  On appeal, the court held that when regulated entity fails to comply with Act, regulations or standards, there is separate violation for each animal consequently harmed or placed in danger.
  • Imposition of $4,000 civil penalty was appropriate under 7 USCS § 2149(b) where respondent committed numerous, serious violations of Animal Welfare Act, respondent handled large number of animals, and violations continued after respondent was advised in writing of violations and given opportunity to correct them.

  • This is a disciplinary proceeding under the Animal Welfare Act, as amended (7 U.S.C. ss 2131- 2156). On April 20, 1989, Administrative Law Judge Edwin S. Bernstein (ALJ) issued an initial Decision and Order suspending respondents' license for 90 days, and thereafter until respondents demonstrate compliance with the Act and regulations, assessing a civil penalty of $12,000, and directing respondents to cease and desist from failing to retain possession and control of all dogs until they are at least 8 weeks of age and have been weaned, failing to hold dogs for not less than 5 business days after acquisition, failing to keep and maintain proper records, and failing to allow inspection of respondents' facility and records. Dealers and other regulated persons are required to grant access to their records during ordinary business hours, without any advance notice from Department.

  • On March 14, 1990, the civil penalty and suspension provisions of the order issued in this case on January 29, 1990, 49 Agric.Dec. 115, were stayed pending the outcome of proceedings for judicial review.  This order is issued lifting the stay.  The civil penalty of $12,000 assessed against the respondents shall be paid no later than the 90th day after service of this order.

  • Licensed dealer who engaged in recurring pattern of trivial noncompliance with housekeeping requirements, failed to provide records on two occasions and failed to permit inspection on one occasion, is properly sanctioned with 20-day license suspension, $1500 civil penalty, and cease and desist order.

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