Cases

  • Defendant was accused and convicted of 17 counts of cruelty to animals for harboring fighting dogs in deplorable conditions. Defendant challenged the sufficiency of the evidence and the probation terms. The appellate court found, in light of the evidence, any rational trier of fact could have found the elements of cruelty to animals beyond a reasonable doubt. Further, defendant failed to overcome the presumption that the probation the trial court imposed was correct.

  • Lamp owners sued the lamp’s manufacturer and seller under Washington Products Liability Act, alleging that  lamp caused a fire that injured their dog. The District Court held that Plaintiffs could not recover damages for emotional harm arising from injury to their dog. The appropriate measure of damages for personal property is market value, but if it has none, then the value to the owner is the proper measure. Plaintiffs' recovery was limited to the actual or intrinsic value of the dog.

  • Plaintiffs brought the instant suit contending that their Condo Board's refusal to accommodate the need for an emotional support animal forced them to sell their condo. The Defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state claims upon which relief could be granted. After finding that Plaintiffs were not entitled to unrestricted access for their dog despite a no pet waiver and after needing more facts to determine whether Defendants restrictions on Plaintiffs’ access to the building were reasonable, the District Court denied Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims under the Federal Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) and the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA). The District Court also found Plaintiffs' interference or intimidation allegations sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss. However, the District Court dismissed Plaintiffs’ nuisance claim because Plaintiffs had not contended that Defendants unreasonably used their own property to interfere in Plaintiffs' use and enjoyment of their home, but rather, contended that Defendants made rules that interfered with the Plaintiff's ability to use the common areas of the property as they wished. Plaintiffs’ intentional infliction of emotional distress claim was also dismissed because Plaintiffs had not sufficiently alleged that Defendants' conduct was extreme or outrageous. Finally, the constructive eviction claim was dismissed because more than a year had past between the owners’ accommodation request and the sale of their condominium. In sum, Counts I, II, and III went forward, but the remainder of the complaint was dismissed. Additionally, Defendant Sudler Building Services was dismissed from the complaint.
  • An owner of a horse farm acquired a new horse that had only recently been broken in and got a woman with some health problems to ride the horse. The horse bucked and threw the defendant off the horse causing injury. The court held that even though riders assume the risk of most injuries, a horse owner can be liable for failure to take reasonable measures to match the rider to a suitable horse.

  • After home owner’s roommate was attacked by a pit bull inside the home, the victim filed suit against owner under the vicious animal and the premises liability statutes. The Court of Appeals held that, because the roommate knew about the dog’s vicious propensity to the same extent as the owner, the owner was not liable. Plaintiff must present evidence that the owner had superior knowledge of the dog's temperament for the owner to be liable.

  • This Washington discrimination case was brought by a dog owner (Storms) with psychiatric conditions against a store and its managers who refused to allow her to stay in store with her alleged service dog. The dog was trained to  put herself between Storms and other people so as to keep an open area around Storms and alleviate her anxiety (a symptom of her post-traumatic stress syndrome). The appellate court found that there was sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case of discrimination against Fred Meyer for refusing to allow her to shop accompanied by her dog. Testimony showed that Brandy had been specifically trained to help Storms with her particular disability by placing herself in between Storms and others in a way that alleviated her anxiety, which was further corroborated by testimony that Brandy engaged in such behavior. Thus, evidence showed that the defendants' violated RCW 49.60.215 by not allowing Storms to do her own shopping within the store because she was accompanied by a service animal.

  • Plaintiff ranch owners grazed cattle within the Murderer's Creek Wild Horse Territory (WHT), an area in which the threatened Middle Columbia River steelhead was present. The Forest Service approved a wild horse management plan in the area, but failed to prepare a Biological Assessment (BA) to determine whether the plan was likely to affect the threatened species, and whether formal consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) was necessary. The Forest Service’s failure to comply with section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was arbitrary and capricious, and was ordered to consult with NMFS on its plan.

  • Coast Guard vessels struck and killed Northern Right whales. Plaintiffs claim that these incidents constitute takings in violation of the ESA and MMPA. Court holds that the Coast Guard could implement reasonable and prudent alternatives that would reduce the striking of whales.

  • Plaintiff sued defendant dog breeders after defendants misrepresented that the dog had been vaccinated as a newborn against Parvo.  In affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment to defendants on the issue of negligent infliction of emotional distress the court noted that dogs are considered property in Ohio.  While the court sympathized "with one who must endure the sense of loss which may accompany the death of a pet; however, we cannot ignore the law . . . Ohio law simply does not permit recovery for serious emotional distress which is caused when one witnesses the negligent injury or destruction of one's property."

  • Petitioner, an animal rescue organization, filed suit seeking the enforcement of the Animal Shelters and Sterilization Act. The court held that the act does not provide for a private right of action for money damages. Instead, the legislative history reveals the law was designed to benefit the general public in New York City as well as stray cats and dogs. The court affirmed the lower court's decision with costs.

  • A case involving an automobile accident in which the court declared that photographs may be authenticated by a party having personal knowledge of the location and who can verify that the photos substantially represent the conditions as they existed at the time in question.

  • The Supreme Court of Texas considers petitioner's appeal from the court of appeals' decision holding that a dog owner may recover intangible loss-of-companionship damages in the form of intrinsic or sentimental-value property damages. The facts underlying the action involved the improper euthanization of respondents' dog, Avery. They sued for Avery's “sentimental or intrinsic value” because the dog had little or no market value and was irreplaceable. The trial court found that Texas law barred such damages, and dismissed the suit with prejudice. The Court of Appeals of Texas became the first court to hold that a dog owner may recover intangible loss-of-companionship damages in the form of intrinsic or sentimental-value property damages. The Supreme Court reverses that decision here, ruling that dogs are ordinary property, with damages limited to market value, and noneconomic damages based in relational attachment are not permitted.

  • The appeal in this case does not contest the denial of a permit to conduct dolphin feedings cruises. The position of the plaintiffs-appellees is that the Secretary of Commerce has no authority to consider feeding to be a form of harassment or to regulate it. The court disagreed with the plaintiffs-appellees and found it clearly reasonable to restrict or prohibit the feeding of dolphins as a potential hazard to them.

  • Appeal of a circuit court decision finding a summary judgment that plaintiffs lacked standing to bring suit where a state university student organization and other parties brought suit against the university committee that supervised animal research, including a research proposal for cranial surgery on Macaque monkeys. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that plaintiffs had an interest in the governmental decisions of the committee, had established a denial of access related to that interest, thus had standing to bring the suit.

  • In this case, Sturgeon sought to use his hovercraft in a National Preserve to reach moose hunting grounds. Sturgeon brought action against the National Park Service (NPS), challenging NPS’s enforcement of a regulation banning operation of hovercrafts on a river that partially fell within a federal preservation area in Alaska. Alaskan law permits the use of hovercraft, NPS regulations do not; Sturgeon argued that Park Service regulations did not apply because the river was owned by the State of Alaska. Sturgeon sought both declaratory and injunctive relief preventing the Park Service from enforcing its hovercraft ban. On remand, the Court of Appeals held that regulation preventing use of hovercraft in federally managed conservation areas applied to the river in the National Preserve. While the hovercraft ban excludes "non-federally owned lands and waters" within National Park System boundaries, this court found that the waterways at issue in this case were within navigable public lands based on established precedent. The district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants was affirmed.
  • impetraram este HABEAS CORPUS REPRESSIVO, em favor da chimpanzÈ "SuiÁa" (nome cientifico anthropopithecus troglodytes), macaca que se encontra enjaulada no Parque Zoobot‚nico Get˙lio Vargas (Jardim ZoolÛgico de Salvador), situado na Av. Ademar de Barros
  • First case to consider that a chimpanzee might be a legal person to come before the court under a petition for Habeas Corpus.

  • A New Hampshire husband and wife owned their dog jointly when they divorced. The husband planned to take care of the dog while the wife relocated. Instead, he gave the dog away to a friend with a young son. The court held that the wife’s replevin action was not available against the donee of a cotenant.
  • In this Ohio case, appellant, Lorenza Pearson, appealed from a judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas that affirmed a decision of the Summit County Board of Health finding that his property was a public health nuisance.  Lorenza and Barbara Pearson were the owners of property where they kept a collection of exotic and domestic animals, including lions, tigers, leopards, bears, foxes, pigeons, dogs, and an alligator. At the time of the Board of Health hearing, they had 44 large cat species and 16 black bears.  The court held that the administrative body’s determination of a public nuisance resulting from unsanitary confinement of exotic pets was not arbitrary and capricious, and was “supported by a preponderance of reliable, probative and substantial evidence.”

  • The Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's decision that the Federal Meat Inspection Act focuses on the processes used by a manufacturer and not the product itself, and that the presence of Salmonella bacteria in the meat does not necessarily make a product "adulterated" because the act of the cooking meat normally destroys the bacteria.

  • North Federal District Court of Texas ruled that the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) only empowered the Food Safety and Inspection Services to prevent the United States Department of Agriculture from allowing companies to sell adulterated meat to the public. To find meat adulterated under FMIA requires that the processor's plants conditions are insanitary, thus the FSIS should focus on the manufacturing process and not the final product to determine that a plant is insanitary.

  • Plaintiff brought an action in tort against his father for injuries incurred in attempting to help his father and younger brother recapture an escaped bull. The defendant appeals from judgment for the plaintiff.
  • This is an interlocutory appeal by the dog owners (the Swansons) in a personal injury lawsuit for a dog bite. The court in this case overruled the lower court’s ruling that the defendant was not entitled to summary judgement after defendant’s dog bit a child but the dog had never shown a propensity to injure anyone prior to the incident. Plaintiff was suing defendant after defendant’s dog bit plaintiff’s child on the arm and head. Plaintiff argued that defendant is responsible for the injuries caused by the dog because the defendant neglected to properly restrain the dog. The court reversed the lower court’s decision and held in favor of defendant, stating that there was no evidence that was presented to indicate that defendant could have or should have known that the dog would act in this way towards the child. In order to prevail, the plaintiff needed to present evidence that the dog had acted in a similar way in the past.
  • In this Louisiana case, a prospective horse buyer filed an action against the prior sellers and their insurer to recover for injuries when she attempted to ride a horse offered for sale by the initial buyer. At the time of the injury, the horse was under the custody of the original sellers who were paid an additional amount to have the horse trained. The Court of Appeal held that sale of horse was perfected when the first buyer paid the sale price, even though the first buyer paid an additional amount for the sellers to finish training the horse. On the negligence issue, the court found the "green-broke" horse did not present an unreasonable risk of harm when the potential buyer attempted to ride it bareback as to assign strict liability to the prior sellers who had custody of the horse. 

  • In the indictment, the State alleged Appellant intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly tortured or in a cruel manner killed or caused serious bodily injury to an animal by shooting a dog with a crossbow, a state jail felony. The dog in question was a stray, which fell within the statutory definition of an “animal.” After a jury found Appellant guilty, the trial court assessed his punishment at two years' confinement in a state jail. On appeal, Appellant contended that the trial court erred by denying his motion for a mistrial after the jury heard evidence of an extraneous offense also involving cruelty to animals. Since the video that mentioned the extraneous offense was admitted without objection, the court held the Appellant waived the error and the trial court did not err by denying Appellant's motion for mistrial or by giving the instruction to disregard and overrule Appellant's first issue. Appellant further asserted the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. The court, however, held the evidence was sufficient for a rational trier of fact to have found, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Appellant intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly tortured or in a cruel manner killed or caused serious bodily injury to an animal by shooting it with a crossbow. The trial court's judgment was therefore affirmed.
  • This case dealt with the plaintiff's denial of the use of her service dog while in a courtroom to present a motion. After the denial, the plaintiff filed an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) action, alleging that there was a violation for denial of reasonable accommodations under the ADA. The district court dismissed the action for lack of jurisdiction, because as a federal court, it was barred from hearing the claim under the Rooker–Feldman doctrine. The Court of Appeals agreed, and held that as a federal court, it was barred from hearing the claim under the Rooker–Feldman doctrine, which prevents lower federal courts from exercising jurisdiction over cases brought by state court losers challenging state court judgments rendered before the district court proceedings commenced. Additionally, the district court held that it should exercise Younger abstention because the proceeding was ongoing and because the plaintiff had an adequate opportunity to raise her federal claims about her dog in state court, but the Court of Appeals held that "Younger is now a moot question because there is no ongoing state proceeding for [the Court of Appeals] to disturb." As a result, the district court's dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction was AFFIRMED.

  • A man who was bitten by a police dog brought a § 1983 action against two cities and police officers for violating his Fourth Amendment rights; the man also brought some state laws claims against the defendants as well. When the district court granted Minnesota’s motion for summary judgment, the park occupant appealed and the appeals court reversed the lower court’s decision. The appeals court also granted a petition to rehear, en banc, the question of the city’s municipal liability and found that the city was entitled to summary judgment on that claim. Circuit Judge Gibson filed a dissenting opinion and was joined by Wollman, Bye, and Melloy.
  • After an 8th Circuit decision to affirm the district court's summary judgment against Szabla and to reverse the district court’s grant of summary judgment for the City of Brooklyn Park, the City of Brooklyn Park filed a petition requesting a hearing en blanc. The 8th Circuit granted the petition, but limited the en blanc hearing to the issues raised in the city’s petition.  In all other respects, however, the Szabla v. City of Brooklyn Park, Mn., 429 F.3d 1168 (8th Cir. 2005) panel opinion and judgment were reinstated. Szabla v. City of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, 486 F.3d 385 (8th Cir. 2007).

  • A homeless man was mistaken for the driver of a crashed car while sleeping in a public park and was bitten by a police dog.  The homeless man brought claims under Section 1983 claiming his Fourth Amendment rights had been violated.  The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the police department and city, but the Court of Appeals remanded the issue of excessive force. Rehearing en Banc Granted in Part, Opinion Vacated in Part by Szabla v. City of Brooklyn Park, MN , 429 F.3d 1289 (8th Cir., 2006).

  • In this Georgia case, an adult son, who was business invitee, brought an action against his father to recover for injuries sustained when he was attacked by his father's bull while attempting to corral it for market. The lower court entered judgment for son, and father then appealed. The Court of Appeals, held that it for the jury to determine questions as to proximate cause, viciousness of bull, assumption of risk, superior or equal knowledge, contributory negligence, and negligence of the plaintiff. The failure of the trial court to charge adequately on proximate cause required a reversal, notwithstanding appellant's lack of a timely and proper request for a specific proximate cause charge. Judgment reversed.
  • Defendant Luri appeals an injunction against her to return a foster dog that she failed to have spayed in accordance with an agreement between her and Take Me Home pet rescue organization. In finding that the trial court did not err in issuing the injunction, the court found that Take Me Home had a reasonable likelihood for success on the merits of its breach of contract claim because the original agreement was amended by a separate oral agreement that the dog would be spayed after recovering from a bout of mange. Further, in assessing the balance of harms, the court found that it favored Take Me Home. While Luri can either spay the dog or adopt a new one, the organization's "entire existence depends on its ability to place pets that it obtains from shelters in adoptive homes."

  • An ex parte injunction was granted against the applicants preventing distribution or broadcasting of video footage obtained while on the respondent's property. The applicants claimed they were not on the land for an unlawful purpose and that they were there to obtain evidence of breaches of the Prevention of cruelty to Animals Act 1985 (SA). The injunction restraining distribution or broadcasting of the footage, which was applicable to the applicants only, was removed on the balance of convenience as the media outlets were at liberty to broadcast.

  • Plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgment from the court that Lakewood City Ordinance (“LCO”) 506.01, which bans pit bull dogs or those dogs with "appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of such breeds," unconstitutional under the Ohio Constitution Home Rule provisions. In this motion, plaintiffs argue that LCO 506 conflicts with and impermissibly expands the provisions of Ohio Revised Code § 955.22. The court found that while § 955.22 outlines requirements that must be met by a person who houses vicious dogs, including all pit bulls, it does not explicitly permit pit bulls. The court found that the General Assembly intended to allow municipalities to regulate the possession of pit bulls.

  • Maryland Court of Appeals held that animal-cruelty statute did not apply to researchers because there are certain normal human activities to which the infliction of pain to an animal is purely incidental and unavoidable.

  • A family friend wanted to ride a horse and the horse owner told him it was rideable, despite knowing the horse was not fully trained yet.  The family friend sued after being kicked in the eye, knocked unconscious and paralyzed by the horse.  The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's entry of summary judgment for the horse owner on the basis that there was still a genuine issue of material fact as to the horse owner's immunity under the Equine Activities Act. 

  • Two women, who had been disqualified from keeping horses by a court, transferred ownership of the horses to their niece, but had continued to make arrangements for the accommodation of the horses and to provide food and water for them. The women were convicted in the Magistrates' Court of the offence of "having custody" of the horses in breach of the disqualification order, and appealed. Dismissing the appeal, the Divisional Court held that, what amounted to "custody" was primarily a matter of fact for the lower court to decide, and that the local justices had been entitled to conclude that, notwithstanding the transfer of ownership, the two women had continued to be in control, or have the power to control, the horses.

  • Defendant was convicted of wilfully and maliciously killing a dog.  On appeal, the court found the instructions proper and held that a plaintiff could recover exemplary damages in addition to market value as compensation, not as punitive damages.  The court also found that the killing of a dog is not justified by trespass because there are remedies for destruction of property by animals of another.

  • Motorist collided with a horse and sued horse owners for damages. The Supreme Court held that, even if horse owners violated statute requiring them to provide shelter to horse, this did not constitute common-law negligence, which was required for damages. In addition, horse owners were not liable because there was no evidence that horse exhibited propensity to interfere with traffic prior to incident involving motorist.

  • A motorcyclist hit a dog wandering on the road and sued the defendant under strict liability theory. The court found that the defendant was strictly liable because he owned the dog in fact. Although the dog was originally a stray, the court upheld a finding of ownership because the defendant regularly fed the dog and harbored it on his property.  

  • Owner of oil and gas mineral rights sued the operators of commercial hog confinement facilities for negligence, claiming that the operator's allowed hog waste to escape the confines of the facility and flow into the mineral rights.   The District Court held that plaintiff's alleged damages were not barred by a rule prohibiting recovery of economic loss in tort actions; that defendant's alleged violations were evidence of negligence, but not negligence per se; and that defendant's owed a duty of ordinary care to plaintiff.

  • Texas Attorney General Opinion regarding the issue of whether staged fights between penned hogs and dogs constitutes a criminal offense. The Assistant Attorney General deemed these staged fights as violating the criminal cruelty laws.

  • Texas Attorney General Opinion regarding the issue of whether city ordinances are preempted by statutes that govern the treatment of animals. Specifically, the opinion discusses pigeon shoots. The opinion emphasizes that organized pigeon shoots are prohibited under Texas cruelty laws but that present wildlife laws allow the killing of feral pigeons.

  • Texas Attorney General Opinion clarifying a new provision in Chapter 822 of the Texas Health & Safety Code that requires all dangerous wild animals to be registered in the county in which they're located.  Otherwise, possession of these animals is unlawful.

  • Cattle ranchers in Texas sued the  The Oprah Winfrey Show and one of its guests for knowingly and falsely depicting American beef as unsafe in the wake of the British panic over “Mad Cow Disease.” The matter was removed from state court to federal court. The federal district court granted summary judgment as a matter of law on all claims presented except the business disparagement cause of action, which was eventually rejected by a jury. The court alternately held that no knowingly false statements were made by the appellees. This court affirmed on this latter ground only, finding that the guest's statement and the producers' editing of the show did not violate the Texas False Disparagement of Perishable Food Products Act. 
  • Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed district court decision that Thacker family failed to link an injury to ground beef on which the USDA requested a recall.

  • The plaintiff was charged with being in an area set aside for hunting, during hunting season, without a licence. The plaintiff argued that he was there in order to collect dead and wounded ducks and endangered species and to draw media attention to the cruelty associated with duck shooting. The Court found that although the regulation under which the plaintiff was charged restricted the implied freedom of political communication, it was appropriate to protect the safety of persons with conflicting aims likely to be in the area.

  • The instant case is a Petition for Review of Agency Action, brought by The Ecology Center and The Aquarius Escalante Foundation (Plaintiffs). Plaintiffs seek review of a Record of Decision (ROD) issued by the Acting Forest Supervisor of the Dixie National Forest (the DNF), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture. The decision in question is the final approval by the DNF of the Griffin Springs Resource Management Project, (the Project) in which the DNF approved a plan to allow logging in the Griffin Springs area of the DNF. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief to stop the implementation of the plan, claiming that the ROD violates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).  Of particular concern, is the effect upon the northern goshawk.

  • Zoos in New South Wales and Victoria sought to import asian elephants for conservation and exhibition. The Tribunal considered whether the elephants were being imported "for the purposes of conservation breeding or propagation", the zoos were "suitably equipped to manage, confine and care for the animals, including meeting the behavioural and biological needs of the animals", the importation of the elephants would "be detrimental to, or contribute to trade which is detrimental to ... the survival .... or ... recovery in nature of" Asian elephants and whether the elephants were "obtained in contravention of, [or] their importation would ... involve the contravention of, any law". The importation was allowed.

  • This application is about the validity of regulations designed to regulate the hunting of lions that were bred in captivity.
  • While driving his motorcycle down a private road that had easement access, the plaintiff was injured by a charging cow. Arguing the defendant had a duty to warn of the presence of an unconfined and inherently dangerous animal, the plaintiff brought a negligence and a premise liability suit against the defendant. Upon appeal, the court held that the plaintiff had failed to prove that the defendant was negligent and that the defendant was strictly liable for the cow's actions; the court, therefore, ruled in favor of the defendant.

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