Horses: Related Cases

Case name Citationsort descending Summary
People v. Tinsdale 10 Abbott's Prac. Rept. (New) 374 (N.Y. 1868)

This case represents one of the first prosecutions by Mr. Bergh of the ASPCA under the new New York anti-cruelty law. That this case dealt with the issue of overloading a horse car is appropriate as it was one of the most visible examples of animal abuse of the time. This case establishes the legal proposition that the conductor and driver of a horse car will be liable for violations of the law regardless of company policy or orders.Discussed in Favre, History of Cruelty

Westfall v. State 10 S.W.3d 85 (Tex. App. 1999)

Defendant convicted of cruelty for intentionally or knowingly torturing his cattle by failing to provide necessary food or care, causing them to die. Defendant lacked standing to challenge warrantless search of property because he had no expectation of privacy under open fields doctrine.

Vanderbrook v. Emerald Springs Ranch 109 A.D.3d 1113 (N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept.,2013).

While on a guided trail ride, plaintiff's horse brushed up against a tree that the plaintiff was unable to push away from. As a result, plaintiff's leg and hip sustained injuries and the plaintiff sued the ranch and the ranch's owners. Defendants’ appealed the Wayne County Supreme Court denial for the defendants' motion for summary. On appeal, the court found the Supreme Court properly denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment. First, the court found the defendants failed to meet their initial burden of establishing entitlement to judgment as a matter of law on the issues of the horse's vicious propensity and defendants' knowledge of that propensity.

People v. Lohnes 112 A.D.3d 1148, 976 N.Y.S.2d 719 (N.Y. App. Div., 2013)

After breaking into a barn and stabbing a horse to death, the defendant plead guilty to charges of aggravated cruelty to animals; burglary in the third degree; criminal mischief in the second degree; and overdriving, torturing and injuring animals. On appeal, the court found a horse could be considered a companion animal within New York's aggravated cruelty statute if the horse was not a farm animal raised for commercial or subsistence purposes and the horse was normally maintained in or near the household of the owner or the person who cared for it. The appeals court also vacated and remitted the sentence imposed on the aggravated cruelty charge because the defendant was entitled to know that the prison term was not the only consequence of entering a plea.

People v. Minney 119 N.W. 918 (Mich. 1909)

Defendant was convicted of mutilating the horse of another.  He argued on appeal that the trial court's jury instructions, which read that malice toward the owner of the horse was not necessary, were incorrect.  The court agreed and found that although the general malice of the law of crime is sufficient to support the offense, the trial court must instruct that malice is an essential element of the offense.

JONES v. ST. LOUIS, I. M. & S. RY. CO. 13 S.W. 416 (Ark.1890)

This involved an action by R. D. Jones against the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway Company, claiming $2,000 damages,--$1,000 for the value of a colt killed by defendant's train, and $1,000 damages for not posting notice of the killing as required by the statute. The court looked at areas in the market outside of the locality since local information on the colt’s market value was not available. The court affirmed the lower court's judgment due to a lack in plaintiff's proofs at trial.

Colorado Wild Horse v. Jewell 130 F. Supp. 3d 205 (D.D.C. 2015) Finding the number of horses too high to maintain ecological balance and sustain multipurpose land use in Colorado's White River Resource Area, the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) invoked its authority under the Wild Free–Roaming Horses and Burros Act (“Wild Horses Act”), to declare those horses to be “excess animals” and scheduled to remove them from the land. Plaintiffs—organizations challenged BLM's “excess” determinations and its decision to remove these horses. They asked the district court to enjoin BLM's planned gather. Because the Wild Horses Act authorized BLM's excess determination and BLM appeared to have used reasonable methods to estimate the total wild-horse population, the Court found that Plaintiffs were unlikely to prevail on their Wild Horses Act claims. And because the record reflected that BLM considered the cumulative effects of the proposed gather and permissibly relied on the Environmental Assessment written for a previous East Douglas HMA gather, the Court found that Plaintiffs were also unlikely to prevail on their National Environmental Policy Act claims. The Court further found that Plaintiffs were unlikely to suffer irreparable harm as a result of the gather and that the balance of equities and the public interest weighed in favor of BLM. Accordingly, the Court denied Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction.
Baker v. McIntosh 132 S.W.3d 230 (Ky. 2004)

Visitor to horse farm brought action for negligence when he was injured by owners colt.  Held:  the owner had no duty to prevent the colt from falling against the trailer door, nor did he have a duty to warn the visitor of the potential for such an accident to occur.

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign v. Vilsack 133 F. Supp. 3d 200 (D.D.C. 2015) The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (Plaintiffs) brought this action against the United States Forest Service (Forest Service) to prevent the implementation of the new Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory Plan (WHT) that Modoc County helped develop. Plaintiffs brought six claims against defendants, all under the Administrative Procedures Act. In Counts I, II, and III, plaintiffs alleged that the boundary clarification was arbitrary and capricious because it violated the Wild Horses Act, the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and in Counts IV, V, and VI, they claimed that the adjustment to the "appropriate management level" (AML) range was arbitrary and capricious because it was contrary to the same three statutes. Because the Forest Service reasonably concluded that the disputed territory was never formally incorporated into the Devil's Garden WHT, and that any references to one contiguous territory were the result of administrative error, the Court found that it was not arbitrary and capricious or in violation of the law for the Forest Service to act to correct the boundary in the 2013 Environmental Assessment and the 2013 Management Plan. Thus, defendants were entitled to summary judgment on Counts I, II, and III. And because the Forest Service articulated a rational basis for its decision to adjust the AML range for the Devil's Garden WHT that was not counter to record evidence or otherwise contrary to the law, the Court found that defendants were also entitled to summary judgment on Counts IV, V, and VI. Thus, plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment was denied, defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment was granted, and because they sought the same relief as defendants, the intervenor-defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment was denied as moot.
People v. Tessmer 137 N.W. 214 (Mich. 1912)

Defendant was convicted of wilfully and maliciously killing the horse of another.  Defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction because there was no proof of malice toward the owner of the horse.  The court held that the general malice of the law of crime was sufficient to support the conviction. 

Brown v. Crocker 139 So.2d 779 (La. 1962)

This action in tort was instituted by plaintiff, as the administrator of the estate of his minor son, against the defendant to recover the value of a quarter-horse mare and a stillborn colt, and for damages occasioned by shock and mental anguish suffered by the son, as well as for services of a veterinarian and medicines used in treatment of the mare following her wounding by a shotgun blast intentionally inflicted by the defendant. The Court of Appeal in upheld an award of $250 for shock and mental anguish experienced by the child who could not stop crying about the loss of his horse and the colt that never was. As the court stated, "Under the facts and circumstances, an award of $250 for shock and mental anguish suffered by the minor would, in our opinion, do justice between the parties."

Courbat v. Dahana Ranch, Inc. 141 P.3d 427 (Hawai'i, 2006)

The cases concerns personal injuries sustained by one of the plaintiffs (Lisa) while she and her husband were on a horseback riding tour on the Dahana Ranch on the Big Island of Hawai'i. Prior to taking the ride, they signed waivers. The Courbats do not dispute that they both signed the Ranch's waiver form; rather, they assert that the Ranch's practice of booking ride reservations through an activity company, receiving payment prior to the arrival of the guest, and then, upon the guest's arrival at the Ranch, requiring the guest to sign a liability waiver as a precondition to horseback riding is an unfair and deceptive business practice. The question whether a waiver requirement would be materially important in booking a horseback tour remains one for the trier of fact. Because a genuine issue of material fact, resolvable only by the trier of fact, remains in dispute, the grant of summary judgment on the claim was erroneous the court held.

Scharer v. San Luis Rey Equine Hosp., Inc. 147 Cal.Rptr.3d 921 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.)

Horse owner sued veterinarians and equine hospital for professional malpractice after horse was euthanized less than two months after surgery to remove horse’s ovaries. The Superior Court granted summary judgment for defendants based on the one-year statute of limitations. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that equitable tolling did not apply because plaintiff was not prevented from pursuing her claim in a timely manner by the defendants or the court. A provision in the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act extending the statute of limitations by 90 days did not apply absent a claim for personal injury or wrongful death to a person.

North Carolina v. Nance 149 N.C. App. 734 (2002)

The appellate court held that the trial court erred in denying the motion to suppress the evidence seized by animal control officers without a warrant. Several days passed between when the officers first came upon the horses and when they were seized. The officers could have obtained a warrant in those days; thus, no exigent circumstances were present.

Broadway, &c., Stage Company v. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 15 Abbott 51 (1873)

 Part I is the initial civil case which was brought by the commercial powers of New York to stop Bergh from enforcing the criminal anti-cruelty law. The judge suggests the scope of the law and what Bergh must do to utilize the law. Part II is a second case brought several months latter when the corporate legal guns again try to get Bergh. This time for violating the judges prior opinion. Part III is the claim of one of the stage operators who Bergh personally asserted for overworking a horse. The claim against Bergh is for false arrest. The Judge holds against  the stage driver, freeing Bergh. Discussed in Favre, History of Cruelty

Central Park Sightseeing LLC v. New Yorkers for Clean, Livable & Safe Streets, Inc. 157 A.D.3d 28, 66 N.Y.S.3d 477 (N.Y. App. Div. 2017) This New York cases balances animal right protestors' First Amendment rights against the government's interest in preserving public safety and flow of traffic on public streets. Plaintiff here is a business that operates horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park. Defendant is an animal rights organization that protests the horse-and-carriage industry, often demonstrating where carriage operators drop off and pick up customers. At issue, is the manner in which defendants conduct their protests in the designated horse-drawn carriage zones. Plaintiff's claim defendants harass and threaten customers and drivers, and create a public safety issue by chasing after carriages. The court granted a preliminary injunction that enjoined defendants from things like physically blocking or impeding persons from riding or disembarking from carriages, physically touching associated persons or horses, yelling or shouting at persons or horses, obstructing the progress of a carriage ride, and handing literature to a person situated within a horse carriage. The court found the plaintiffs also established a likelihood of success on an action for public nuisance and a showing of a "special injury" aimed at plaintiff's business. Finding the injunction was content-neutral, this reviewing court then considered whether the challenged portions of the injunction burden speech no more than is necessary to assert the significant government interest. The court agreed with defendant that the "floating buffer zone" of the original order would be difficult for a protestor to assess and would burden speech more than is necessary. Thus, this court modified the order to prohibit any person from knowingly approaching within nine feet of a person in the loading/unloading carriage zone (a “conversational distance," said the court). The court also noted that the First Amendment does not require that protestors be allowed to interrupt the flow of traffic or endanger the public in the delivery of speech. The court also limited language in the original order that extended the reach of the injunction to “anyone else who becomes aware of this [d]ecision and [o]rder.” The court changed to this to defendants and “those acting in concert with the named parties” The order from the Supreme Court, New York County was modified as specified in this decision.
Clyncke v. Waneka 157 P.3d 1072 (Colo. 2007)

In this Colorado case, an inexperienced horse rider who was injured in fall from horse during a horse roundup, brought an action under the Colorado Equine Activities Statute against the owners of riding stable. The lower court, after a jury trial, entered a judgment for the stable owners. On appeal at the Supreme Court, the Court found that the Equine Statute places a two-pronged duty on sponsors; a sponsor is liable when he or she fails to make reasonable efforts to determine either a participant's ability to engage in the equine activity or a participant's ability to manage a particular horse. Here, a new trial was in order because the result may have been different if court had properly instructed the jury regarding the exception from civil liability for the sponsor.

Swido v. Lafayette Insurance Co. 16 So.2d 399 (La.App. 3 Cir., 2005)

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. 

Gabriel v. Lovewell 164 S.W.3d 835 (Texas, 2005)

A Texas horse owner brought action against horse farm for negligence and breach of implied warranty in connection with the death of a horse in care of horse farm. On appeal of a decision in favor of the horse owner, the Court of Appeals held that by asking veterinarian if veterinarian told the horse owner that the horse died because it was not brought to veterinary clinic soon enough, the horse farm opened the door, and thus, the previously-rejected hearsay testimony regarding horse owner's conversation with veterinarian was admissible for limited purpose of impeaching veterinarian's testimony. Thus, the evidence was legally and factually sufficient to support the jury's verdict.

State ex rel. Zobel v. Burrell 167 S.W.3d 688 (Mo. 2005)

After a judge granted two humane societies permission to dispose of nearly 120 severely emaciated and malnourished horses, the horses' owner, instead of posting a bond or security, filed for a writ of mandamus with the court of appeals. The appeals court issued a stop order and transferred the case to the Missouri Supreme Court. Here, the horses’ owner argued two points, but the Missouri Supreme Court found that (1) the spoliation of evidence doctrine does not apply at this juncture and that (2) the statute was not unconstitutionally vague, nor does the owner allege that the statute discriminates based upon classification or that the statute discriminates in its application so as to violate the equal protection clause. The stop order was therefore dissolved and the petition for the writ of mandamus was denied.

State ex rel. Zobel v. Burrell 167 S.W.3d 688 (Mo., 2005)

Police seized 120 neglected horses pursuant to a search warrant and a Circuit Court Judge allowed humane societies to dispose of the horses.  The owner of the horses sought a writ of mandamus against the Circuit Court Judge.  The Missouri Supreme Court held the Circuit Court Judge had jurisdiction to permit the seized horses to be disposed of and the impoundment statute was not unconstitutionally vague.

State v. Peterson 174 Wash. App. 828, 301 P.3d 1060 review denied, 178 Wash. 2d 1021, 312 P.3d 650 (2013)
In this case, defendant appeals six counts of first degree animal cruelty charges. On appeal, the defendant argued that (1) the statute she was convicted under, RCW 16.52.205(6), was unconstitutionally vague; that (2) starvation and dehydration were alternative means of committing first degree animal cruelty and that (3) there was no substantial evidence supporting the horses suffered from dehydration. The defendant also argued that the Snohomish Superior court had no authority to order her to reimburse the county for caring for her horses. The appeals court, however, held that RCW 16.52.205(6) was not unconstitutionally vague; that starvation and dehydration were alternative means to commit first degree animal cruelty, but there was substantial evidence to support the horses suffered from dehydration; and that the superior court had authority to order the defendant to pay restitution to the county.
State v. Goodall 175 P. 857 (Or. 1918)

This case involved an appeal from this conviction. The trial court found that the defendant rode the animal while it had a deep ulcerated cut on its back, and supplied it with insufficient food. The Oregon Supreme Court affirmed the conviction.

Dodge v. Durdin 187 S.W.3d 523 (Tex. App.-Hous. (1 Dist.), 2005)

 Employee brought a negligence action against employer for injuries suffered when administering medicine to an untamed horse.  District Court granted summary judgment stating that the plaintiff was considered a "participant" under the Equine Act.  Plaintiff appealed.  Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case stating that the Equine Act did not apply because the Act covered consumers, not employees. 

Peterson v. Eichhorn 189 P.3d 615 (Mont., 2008)

In this Montana case, the plaintiff brought claims for negligence, strict liability for abnormally dangerous domestic animal, and punitive damages against the defendant horse owner. She alleged that defendant's horse bit her while she was on land defendant used for pasturing the horse that adjoined her land. After the lower court granted summary judgment to the defendant, the plaintiff appealed. The Supreme Court held that even though the Montana Supreme Court has not adopted the provision of the Second Restatement of Torts regarding an animal owner's strict liability for injury caused by an abnormally dangerous domestic animal, this was not the test case to do it. The court found that Peterson failed to produce any evidence or legal authority that the horse's biting constituted a “dangerous propensity abnormal to her class” to bring her under the Restatement's strict liability.

Parker v. Parker 195 P.3d 428 (Or.App.,2008)

Plaintiff and his 12 year-old quarter horse were visiting defendant at defendant's property when defendant's dog rushed at the horse causing it to run into a steel fence. The horse suffered severe head trauma, which necessitated its later euthanization. Plaintiff filed suit for damages asserting liability under common law negligence and O.R.S. 609.140(1) - the statute that allows an owner to recover double damages where livestock is injured due to being injured, chased, or killed by another person's dog. The appellate court agreed with plaintiff that O.R.S. 609.140(1) creates an statutory cause of action independent from negligence. Further, the court found that plaintiff fell within the class of persons the statute aims to protect because the legislature did not intend to limit the statute's application to property owned by the livestock's owner.

Dicesare v. Stout 1993 U.S. App. LEXIS 9796

The plaintiff was convicted under an Oklahoma anti-cruelty statute after officer seized his malnourished and neglected horses.  Later, plaintiff brought suit against the officers under 42 U.S.C 1983 claiming that the officers had violated his Fourth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.  The court dismissed the plaintiff's claim after it determined that  a horse corral near a home was not protected by the Fourth Amendment where the area was used for pastureland and the fence enclosing the area did not and was not intended to prevent the public from viewing the area.      

Friedli v. Kerr 2001 WL 177184 (Tenn. 2001)

This case involves two passengers who were injured when the horse-drawn carriage that they were riding in turned over after the horse was startled and the driver lost control of the horse.   The trial court held, and the court of appeals affirmed, that the defendant’s carriage business was not immune from liability to its passengers under Tennessee’s equine liability statute.   There were three reasons for this decision:   1) the defendant is not an “equine activity sponsor,” 2) his business is not an “equine activity,” and 3) the plaintiffs were not “participants” engaging in an “equine activity” when they were injured.

Allison v. Johnson 2001 WL 589384 (Ohio 2001)

Appellant was injured by appellee’s horse when appellant was standing outside a horse arena waiting for the appellee.   The horse began to shuffle backwards and backed into a gate, which popped out of a bracket and struck the appellant in the face.   The trial court found and the court of appeals upheld the finding that the appellant was an “equine activity participant” because she was a spectator to the “normal daily care of an equine.” In addition, the appellee was determined to be an “equine activity sponsor” due to the fact that he was an “operator” of a stable where the equine activity occurred.   Thus, the equine immunity statute of Ohio is applicable to the appellee.

Daniele v Weissenberger 2002 WL 31813949,136 A Crim R 390

Court uphold conviction for failure to provide food and water for horses. Even thought not the owner, he was the responsible party. Sentence of $3,000 fine and suspended 3 month was not excessive.

State ex rel. Zobel v. Burrell 2005 WL 957908 (Mo. App. S.D. 2005)

A trial court granted a local humane society permission to humanely dispose of horses placed in their custody by the Sheriff.  A man filed petition for a writ of mandamus against the the trial judge and humane society to challenge the judge's order.  The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court holding the trial court lacked jurisdiction over the Humane Society of Missouri. Opinion transferred to State ex rel. Zobel v. Burrell , 167 S.W.3d 688 (Mo., 2005).

Balen v. Peltier (NOTICE: THIS OPINION IS DESIGNATED AS UNPUBLISHED AND MAY NOT BE CITED EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY MINN. ST. SEC. 480A.08(3). 2006 WL 163518 (Minn.App.2006)

Plaintiff sued defendant for injuries she received after being thrown from defendant’s horse. Specifically, plaintiff argued that defendant knew or should have known of the horse’s “hazardous propensities” and therefore had a duty to protect plaintiff. In finding that there existed no special relationship between the parties to impart a duty to defendant, defendant’s motion for summary judgment was affirmed.

Stoffels v. Harmony Hill Farm 2006 WL 3699549 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2006)

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.

State v. Sego 2006 WL 3734664 (Del.Com.Pl. 2006) (unpublished)

Fifteen horses were seized by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) because the animals were in poor condition. The SPCA sent bills to the owners for feeding, upkeep, and veterinary care, but the owners did not pay the bills. After 30 days of nonpayment, the SPCA became the owners of the horses, and the prior owners were not entitled to get the horses back.

Qaddura v. State 2007 Tex. App. LEXIS 1493 The court held that the owner of livestock who placed them in the care of his tenant while he was on vacation for a month, but failed to provide his tenant with enough food for the livestock could be found guilty under the animal cruelty statute.   
Browning v. State 2007 WL 1805918 (Ind.App.)

The Brownings were each charged with 32 counts of animal cruelty and convicted of five counts for their failure to provide adequate nutrition and veterinary care to their horses and cattle.  As a result, Cass County seized and boarded several of their animals at a significant cost to the county.  Although only five of those horses and cattle were ultimately deemed to be the subject of the defendants' cruelty, the appellate court affirmed the order requiring the Brownings to reimburse the county for boarding and caring for the horses and cattle during the proceedings totaling approximately $14,000 in fines and costs.

State v. Wood 2007 WL 1892483 (N.C. App.)

Plaintiff entered an oral agreement for defendant to board and train her horse, Talladega.  The horse died within  two months from starvation, and the Harnett County Animal Control found three other horses under defendant's care that were underfed, and seized them.  The jury trial resulted in a conviction of two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty from which the defendant appeals.  However, this court affirms the jury's conviction, stating that the assignment of error is without merit and would not have affected the jury's conviction. 

Whitman v. State 2008 WL 1962242 (Ark.App.,2008)

Appellant was tried by a jury and found guilty of four counts of cruelty to animals concerning four Arabian horses. On appeal, appellant raised a sufficiency of the evidence challenge and a Rule 404(b) challenge to the admission of testimony and pictures concerning the condition of appellant's dogs and her house. The court found the photographic evidence was admissible for purposes other than to prove appellant's character, e.g., to show her knowledge of neglect of animals within her house, and thereby the absence of mistake or accident concerning the horses that lived outside.

Montgomery v. Lester 201 So. 3d 966 (La. App. 3 Cir. 9/28/16), writ denied, 2016-1944 (La. 12/16/16), 212 So. 3d 1173 In this case, the Lesters appealed the judgment of the trial court awarding the Montgomerys $200,000 for the injury and death of their thoroughbred house that was caused by the Lester’s dog. The Lester’s dog chased after and barked at the horse, causing the horse to attempt to climb a fence which severely injured the horsed. The injuries were so severe that the horse was later euthanized. The Montgomerys filed suit against the Lesters and awarded $200,000 in damages. On appeal, the Lesters argued that the claims filed by the Montgomerys should be dismissed because they have “no personal right to claim the damages asserted” because “the registered owner of the horse at issue was Montgomery Equine Center, LLC and not the [Montgomerys].”The court reviewed the issue and determined that the Montgomerys were entitled to damages because they were the rightful owners of the horse. The court held that “registration of a horse does not prove ownership under Louisiana Law.” As a result, the court found that although the horse was registered to the Montgomery Equine Center, the Montgomerys were still the owners of the horse and therefore entitled to the damages that were awarded by the trial court judge.
Gromer v. Matchett 2010 WL 3467727 (Mo.App. S.D.)

In this Missouri case, the defendant-farmer appeals an award of $12,250 to plaintiff-motorist, whose vehicle was struck by another vehicle after a horse coming from defendant's farm collided with the first vehicle. Defendant asserts that the Stock Law (Section 270.010) was inappropriately applied to him where he did not own the livestock (the horse) in question. Since plaintiff relied on the language of the Stock Law, which unambiguously refers only to "owners," in submitting her verdict directing instruction that allowed her to recover damages without proof of Defendant's negligence, the case must be reversed and remanded. This cause was Ordered Transferred to Mo.S.Ct. November 16, 2010.

Allendorf v. Redfearn 2011 IL App (2d) 110130 (2011)

After a farm employee was injured in an all terrain vehicle (ATV) while trying to round up a bull, he sued the farm owners under the Domestic Animals Running at Large Act. The Appellate Court held that the employee could not recover under the Act, which protects members of the general public who cannot be expected to appreciate the risk posed by an animal. Because the employee was not an innocent bystander but rather was attempting to exercise control over the bull at the time he was injured, he fell within the Act's definition of an “owner” of the bull.

Stout v. U.S. Forest Service 2011 WL 867775 (2011)

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.

Kankey v. State 2013 Ark. App. 68, Not Reported in S.W.3d (Ark.App.,2013)

A district court found the appellant’s animals had been lawfully seized, and then divested appellant of ownership of the animals and vested custody to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The appellant filed an appeal in the civil division of the circuit court, but the circuit court dismissed the appeal as untimely and not properly perfected. Upon another appeal, the Arkansas Court of Appeals found it had no jurisdiction and therefore dismissed the case.

American Horse Protection Asso. v. Frizzell 203 F. Supp. 1206 (D. Nev. 1975)

The court upheld the Secretary’s decision to remove 400 horses from certain public lands in Nevada because of the risks of overgrazing, but also asserted that the Secretary’s discretion was not so complete as to deny judicial review of his actions.

Davert v. Larson 209 Cal.Rptr. 445 (1985)

On April 6, 1982, plaintiffs sued defendant Thomas Larson and others owned by defendant and others as tenants in common, for damages for negligence after plaintiffs' automobile collided with a horse.  On October 21, 1983, the trial court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment finding he owed no duty of care to plaintiffs as a landowner because his 1/2500th interest in the property was small and he exercised no control over the management of the property.  The Court of Appeal reversed , holding that tenants in common of real property who delegate the control and management of the property to a separate legal entity should not be immunized from liability to third parties in the case of common area torts.  The Court found that it was clear that considerations of public policy require that any departure from the common law rule of liability of individual owners of property in common cannot operate to the substantial detriment of third parties. 

Tiller v. State 218 Ga. App. 418 (1995)

Defendant argued that being in "possession" of neglected, suffering animals was not a crime. The court held that where a veterinarian testified that the horses were anemic and malnourished and where defendant testified that he had not purchased enough to feed them, the evidence was sufficient to authorize the jury to find defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of seven counts of cruelty to animals. The court held the trial court did not err in admitting a videotape depicting the horses' condition and that of the pasture when the horses were seized, where the videotape was relevant to the jury's consideration.

David v. Lose 218 N.E.2d 442 (Ohio 1966)
Syllabus by the Court
1. In order to establish a prima facie case against a bailee in an action sounding in contract, a bailor need prove only (1) the contract of bailment, (2) delivery of the bailed property to the bailee and (3) failure of the bailee to redeliver the bailed property undamaged at the termination of the bailment.
2. In an action by a bailor against a bailee based upon a breach of the contract of bailment, where the bailor proves delivery of the bailed property and the failure of the bailee to redeliver upon legal demand therefor, a prima facie case of want of due care is thereby established, and the burden of going forward with the evidence shifts to the bailee to to explain his failure to redeliver. (Agricultural Ins. Co. v. Constantine, 144 Ohio St. 275, 58 N.E.2d 658, followed.)
Frye v. County of Butte 221 Cal.App.4th 1051 (2013), 164 Cal.Rptr.3d 928 (2013)

After several administrative, trial court, and appeals hearings, the California court of appeals upheld a county’s decision to seize the plaintiffs’ horses for violation of Cal. Penal Code § 597.1(f).  Notably, the appeals court failed to extend the law of the case, which generally provides that a prior appellate court ruling on the law governs further proceedings in the case, to prior trial court rulings. The appeals court also held that the trial court’s "Statement of Decision" resolved all issues set before it, despite certain remedies remaining unresolved and the court’s oversight of the plaintiffs' constitutionality complaint, and was therefore an appealable judgment. The appeals court also found the trial court lacked jurisdiction to extend the appeals deadline with its document titled "Judgment."

Silver v. State 23 A.3d 867 (Md. App., 2011)

Defendants were sentenced by the District Court after pleading guilty to one count of animal cruelty. After defendants were convicted in the Circuit Court, they petitioned for a writ of certiorari. The Court of Appeals held that the Circuit Court could order that defendants pay restitution for the euthanasia cost for the deceased horse, but it was beyond the court’s authority to order defendants pay restitution for costs of caring for the two surviving horses because defendants had not been convicted in those cases. The court also held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to strike officer's testimony for prosecutor's failure to provide the officer's written report prior to trial. Finally, photos and testimony regarding the surviving horses were “crime scene” evidence and not inadmissible “other crimes” evidence because the neglect of the surviving horses was part of the same criminal episode.

Friends of Animals v. The United States Bureau of Land Management 232 F. Supp. 3d 53 (D.D.C. 2017)

Friends of Animals, an animal welfare organization, filed suit for a preliminary injunction against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Friends of Animals filed suit after the BLM started organizing a new “gather” which is a a term used for the removal of wild horses. The BLM planned to “gather” wild horses from a range in Utah and the Friends of Animals challenged the decision on three grounds: (1) the decision to gather was not grounded on any National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document such as a environmental assessment (EA); the BLM failed to honor its previous commitment to include new EAs for any new gathers; and (3) the gather violates the Wild Horses Act on the basis that the BLM failed to make a excess population determination before authorizing the gather.

The court reviewed the three claims separately and determined that Friends of Animals’ challenges to the gather were not likely to succeed and there was not a sufficient irreparable harm to warrant a preliminary injunction. First, the court found that under NEPA, an agency is able to rely on a previous EA so long as “new circumstances, new information or changes in the action or its impacts not previously analyzed [do not] result in significantly different environmental effects.” The court found that previous EAs were sufficient because they had assessed an “essentially similar” capture method. Additionally, the court determined that although BLM had previously agreed to provide new EAs for any new gathers, the BLM was not legally required to do, so the Friends of Animals argument regarding this issue would not succeed. Lastly, the court found that the BLM had not violated the Wild Horses Act because the BLM had in fact conducted an excess population determination.

Lastly, the court analyzed whether or not the gather created an irreparable harm that would warrant a preliminary injunction. The court found that there was not sufficient evidence to prove any irreparable harm. As a result, the court denied the preliminary injunction and held in favor of the BLM.

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