|American Soc. for Cruelty to Animals v. Board of Trustees of State||165 A.D.2d 561 (N.Y. 1991)||In New York, an animal protection organization sought a judgment that would allow the public to attend meetings for a university’s animal use organization. Such attendance was required under the New York Consolidated Law. However, because the university meetings did not involve matters affecting the public or public policy, and since the animal protection organization was not considered a “public body,” public attendance was not ordered.|
|American Soc. for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Feld Entertainment, Inc.||677 F.Supp.2d 55, 2009 WL 5159752 (D.D.C., 2009)||
This opinion represents the nine-year culmination of litigation brought by plaintiff Tom Rider and Animal Protection Institute (API) against Defendant Feld Entertainment, Inc. (“FEI”) - the operator of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey traveling circus. Plaintiffs alleged that defendant's use of bullhooks and prolonged periods of chaining with respect to its circus elephants violates the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1531, et seq. This Court held that plaintiffs failed to establish standing under Article III of the United States Constitution and entered judgment in favor of defendants. Since the Court concluded that plaintiffs lack standing, it did not reach the merits of plaintiffs' allegations that FEI “takes” its elephants in violation of Section 9 of the ESA.
|American Soc. for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Feld Entertainment, Inc.||659 F.3d 13 (C.A.D.C., 2011)||
The Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, affirmed the lower court's finding that plaintiffs lack standing to sue Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for violation of the Endangered Species Act. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that the use of two training methods for controlling elephants, bullhooks and chaining, constitute a "taking" under the Act. Here, the court found no clear error by the district court as to former employee Tom Rider's standing to sue where Rider's testimony did not prove an injury-in-fact. As to API's standing, the court held that API did not meet either informational standing or standing under a Havens test.
|American Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus||317 F.3d 334 (C.A.D.C.,2003)||
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Fund for Animals, and Thomas Rider sued Ringling Bros. and its owner, Feld Entertainment, Inc., claiming that Asian elephants are an endangered species and that the circus mistreated its elephants in violation of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq. The only question was whether, as the district court ruled in dismissing their complaint, plaintiffs (including a former elephant handler) lack standing under Article III of the Constitution. The Court of Appeals held that the former elephant handler demonstrated present or imminent injury and established redressability where the elephant handler alleged enough to show that his injuries will likely be redressed if he is successful on the merits.
|American Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus||246 F.R.D. 39 (D.D.C.,2007)||
In this case, the court considered the parties’ respective motions for reconsideration. On August 23, 2007, the Court granted summary judgment to defendant as to elephants subject to a captive-bred wildlife (“CBW”) permit and denied summary judgment as to elephants for which defendant claimed a “pre-Act” exemption. Defendant has filed a motion for reconsideration challenging the Court's decision regarding the “pre-Act” elephants and plaintiff has filed a motion for reconsideration challenging the Court's decision regarding the CBW permit elephants. Defendant’s motion was granted in part as to the standing of plaintiff, Tom Rider. The court held that Rider’s standing is now limited to those six elephants to which he became “emotionally attached.” Notably, the court ended its opinion with a “hint to the wise” that the court will not tolerate any further filings inconsistent with FRCP.
|American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus||2008 WL 3411666 (D.D.C.)||
On Plaintiffs’ motion to compel discovery from Defendants, The United States District Court, District of Columbia, determined that “master schedules” and “performance reports” were not documents pertaining to the chaining of elephants, and/or describing practices and procedures for maintaining elephants on the train, and Plaintiffs were therefore not entitled to such documents. The Court could not determine whether certain audio tapes demanded by Plaintiffs pertained to the medical condition or health status of any Asian elephants in Defendants’ custody during a specified time-frame, or pertained to the investigation of Defendants’ operation conducted by the Department of Agriculture, without being given the opportunity to listen to and review the audio tapes. Plaintiffs’ mere speculation that Defendants hired an outside consulting firm to follow and/or counteract a previous employee’s efforts did not entitle Plaintiffs to any further judicial action.
|American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals, v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus||502 F.Supp.2d 103 (D.D.C., 2007)||Plaintiffs-ASPCA filed suit against Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Feld Entertainment, Inc, under the citizen-suit provision of the Endangered Species Act. Plaintiffs allege that FEI routinely beats elephants, chains them for long periods of time, hits them with sharp bull hooks, breaks baby elephants with force to make them submissive, and forcibly removes baby elephants from their mothers before they are weaned. This conduct, plaintiffs contend, violates the "take" provision of the ESA. In the court's opinion regarding defendants' motion for summary judgment, the court held that the pre-Act exemption does not insulate defendant from claims of taking under the ESA. However, the court found that the captive-bred wildlife (CBW) permit held by defendant does not allow for challenge under a citizen-suit provision.|
|American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign v. Perdue||865 F.3d 691 (D.C. Cir. 2017)||This case involves a challenge by plaintiff-wild horse preservationists under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) to a proposed management plan issued for wild horse territory (WHT) by the Forest Service (FS). Plaintiffs argue that the revision, which changed the borders by removing a middle section so that it was not a contiguous territory, was arbitrary and capricious. After the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted summary judgment for the Forest Service, plaintiffs appealed. On appeal, FS contends that the unified territory was based on a cartographic error in the 1980s; in essence, FS argues that the 2013 change merely corrects an "administrative error" and returns management to the correct WHT boundary from 1975. However, this Court held that FS' decision to eliminate the middle section of the WHT was arbitrary and capricious because the plan failed to explain the change in policy. Further, FS did not adequately consider whether an Environmental Impact Statement was required under NEPA regarding this change. The Court was unconvinced by the FS's attempts to "shrug off" the inclusion of the Middle Section as an "administrative error" and stated that there is no "oops" exception for federal agencies. There were decades of data that relied on the "error" along with formal published plans that supported management activities and population studies. The court was unwilling to allow the FS to correct a past error by committing a new legal error: "[I]n administrative law, as elsewhere, two wrongs do not make a right." The court noted that FS may change its policies in the future, provided it reasonably supports those changes. Additionally, the Court found the FS' "Finding of No Significant Impact" in the environmental analysis was a "head-in-the-sand" approach that ignored real consequences of the boundary changes. Accordingly, this Court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in part and directed the district court to remand to the Service for further consideration.|
|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.|
|Ammon v. Welty||113 S.W.3d 185 (Ky.App.,2002)||
In this Kentucky case, the plaintiffs brought an action against the county dog warden for shooting their dog. Before the statutorily imposed 7-day waiting limit had expired, the warden euthanized the dog by shooting him in the head. The Court of Appeals held that while a family dog can be beloved by a family, loss of the pet does not support an action for loss of consortium. Further, the dog warden was not liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress because his actions did not rise to the outrageous level where the dog was not shot in the presence of the family and there was no evidence that Brewer intended to inflict emotional harm.
|Amons v. District of Columbia||231 F. Supp 2d. 109 (D.D.C. 2002)||
Plaintiff filed a Section 1983 action against D.C. police officers alleging, inter alia , intentional infliction of emotional distress for the unprovoked shooting of his dog inside his home. The court found that the officers lacked probable cause for the warrantless entry into his home to make the arrest, the arresting officer made "an egregiously unlawful arrest," and the officers were unreasonable in shooting plaintiff's dog without provocation.
|Amos v. State||478 S.W.3d 764 (Tex. App. 2015), petition for discretionary review refused (Nov. 18, 2015)||A jury found appellant guilty of the offense of cruelty to a nonlivestock animal after he beat a Shih Tzu to death with a broom. After finding an enhancement paragraph true, the jury assessed Appellant's punishment at thirty-one months’ confinement. Appellant asserted five issues on this appeal: (1) the admission of a State's witness's recorded statement to the police, which the court overruled because the evidence was received without objection; (2) the denial of his motion to quash the indictment for failing to allege an offense, which the court overruled because the indictment tracked the statutory language; (3) the denial of six of his challenges for cause, which the court overruled because the venire members gave the defense counsel contradictory answers meaning the trial court could not abuse its discretion in refusing to excuse a juror; (4) the denial of his objection to the charge, which the court overruled because the jury charge tracked the statute’s language; and (5) the denial of his motion to suppress the dog’s necropsy, which the court overruled because the appellant had no intention of reclaiming the dog's body or her ashes and thereby relinquished his interest in them such that he could no longer retain a reasonable expectation of privacy and lacked standing to contest the reasonableness of any search. The lower court’s decision was therefore affirmed.|
|Anderson v Ah Kit|| WASC 194||
In proceedings for defamation, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant published information giving rise to the imputations that the plaintiff left animals to starve and that the Northern Territory government had to intervene to feed those animals. The defendant pleaded, inter alia, the defences of Polly Peck and fair comment. The Court ruled that the Polly Peck defense was sufficiently justified to survive the plaintiff's strike out application. It was held, however, that although animal welfare generally was a matter of public interest, the welfare of some animals held on private property was not, and could not be made by extensive media coverage, a matter of public interest.
|Anderson v Moore|| WASC 135||
The appellant ignored advice to make available reasonable amounts of food to feed sheep. The appellant claimed to be acting under veterinary advice and further that the trial judge erred in taking into account the subjectivity of the appellant's actions. All claims were dismissed.
|Anderson v. Christopherson||816 N.W.2d 626 (Minn. 2012)||
This appeal asks two questions: whether defendant-dog owners (Christophersons) were strictly liable under Minn.Stat. § 347.22 for plaintiff Anderson's injuries suffered when he attempted to break up a fight between defendants' and plaintiff's dogs; and (2) whether one of the defendants was an "owner" for purposes of this law. In the case at hand, the court found that the events leading to Anderson's injury could produce three reasonable alternative inferences such that summary judgment was inappropriate. The court found there was an issue whether the father Dennis Christopherson was "harboring" the dog at the home for purposes of the animal owner liability statute.
|Anderson v. City of Blue Ash||798 F.3d 338 (6th Cir. 2015)||This case stems from a dispute between Plaintiff/Appellant and the city of Blue Ash (City) on whether Plaintiff/Appellant could keep a miniature horse at her house as a service animal for her disabled minor daughter. Plaintiff/Appellant’s daughter suffers from a number of disabilities that affect her ability to walk and balance independently, and the horse enabled her to play and get exercise in her backyard without assistance from an adult. In 2013, the City passed a municipal ordinance banning horses from residential property and then criminally prosecuted plaintiff/appellant for violating it. Plaintiff/Appellant’s defense was that the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and the Fair Housing Amendments Act (“FHAA”), both entitled her to keep the horse at her house as a service animal for her daughter. Rejecting those arguments, the Hamilton County Municipal Court found Plaintiff/Appellant guilty. Plaintiff/Appellant filed suit in federal court arguing that the ADA and FHAA entitled her to keep her horse as a service animal. The district court granted summary judgment to the City, finding that Plaintiff/Appellant's claims were barred by claim and issue preclusion stemming from her Municipal Court conviction. On appeal, the Sixth Circuit found that, because the fact-finding procedures available in a criminal proceeding in municipal court differed substantially from those available in a civil proceeding, Plaintiff/Appellant's conviction had no preclusive effect on this lawsuit. Furthermore, while there was no evidence that the City's actions were motivated by discriminatory intent against the minor daughter or had a disparate impact on disabled individuals, there were significant factual disputes regarding whether the ADA or FHAA required the City to permit Plaintiff/Appellant to keep her miniature horse at her house. The district court's grant of summary judgment to the City on those claims was therefore reversed.|
|Anderson v. City of Camden||2011 WL 4703104 (2011)||
Defendant Animal Control officers took Plaintiffs' two dogs pursuant to a pick-up order issued by a Magistrate of Kershaw County. The two dogs had a history of attacking other dogs and of running loose. Plaintiffs filed Fourth Amendment and South Carolina Tort Claims Act claims against Defendants. Court granted Defendants' motions for summary judgment because they did not violate a clearly established constitutional law, and were, therefore, entitled to qualified immunity from Plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claim.
|Anderson v. Creighton||483 US 635 (1987)||
Suit was brought against FBI agent seeking damages resulting from warrantless search of residents' home.
|Anderson v. Evans||314 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2002)||
Concerned citizens and animal conservation groups brought an action against United States government, challenging the government's approval of quota for whale hunting by Makah Indian Tribe located in Washington state. On appeal by the plaintiffs, the Court of Appeals held that the failure of the government to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement before approving a whale quota for the Makah Tribe violated National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The court also found that the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) applied to tribe's proposed whale hunt, as the proposed whale takings were not excluded by the treaty with the tribe.
|Anderson v. Evans||371 F.3d 475 (9th Cir. 2004)||
Advocacy groups challenged governments approval of quota for whale hunting by the Makah Indian Tribe. The Court of Appeals held that in granting the quota, the government violated the NEPA by failing to prepare an impact statement, and, that the MMPA applied to the tribe's whale hunt. REVERSED.
|Anderson v. State (Unpublished)||877 N.E.2d 1250 (Ind. App. 2007)||
After shooting a pet dog to prevent harm to Defendant's own dog, Defendant challenges his animal cruelty conviction. Defendant argues that since he was attempting to kill the dog, he did not intend to torture or mutilate the dog within the meaning of the statute. The court affirms his conviction, reasoning that the evidentiary record below supported his conviction.
|Anderson v. State Department of Natural Resources||693 N.W.2d 181 (Minn. 2005)||
A paper manufacturing company sprayed pesticides on their tree grove, but accidentally over sprayed killing some of plaintiff's commercial bees. The commercial beekeeper sued the paper manufacturing company and the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the paper company. The Supreme Court of Minnesota ultimately reversed the grants of summary judgment on the commercial beekeeper's negligence claims and affirmed dismissal of the nuisance claims.
|Andrade v. Westlo Mgmt. LLC||--- A.3d ----, 2022 WL 2183604 (R.I. June 17, 2022)||The defendants, Westlo Management LLC (Westlo) seek review of a Superior Court order granting partial summary judgment on several counts in favor of the plaintiffs, Curtis W. Andrade and The Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights (the commission). The defendants assert that the existence of genuine issues of material fact precluded partial summary judgment and that the commission did not have standing to intervene in this matter. The matter stems from a denial of plaintiff's request for a reasonable accommodation at Westlo's property. Prior to moving in to Westlo's low-income property, plaintiff was told by a leasing agent that he was not permitted to have his dog, Enzo, because the dog (a pit bull) was on the complex' restricted breed list. Andrade then informed the leasing manager that the dog was his support animal (although he could not recall at deposition whether he filled out paperwork for an assistance animal). After moving in, he left the dog mostly at his mother's residence, but did bring the dog to his residence in December of 2011. While the dog was there, an incident occurred with another resident in a hallway near the elevators. Andrade testified that his dog never made physical contact with the resident, while the other resident claims the dog charged at him and pinned him to a wall. This resulted in a report being made to the building manager who then informed Andrade the dog was not allowed on the premises. Andrade then discussed the need for a support animal with his doctor who agreed and wrote a note stating that Andrade “would benefit in having a dog due to his medical condition[.]” The building manager rejected this request in a letter citing the breed ban and the recent incident with the dog. After a subsequent refusal by the building manager, Andrade filed a charge of discrimination with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights. After unsuccessful settlement discussions with the parties, Westlo initiated eviction proceedings against Andrade for non-payment of rent and the commission issued a right-to-sue letter. Andrade then filed the instant lawsuit and a hearing justice granted the commission's right to intervene. The complaint against Westlo raised the unlawful denial of full and equal access to housing and public accommodations based on Andrade's disability and unlawful retaliation by eviction, among other things. After cross-motions for summary judgment by both parties, the hearing justice granted plaintiffs motion for summary judgment finding that Westlo had discriminated against Andrade. However, she found there to be a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the dog had requisite training. Further, she refused to interfere with the order granting the commission's motion to intervene. The justice also acknowledged that she had misstated that the request for the reasonable accommodation had occurred before the elevator incident with the other resident. As a result, she declined to make a finding of fact on that issue. On defendants' appeal of summary judgment, defendants argue that the issue of whether an accommodation is reasonable under the FHA is a factual one and thus it was error for the hearing justice to make those determinations. The Supreme Court looked at the similar language of both the federal FHA and the state FHPA. While the court found that plaintiff met the definition for disability under the laws and that defendant was made aware of plaintiff's need for reasonable accommodation, it was troubled by the "direct threat" posed by the dog. Specifically, the court found issue with the date mix-up in the initial hearing for the incident with the dog an other resident. Therefore, due to the highly fact-specific nature of the assessment of an assistance animal as well as the conflicting evidence presented, this court disagreed with the hearing justice and concluded summary judgment was not appropriate. Further, the court found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the dog was "necessary" to fully enjoy his dwelling since benefit of dog as it relates to plaintiff's disability was not fully described and the dog lived away from plaintiff for a year. As to the challenge to the motion to intervene, the court found Westlo failed to obtain the transcripts necessary to review the issue. Thus, this court quashed that portion of the Superior Court order that grants the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment “as to the [l]iability of Westlo Management, on [c]ounts 1, 2, 3, and 7[.]” The record was remanded to the Superior Court for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.|
|Andrews v. City of West Branch Iowa||454 F.3d 914 (8th Cir., 2006)||
Appellants filed a suit against defendant, City of West Branch, Iowa and former police chief Dan Knight, seeking damages and relief under Section 1983. The dog was killed by Knight in the owners' fenced backyard in view of one of the plaintiffs. The district court's grant of summary judgment for the officer was reversed and the case was remanded for a jury trial.
|Andrus v. Allard||444 U.S. 51 (1979)||
The Court holds that the narrow exception in the BGEPA for "possession and transportation" of pre-existing eagles and eagle artifacts does not extend to sale of the those lawfully obtained artifacts. The legislative history and plain language of the statute is clear on Congress' intent to prohibit any commerce in eagles. This prohibition on commerce in eagle artifacts does not constitute an unconstitutional taking because the ability to sell the property is but one strand in the owner's bundle of property rights. The denial of one property right does not automatically equate a taking. For further discussion on the prohibition in commerce of pre-existing eagle artifacts, see Detailed Discussion of Eagle Act.
|Andrus v. L.A.D.||875 So.2d 124 (La.App. 5 Cir., 2004)||
Patron sued dog owner for damages after an alleged attack. The Court of Appeals, in reversing a finding for the patron, held that the patron did not establish that the dog posed an unreasonable risk of harm, which precluded a strict liability finding, and, that patron did not prove that the dog owner was negligent. Reversed.
|Animal Hospital of Elmont, Inc. v. Gianfrancisco||418 N.Y.S.2d 992 (N.Y.Dist.Ct., 1979)||
In this New York case, defendant presented his puppy to plaintiff-animal hospital for treatment. After discussions between about the cost of the care, defendant apparently felt that he would not be allowed to retrieve the puppy from the hospital's possession. As a consequence, plaintiff sent a letter to defendant describing the balance owed, and stating that the hospital would retain the puppy for 10 more days after which it would "take care of the dog in accordance with the legal methods available to dispose of abandoned dogs." The issue on appeal is whether this letter qualified as noticed required by the Agriculture and Markets Act, Sec. 331. The court found that it did not comply with the statutory requirements and thus, plaintiff was responsible for defendant's loss of his puppy valued at $200 at trial. Plaintiff was entitled to a judgment on its complaint for the costs of care amounting to $309.
|Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Olympic Game Farm, Inc.||--- F.Supp.3d ----, 2019 WL 2191876 (W.D. Wash. May 21, 2019)||This case has to do with the mistreatment and unsafe captivity of numerous animals kept at a roadside zoo in Sequim, Washington called Olympic Game Farm (OGF). The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) alleged that OGF’s failure to abide by the Federal Endangered Species Act, as well as alleged violations of Washington State animal cruelty laws created a public nuisance. OGF admitted one of the allegations, specifically, that they are not accredited but possess or display Roosevelt Elk. That was an admitted violation of Washington law which makes it unlawful for a non-accredited facility to possess such a species. That single admission supported ALDF’s public nuisance claim in addition to all of the other alleged state violations. The court stated that ALDF met the "low bar" of standing in a public nuisance context. Accordingly, OGF’s Motion to Dismiss was denied.|
|Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Olympic Game Farm, Inc.||591 F. Supp. 3d 956 (W.D. Wash. 2022), on reconsideration in part, No. C18-6025RSL, 2022 WL 4080657 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 6, 2022), and on reconsideration in part, No. C18-6025RSL, 2022 WL 4080658 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 6, 2022)||This matter concerns defendant Olympic Game Farm, Inc.'s Motion for Summary Judgment after plaintiff sued those owners and operators of an animal-based attraction on the Olympic Peninsula for violating the federal Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) by taking and possessing protected species and creating a public nuisance in violation of Washington state law. Specifically, defendants seek a summary determination that its brown bears, wolves, and Canada lynx are not listed species for purposes of the ESA, that it has not harmed, harassed, or possessed any species in violation of the ESA, and that it is not a public nuisance. In granting the motion in part, the court held that grizzly bears found in Washington state are protected under the Endangered Species Act and wolves with some domestic dog ancestry are also protected by the Endangered Species Act. However, the animal welfare group did not give the operators enough notice of their claims regarding the housing and care of the grizzly bears. The court also found it unclear whether allowing tourists to feed grizzly bears large amounts of bread is a violation of accepted animal care practices. With regard to the wild cats, the animal welfare group did not prove that the operators' lion enclosures failing to meet the aspirational Association of Zoos and Aquariums (“AZA”) standards, a standard met by only a minimum of USDA exhibitors, showed a failure to meet a "generally accepted standard" of care. In contrast, the court found that it was unclear whether the operators provided adequate veterinary care for their tigers and thus, this aspect of the ESA claim may proceed. On the state nuisance claim, the court held that the operators' alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act did not constitute a public nuisance. Finally, it was unclear whether the operators' treatment of a Canada lynx's fractured femoral bone violated Washington's animal cruelty laws. Said, the court, "[a]lthough it is not clear that mere negligence in providing veterinary care violates Washington's animal cruelty laws, in the absence of any countervailing argument or facts, plaintiff has raised a triable issue of fact regarding this claim." The motion was granted in part and denied in part.|
|Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Olympic Game Farm, Inc.||--- P.3d ----, 2023 WL 5281830v (Wash. Aug. 17, 2023)||This case is brought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (Plaintiff) against a private zoo based in Washington state, known as Olympic Game Farm, Inc (Defendant). Plaintiff argues that defendant has violated Washington’s wildlife laws, animal cruelty laws, and the Washington and federal Endangered Species Acts. Plaintiff also argues that defendant has created a public nuisance, which is a nuisance that “affects equally the rights of an entire community or neighborhood, although the extent of that damage may be unequal.” Generally, conduct the Washington legislature has named a public nuisance relating to animals are those which have an adverse impact on public land, such as improper discharge of pollution or animal carcasses, or other interferences with public enjoyment of land and public safety. None of these nuisances reference any animal cruelty laws and no animal protection statues name a nuisance as a violation of those laws. However, plaintiff argued that they have demonstrated that defendant is in violation of animal cruelty and wildlife laws, and asked the court to name the violation of these laws as a public nuisance per se. The court found that previous cases regarding public nuisance claims limit those claims to instances of property infringement or threats to public health and safety. Accordingly, the court held that defendant’s alleged violation of the wildlife, animal cruelty, and endangered species laws, did not constitute a public nuisance.|
|Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Otter||Not Reported in F.Supp.3d, 2015 WL 4623943 (D. Idaho Aug. 3, 2015)||The Animal Legal Defense Fund, and various other organizations and individuals, challenge Idaho Code § 18–7042 as unconstitutional. Section 18-7042 criminalizes undercover investigations of agricultural production facilities. ALDF alleges that § 18–7042 has both the purpose and effect of stifling public debate about modern agriculture and raises two substantive constitutional challenges against the State: (1) violation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment; and (2) violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court first found that § 18–7042 is both content and viewpoint based, and thus, must survive the highest level of scrutiny. The Court held that the law does not survive strict scrutiny because it "would contravene strong First Amendment values to say the State has a compelling interest in affording these heavily regulated facilities extra protection from public scrutiny." Even if the interests in property and privacy of these industries is compelling, the law is not narrowly tailored as it restricts more speech than necessary and poses a "particularly serious threat to whistleblowers' free speech rights." Finally, the Court found that the law also violated the Equal Protection clause because the law was spurred by an improper animus toward animal welfare groups, furthers no legitimate or rational purpose, and classifies activities protected by the First Amendment based on content. ALDF's motion for summary judgment was granted.|
|Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Reynolds||--- F.Supp.3d ----, 2022 WL 777231 (S.D. Iowa Mar. 14, 2022)||Plaintiffs, five non-profit organizations dedicated to animal protection, food safety, and other advocacy issues, filed suit challenging Iowa Code § 717.3B, which they contend infringes on their constitutional rights. Specifically, these organizations contend that Iowa's new "ag-gag" law criminalizes their actions in gathering information through undercover investigations at animal production facilities. These organizations must misrepresent or conceal their identities to gather gather evidence of animal abuse and other alleged illegal conduct in day-to-day activities at facilities where they suspect wrongdoing occurs. Iowa Code § 717A.3B is the second in a series of laws passed by the Iowa legislature aimed at criminalizing undercover investigations such as the ones conducted by Plaintiffs. The previous law was challenged by these same plaintiffs and a permanent injunction was passed by the United States District Court. The defendants challenged the injunction in the Eighth Circuit, but before that was decided, the Iowa legislature passed the new section (§ 717A.3B). Here, both parties have filed Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. Plaintiffs contend that the new law violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution because it discriminates based on content and viewpoint and cannot survive strict scrutiny. Defendants argue that the law does not regulate protected speech under the First Amendment or, if it does regulate protected speech, it is content-neutral and viewpoint-neutral and passes intermediate scrutiny. The court first noted that the issue with § 717A.3B, and other laws aimed at prohibiting trespassers at agricultural facilities, is the law seeks to single out specific individuals for punishment based on their viewpoint regarding such facilities. This law operates in a viewpoint discriminatory fashion because it prohibits the deceptive trespasser who gains access or obtain employment at an agricultural facility with the intent to cause “economic harm ... to the agricultural production facility's ... business interest" as opposed to trespassers with an intent to benefit the facility. Thus, Section 717A.3B does not focus solely on the right to exclude, the legally cognizable harm of trespass, but only on the right to exclude those with particular viewpoints. While the court noted that a state legislature may determine whether specific facilities—such as agricultural facilities, nuclear power plants, military bases, or other sensitive buildings—are entitled to special legal protections, the First Amendment does not allow those protections to be based on a violator's viewpoint. Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment was granted and Defendant's was denied.|
|Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Vaught||8 F.4th 714 (8th Cir. 2021)||Several animal advocacy organizations filed a complaint against the Vaughts and Peco Foods, Inc. seeking an order that would prevent defendants from bringing a civil suit under Ark. Code Ann. § 16-118-113 (colloquially known as Arkansas' "ag gag" law). The statute at issue provides a civil cause of action for unauthorized access to protected properties described under the law. Plaintiffs claim that the statute violates their right to free speech under the First Amendment by chilling them from engaging in activities protected under the First Amendment. In particular, the plaintiffs have "specific and definite plans" to investigate the defendants' chicken slaughterhouses and pig farms by sending undercover investigators to seek employment with defendants and collect information in an effort to support their mission to "reform animal agriculture." The district court found that plaintiffs failed to establish Article III standing to sue, finding that the injury at hand was too speculative. On appeal here, the court noted found that plaintiffs established the three primary elements of standing from the Lujan case ("(1) an injury in fact, (2) a causal relationship between the injury and the challenged conduct, and (3) that a favorable decision will likely redress the injury."). First, but for the statute, plaintiffs allege that they would engage in the protected constitutional conduct. Second, the plaintiffs adequately outlined their intention to engage in a course of conduct that is proscribed by the statute. Finally, the court found a credible threat of enforcement that was objectively reasonable. This is bolstered by the fact plaintiffs have successfully engaged in the conduct at other facilities in the past. While defendants contend that there is no credible threat that they would enforce the statute because these organizations would not find entry to their facilities worthwhile. However, plaintiffs presented allegations that indeed they would be interested in documenting the plaintiffs' operations because of the conditions of pigs in "nearly immovable quarters" and the use of controversial methods of slaughter. The court was equally unpersuaded by defendants' claims that there is no injury in fact since plaintiffs are not poised to publish any information gathered from their facilities. Additionally, plaintiffs sent letters to defendants asking them to waive their rights to sue and neither defendant responded. Thus, the complaint sufficiently established a case or controversy. The lower court judgment was reversed and the case was remanded.|
|Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Wasden||878 F.3d 1184||In 2012, an animal rights activist went undercover to get a job at an Idaho dairy farm and then secretly filmed ongoing animal abuse there. Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group, publicly released portions of the video, drawing national attention. The dairy farm owner responded to the video by firing the abusive employees who were caught on camera, instituting operational protocols, and conducting an animal welfare audit at the farm. Local law enforcement authorities launched an investigation that culminated in the conviction of one of the employees for animal cruelty. After the video's release, the dairy farm owner and his family received multiple threats. In 2012, an animal rights activist went undercover to get a job at an Idaho dairy farm and then secretly filmed ongoing animal abuse there. Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group, publicly released portions of the video, drawing national attention. The dairy farm owner responded to the video by firing the abusive employees who were caught on camera, instituting operational protocols, and conducting an animal welfare audit at the farm. Local law enforcement authorities launched an investigation that culminated in the conviction of one of the employees for animal cruelty. After the video's release, the dairy farm owner and his family received multiple threats. Animal rights advocacy organization brought action against the Governor and Attorney General of Idaho, challenging statute that criminalized interference with agricultural production facilities as violative of the First Amendment's free speech protections, violative of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and preempted by federal law. The United States District Court for the District of Idaho entered summary judgment in favor of organization and granted organization's motion to permanently enjoin enforcement of the statute. The court held that 1) Idaho statute criminalizing entry into an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation violated First Amendment; 2) Idaho statute criminalizing obtaining records of an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation did not violate First Amendment; 3) Idaho statute criminalizing obtaining records of an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation did not violate Equal Protection Clause; 4) Idaho statute criminalizing obtaining employment with an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation with the intent to cause economic or other injury to the facility's operations, property, or personnel, did not violate First Amendment; 5) Idaho statute criminalizing obtaining employment with an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation with the intent to cause economic or other injury to the facility's operations, property, or personnel did not violate Equal Protection Clause; and 6) Idaho statute prohibiting a person from entering a private agricultural production facility and, without express consent from the facility owner, making audio or video recordings of the conduct of an agricultural production facility's operations violated First Amendment. Affirmed in part; reversed in part.|
|Animal Legal Defense Fund Boston, Inc. v. Provimi Veal Corp.||626 F.Supp. 278 (D.Mass.,1986)||
District Court found that federal law preempts Massachusetts's consumer protection statute that requires retailers to inform consumers of relevant information, the disclosure of which may have influenced the buyer or prospective buyer not to enter into the transaction. The District Court also held that the Animal Legal Defense Fund could not enforce a cruelty to animals claim because it involves criminal statutes that only public prosecutors and legislatively-sanctioned groups may enforce.
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. California Exposition and State Fairs||239 Cal. App. 4th 1286 (2015)||Plaintiffs brought a taxpayer action against defendants based on allegations that defendants committed animal cruelty every summer by transporting pregnant pigs and housing them in farrowing crates at the state fair. One defendant, joined by the other, demurred, contending plaintiffs' complaint failed to state a cause of action for three distinct reasons, including that California's animal cruelty laws were not enforceable through a taxpayer action. The trial court agreed on all accounts, and sustained the demurrer without leave to amend. The Court of Appeals addressed only one of plaintiffs' claims, that contrary to the trial court's conclusion, plaintiffs could assert a taxpayer action to enjoin waste arising out of defendants' alleged violation of the animal cruelty laws. Like the trial court, the appeals court rejected plaintiffs' contention, concluding that they could not circumvent the prohibition recognized in Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Mendes (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 136, which concluded that recognition of a private right of action under West's Ann.Cal.Penal Code § 597t would be inconsistent with the Legislature's entrustment of enforcement of anti-cruelty laws to local authorities and humane societies, by couching their claim as a taxpayer action. The lower court’s decision was therefore affirmed.|
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Herbert||Slip Copy 2017 WL 2912423 (D. Utah July 7, 2017)||This case deals with the constitutionality of Utah's "ag gag" law, enacted in 2012. The law criminalizes lying to obtain access to an agricultural operation and the subsequent recording or filming once inside. According to statements made enactment, it is directed at undercover operations that investigate farm animal abuse. Plaintiffs assert that the law violates their First Amendment rights. On review of motions, the court first looked at whether the First Amendment applies to this type of "lying." Because a recent U.S. Supreme Court case makes lying that causes "cognizable legal harm" outside the protection of the First Amendment, the court examined the type of lying at issue in the Utah law. Ultimately, the court found that lying to gain access to these agricultural facilities does not in itself cause a legally cognizable harm. Thus, "absent an additional showing of harm, under either interpretation, at least some of the lies criminalized by the Act retain First Amendment protection." With regard to First Amendment protections for the act of recording once at an agricultural operation and whether a strict scrutiny standard applies, the court looked to other circuits that found the act of making speech (i.e., recording/filming) is protected. The State countered with the fact that such recording occurs on private property, but the court found the government cannot place criminal restrictions on speech simply because it occurs on private property. The court noted that the property owner can indeed remove the person from the property and sue for any damages resulting from the trespass, which is different than prosecution by the state to curtail speech. Finally, after finding that the act impinges protected speech, the court then analyzed whether it withstood a strict scrutiny review. The State proffered government interests that include concerns over worker protection and disease outbreak. However, the court noted nothing in the legislative history on these claims or any actual incidents that supported these asserted government interests. The court found the Act did not survive strict scrutiny as it was not narrowly tailored and instead was directed at the content of the speech (the act of recording a facility). The Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment was granted and the State's Motion for Summary Judgment was denied.|
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Herbert||2013 WL 4017889 (D. Utah July 22, 2013)||The Animal Legal Defense Fund and other plaintiffs challenged Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-112, which criminalizes recording images or sounds at industrialized farming operations, and entering industrialized farming operations by false pretenses or misrepresentation. The Plaintiffs alleged that § 76-6-112 violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Defendants moved to dismiss on the grounds that the Plaintiffs had not suffered actual harm, and thus did not have standing. The U.S. District Court Judge dismissed some Plaintiffs from the case, but allowed it to move forward.|
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. LT Napa Partners LLC,||234 Cal. App. 4th 1270, 184 Cal. Rptr. 3d 759 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015), review filed (Apr. 16, 2015)||Plaintiff and respondent Animal Legal Defense Fund filed an action against defendants and appellants LT Napa Partners LLC and Kenneth Frank for unfair competition, alleging defendants sold foie gras in their Napa restaurant in violation of California law. Defendants moved to strike plaintiff's claim pursuant to the anti-SLAPP statute, arguing it was exercising its free speech rights by protesting the law. Defendants appealed the trial court's denial of the motion. The appeals court affirmed the lower court's decision because the ALDF demonstrated probability of prevailing on the claim that it had standing under Unfair Competition Law (UCL); showed basis for liability against chef; and showed probability of prevailing on its claim that owner and chef unlawfully sold foie gras.|
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Mendes||72 Cal.Rptr.3d 553 (Cal.App. 5 Dist., 2008)||
Appellants ALDF asserted causes of action for violation of Penal Code section 597t for confining calves without an “adequate exercise area,” and for commission of unfair business practices under Business and Professions Code section 17200 et seq. In affirming the lower court's decision to dismiss the action, this court held that there is no private cause of action pursuant to Penal Code section 597t under the present circumstances, and none of the appellants have shown an ability to allege any facts of economic injury.
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Otter||44 F. Supp. 3d 1009 (D. Idaho 2014)||In a ‘hold your tongue and challenge now’ First Amendment challenge to an Idaho statute that criminalizes undercover investigations and videography at “agricultural production facilities,” the Animal Legal Defense Fund, as well as various other organizations and individuals, (collectively, “ALDF”), brought suit. The State defendants, Governor Butch Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, moved to dismiss the ALDF's claims. The claims against the Governor were dismissed under 11th Amendment immunity because the ALDF failed to explain the requisite connection between the Governor and enforcement of section 18–7024. The court also found that since the ALDF failed to allege a concrete plan to violate subsection (e), it lacked standing to challenge section 18–7042(1)(e) and the claim in regards to that provision was therefore dismissed. However, the ALDF’s First Amendment, bare animus Equal Protection, and preemption claims survived the motion to dismiss.|
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Reynolds||8 F.4th 781 (8th Cir. 2021)||This appeal centers around an Iowa statute called the “Agricultural Production Facility Fraud" law that prohibited accessing agricultural production facilities by false pretenses and making false statements as part of an employment application to an agricultural production facility. Animal rights organizations filed a § 1983 action against state and county officials contending the law violated the the First Amendment free speech clause. The district court ruled that both provisions are unconstitutional and entered an injunction against enforcement of the entire statute. Here, the Eighth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court found both the Access Provision and the Employment Provision constitute direct regulations of speech. However, the court held the conclude that the Access Provision's prohibition on assuming false pretenses to obtain access to an agricultural production facility is consistent with the First Amendment. In contrast, the Employment Provision did not survive strict scrutiny because is proscribes speech that is protected by the First Amendment and was not narrowly tailored. The court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the plaintiffs on Iowa Code § 717A.3A(1)(b), reversed the judgment declaring unconstitutional § 717A.3A(1)(a), vacated the injunction against enforcement of § 717A.3A(1)(a), (2), and (3), and remanded for further proceedings.|
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Reynolds||297 F.Supp.3d 901 (S.D. Iowa, 2018)||Plaintiffs, a collection of local and national non-profit organizations brought this action alleging that Iowa Code § 717A.3A, which criminalizes agrigcultural facility fraud by either obtaining access to an agricultural facility on false pretenses or making a false statement or false representation in regard to the application or agreement to be employed by an agricultural facility, impeded their ability to advocate for their respective causes. Some of the non-profit organizations listed as plaintiffs, engaged in undercover investigations where investigators serve as employees at argricultural facilities to gather information about the inner workings of slaughterhouses and other facilities. The plaintiffs alleged that the Iowa statute was unconstitutional on its face becuase it violated the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Discrict Court determined that the plaintiffs have standing to make their claim and have an injury sufficient to suppor their standing. The defendants sought a motion to dismiss. The District Court ultimately denied the motion to dismiss with respect to the First Amendment claim and granted the motion to dismiss with respect to the Equal Protection claim.|
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Reynolds||297 F.Supp.3d 901 (S.D. Iowa Feb. 27, 2018)||In 2012, Iowa passed a statute (Iowa code § 717A.3A) that criminalized gaining access to agricultural facilities under false pretenses and making a false representation on a job application for those facilities. Plaintiffs in this case (animal rights groups including the Animal Legal Defense Fund and PETA) brought suit alleging that the statute was unconstitutional and sought to enjoin the Defendants (governor of Iowa) from enforcing it. Their complaint alleged that the statute violates the First Amendment as discrimination on the basis of content, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by targeting animals rights groups, and violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by burdening the freedom of speech. This case decides the Defendants’ motion to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ complaint based on lack of standing and failure to state a claim because the outlawed conduct is not protected by the First Amendment as false statements and is rationally related to the legitimate government interest of protecting private property, thereby not violating the Fourteenth Amendment. The court denies Defendants' motion with respect to the First Amendment, concluding that Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged the intent to suppress their message because of their viewpoint. However, the court grants the motion to dismiss for the claim of a Fourteenth Amendment violation because the statute in fact serves a legitimate government purpose in protecting private property.|
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. State, Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries||140 So.3d 8 (La.App. 1 Cir. 4/25/13)||
The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), along with others, filed a petition for injunctive relief and a writ of mandamus against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fish (DWF) for permitting the exhibit of a real tiger ("Tony") at a truck stop owned by Michael Sandlin. An ordinance prohibiting the display of wild animals was in effect when Tony was acquired. Subsequent to that, the Louisiana legislature adopted a law that required those who legally held big cats who were "grandfathered in," obtain a permit from the DWF. After Tony's caretaker, Michael Sandlin was denied a DWF permit because he was not in compliance with the Parish ordinances, Sandlin sued the Parish. The Parish then carved out an exception for him in the ordinances and the DWF, through Secretary Barham, issued a state permit to Sandlin. ADLF and others sued, alleging that the permit violated Louisiana law and the renewal of the permit was arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion. At the first trial court hearing, the trial court issued a judgment granting the preliminary and permanent injunction ordering DFW to revoke the permit, but the truck stop owner alleged he had not received notice of the hearing and therefore decided to intervene. Once the truck stop was allowed to intervene, a hearing on all pending issues was held, which resulted in the intervenors appealing the trial court’s judgment and the trial court’s denial for a new trial. On appeal here, the appeals court dismissed the appeal, in part, and affirmed, in part, the November 17, 2011 judgment of the trial court. With regard to the issue of standing for the injunction, this court found that the individual named plaintiffs (residents of Louisiana) had taxpayer standing, but the court did not find that plaintiff ALDF alleged and proved sufficient interest to sustain a right of action seeking an injunction against any unlawful conduct by DWF. That part of the November 17, 2011 judgment of the trial court was reversed. Further, the court found that, based on factual findings, there was no error in the trial court's legal conclusion that Michael Sandlin did not meet the legal requirements for a Potentially Dangerous Wild Quadruped permit, and that permanent injunctive relief, enjoining DWF from issuing Michael Sandlin future permits for Tony, was warranted. That part of the trial court judgment was affirmed.
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture||789 F.3d 1206 (11th Cir. 2015)||Animal Advocacy Organizations argued the district court erred in ruling United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s decision to renew an exhibitor’s license did not violate the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). According to the organizations, the USDA may not renew a license when USDA knows an exhibitor is noncompliant with any animal welfare standards on the anniversary of the day USDA originally issued the license. The 11th Circuit, however, found it had subject matter jurisdiction to review the organizations' challenge to the renewal under the Administrative Procedure Act, and that the USDA's interpretation—which did not condition renewal on compliance with animal welfare standards on the anniversary of the license issuance date—was a reasonable one. The district court’s decision was therefore affirmed.|
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture||Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2013 WL 1191736 (C.D.Cal.)||
The matter before the court concerns Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings with respect to subject-matter jurisdiction. Plaintiffs (ALDF and others) petitioned the USDA and FSIS to promulgate regulations condemning force-fed foie gras as an adulterated food product under the Poultry Products Inspection Act (“PPIA”). FSIS refused to do so, concluding that foie gras was not adulterated or diseased; Plaintiffs then filed the instant lawsuit claiming that decision was arbitrary, capricious, and in violation of the APA. The Court determined that the instant action is not about promulgating rules, but about banning force-fed foie gras. Such a decision falls under the USDA's discretion by law.
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. United States Department of Agriculture||2016 WL 7235624 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 14, 2016)||
Foie gras is a food product made from the liver of a duck or goose. To create it, the duck or goose is force-fed a special mix of food which causes a large buildup of fat in the bird's liver. This gives the product its signature taste. Plaintiffs, Animal Legal Defense Fund, comprised of four animal rights organizations and three individuals. The Defendant, United States Department of Agriculture, comprised of the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS), and two individuals. Plaintiff Animal Legal Defense Fund asked Defendant (FSIS) to initiate rulemaking under the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) “to exclude Foie gras from the food supply as an adulterated and diseased product.” They argued that the force-feeding process could cause infections and illnesses for the animals and the consumption of the birds could trigger the onset of illness and disease in humans. FSIS denied the petition to ban the food product. The Plaintiff Animal Legal Defense Fund then filed this action for judicial review. Defendant FSIS argued that the Plaintiffs lacked Article III standing, that the PPIA does not protect the interests asserted by the animal rights organizations, and that in any event, FSIS acted within its discretion in denying the petition. The United States District Court, C.D. California concluded that the Plaintiff, Animal Legal Defense Fund had standing to bring this action and that their interests fell within the “zone” of interests protected by the PPIA. However, the Court also held that Defendants, United States Department of Agriculture, did not act arbitrarily, capriciously, or contrary to law in denying the petition. Accordingly, the Court Granted the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, and Denied Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment.
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Veneman||469 F.3d 826 (9th Cir.(Cal.), 2006)||
Plaintiffs, who include the Animal Legal Defense Fund ("ALDF"), the Animal Welfare Institute ("AWI"), and three individuals, challenged the United States Department of Agriculture's ("USDA") decision not to adopt a Draft Policy that would have provided guidance to zoos, research facilities, and other regulated entities in how to ensure the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates in order to comply with the federal Animal Welfare Act ("AWA"). Plaintiffs challenge the decision not to adopt the Draft Policy under the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") as arbitrary and capricious. The district court did not reach the merits of plaintiffs' suit because it determined that the USDA's decision did not constitute reviewable final agency action. This court disagreed, finding that at least one of the plaintiffs has standing under Article III of the Constitution. Further, the court concluded that the district court has authority under the APA to review the USDA's decision not to adopt the Draft Policy. Opinion Vacated on Rehearing en Banc by Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Veneman , 490 F.3d 725 (9th Cir., 2007).
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Veneman||490 F.3d 725 (9th Cir. 2007)||
Plaintiffs, who include the Animal Legal Defense Fund ("ALDF"), the Animal Welfare Institute ("AWI"), and three individuals, challenged the United States Department of Agriculture's ("USDA") decision not to adopt a Draft Policy that would have provided guidance to zoos, research facilities, and other regulated entities in how to ensure the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates in order to comply with the federal Animal Welfare Act ("AWA"). The district court granted USDA's motion to dismiss, to which the ALDF timely appealed. Over a vigorous dissent, an appeals court panel reversed the district court's decision. After a sua sponte call, however, a majority of active judges voted to rehear the case en banc. Yet, before the rehearing occurred, the parties had reached a settlement and had agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice provided that the panel's opinion and judgment were vacated. The majority of the en banc panel agreed to vacate the panel's opinion and judgment with prejudice, but Judge Thomas filed the dissenting opinion.