|Town of Bethlehem v. Acker||102 A.3d 107 (Conn. App. 2014)||Plaintiffs seized approximately 65 dogs from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Connecticut pursuant to a search and seizure warrant that had been issued on facts showing that the dogs, which were being kept in an uninsulated barn with an average temperature of 30 degrees Fahrenheit, were neglected, in violation of General Statutes § 22–329a. The trial court found that the smaller breed dogs were neglected, but found that larger breed dogs were not. On an appeal by plaintiffs and a cross appeal by defendants, the appeals court found: (1) the trial court applied the correct legal standards and properly determined that the smaller breed dogs were neglected and that the larger breed dogs were not neglected, even though all dogs were kept in a barn with an average temperature of 30 degrees Fahrenheit; (2) § 22–329a was not unconstitutionally vague because a person of ordinary intelligence would know that keeping smaller breed dogs in an uninsulated space with an interior temperature of approximately 30 degrees Fahrenheit would constitute neglect; (3) the trial court did not err in declining to admit the rebuttal testimony offered by the defendants; and (4) the trial court did not err in granting the plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief and properly transferred ownership of the smaller breed dogs to the town. The appellate court, however, reversed the judgment of the trial court only with respect to its dispositional order, which directed the parties to determine among themselves which dogs were smaller breed dogs and which dogs were larger breed dogs, and remanded the case for further proceedings, consistent with this opinion.|
|Town of Ogden v. Lavilla||185 A.D.3d 1414, 126 N.Y.S.3d 832 (2020)||This matter involves an appeal of an order for euthanasia of respondent's dog. The Justice Court of the Town of Ogden found respondent's dog to be dangerous under Agriculture and Markets Law § 123 and ordered the dog to be euthanized. On appeal, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department agreed with respondent that the lower court misapprehended and misapplied the law. The court found the power to apply the most drastic measure (euthanasia) under Section 123 is reserved for aggravating circumstances, namely a serious disfigurement. The court noted that emotional trauma is not a factor in determining whether a victim has been disfigured. In addition, the language of the law is permissive, not mandatory; even with aggravating circumstances, a court may direct other measures to keep the dog contained. The court noted that the lower court repeatedly misstated the law, saying it only had two options, euthanasia or permanent confinement. As a result, this court modified the by vacating that part affirming the order of the Justice Court insofar as it directed that respondent's dog be euthanized, and remitting to the Justice Court for a determination whether petitioner established the existence of an aggravating circumstance and for the imposition of remedial measures as permitted by statute.|
|Town of Plainville v. Almost Home Animal Rescue & Shelter, Inc.||182 Conn. App. 55 (Conn. App. Ct., 2018)||This is an appeal by the town of Plainville following the lower court's granting of defendant's motion to strike both counts of the plaintiffs' complaint. The complaint raised one count of negligence per se for defendant's failure to provide care for animals at its rescue facility. Count two centered on unjust enrichment for defendant's failure to reimburse the town for expenditures in caring for the seized animals. The facts arose in 2015 after plaintiff received numerous complaints that defendant's animal rescue was neglecting its animals. Upon visiting the rescue facility, the plaintiff observed that the conditions were unsanitary and the many animals unhealthy and in need of medical care. The plaintiff then seized 25 animals from defendant and provided care for the animals at the town's expense. Soon thereafter, plaintiffs commenced an action to determine the legal status of the animals and requiring the defendant to reimburse the town for care expenses. Prior to a trial on this matter, the parties reached a stipulation agreement that provided for adoption of the impounded animals by a third party, but contained no provision addressing reimbursement by the defendant to the town. Because there was no hearing on the merits of plaintiff's petition as to whether defendant had neglected or abused the animals for reimbursement under the anti-cruelty law, the court had no authority to order the defendant to reimburse the plaintiffs. Plaintiff then filed the instant action and the lower court held that each count failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Specifically, the court held that, with respect to count one on negligence per se under § 53–247, the statute does not impose such liability on one who violates the law. Further, unjust enrichment is only available is there is no adequate remedy at law, and another law, § 22–329a (h), provides the exclusive remedy for the damages sought by the town. On appeal here, this court held that the court properly determined that the plaintiffs were not among the intended beneficiaries of § 53–247 and that that determination alone was sufficient to strike count one. The court found "absolutely no language in the statute, however, that discusses costs regarding the care of animals subjected to acts of abuse or neglect or whether violators of § 53–247 have any obligation to compensate a municipality or other party." Thus, plaintiffs could not rely upon § 53–247 as a basis for maintaining a negligence per se case against the defendant. As to count two, the court rejected plaintiffs' unjust enrichment claim. Because the right of recovery for unjust enrichment is equitable in nature, if a statute exists that provides a remedy at law, the equitable solution is unavailable. The court found that Section 22–329a provides a remedy for a municipality seeking to recover costs expended in caring for animals seized as a result of abuse and neglect. The stipulation agreement signed and agreed to by the parties contained no provision for reimbursement and settled the matter before there was an adjudication that the animals were abused or neglected. As a result, the judgment was affirmed.|
|Tracey v. Solesky||Not Reported in A.3d, 2012 WL 1432263 (Md.,2012)||
In this Maryland case, the Court of Appeals establishes a new standard of liability for a landlord who has knowledge of the presence of a pit bull or cross-bred pit bull dog and also modifies the common law liability as it relates to the pit bull breed of dogs. In doing so, the Court now holds that because of the "aggressive and vicious nature and its capability to inflect serious and sometimes fatal injuries," pit bull dogs and cross-bred pit bulls are now categorized as "inherently dangerous." Upon a plaintiff's sufficient proof that an attacking dog is a pit bull or pit bull mix, a person who knows that the dog is of the pit bull breed, including a landlord, is strictly liable for damages caused to the plaintiff who was attacked. The case was remanded to trial court with this modification to common law. This opinion was Superseded by Tracey v. Solesky , 427 Md. 627 (Md., 2012).
|Tracey v. Solesky||50 A.3d 1075 (Md., 2012)||
In this Maryland case, the Court of Appeals establishes a new standard of liability for a landlord who has knowledge of the presence of a pit bull or cross-bred pit bull dog and also modifies the common law liability as it relates to the pit bull breed of dogs. In doing so, the Court now holds that because of the "aggressive and vicious nature and its capability to inflect serious and sometimes fatal injuries," pit bull dogs and cross-bred pit bulls are now categorized as "inherently dangerous." Upon a plaintiff's sufficient proof that an attacking dog is a pit bull or pit bull mix, a person who knows that the dog is of the pit bull breed, including a landlord, is strictly liable for damages caused to the plaintiff who was attacked. The case was remanded to trial court with this modification to common law.
|Trager v. Thor||516 N.W.2d 69 (Mich.,1994)||
In this Michigan case involving an action for damages after personal injury, the father of the dog’s owner was visiting his son's home when he agreed to supervise the dog while his son and daughter-in-law went shopping. The n eighbor’s child was subsequently bitten by the dog, which had been put by defendant into a bedroom. This court held that the defendant, as a temporary caretaker of the dog, could not be held to the strict liability standard of an owner keeper, but could be liable under theory of negligence. Thus, a genuine issue of material fact remained as to whether the father was negligent in fulfilling his duty of care in supervising the dog, which precluded summary judgment in a negligence action.
|Tran v. Bancroft||648 So.2d 314 (Fla.App. 4 Dist.,1995)||
In this Florida case, a tenant's next-door neighbor, who was bitten by tenant's dog when it leaped over fence and then attacked the neighbor on property not owned by landlord, brought a personal injury suit against the landlord. The appellate court upheld a motion of summary judgment in favor of the defendant non-owner. The court found that t he existence of a duty in a negligence action is a question to be decided as a matter of law. Although the so-called "dog bite" statute, section 767.04, Florida Statutes (1993) controls actions against a dog's owner, actions against a non-owner must be brought upon a theory of common law liability. Essentially, a landlord has no duty to prevent injuries to third parties caused by a tenant's dog away from leased premises.
|Tranchita v. Callahan||--- F.Supp.3d ----, 2021 WL 50349 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 5, 2021)||This case involves a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction by Plaintiff Tranchita against Colleen Callahan, Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). In 2019, agents of the IDNR seized four coyotes Tranchita was raising at her home. After the seizure, three of the four coyotes died, and the remaining coyote, Luna, is elderly and in poor health. Tranchita seeks return of Luna from the coyote rescue center where Luna now resides. The IDNR contends that it will not release Luna until a court declares that the Plaintiff can legally possess her. By way of background, Tranchita is a wildlife exhibitor and educator who has cared for orphaned coyote pups since 2006. In 2016, Tranchita forgot to obtain another Breeder Permit and then failed to do so for the successive three years. Consequently, while she possessed a USDA Exhibitor License, she did not possess the required Illinois state licenses to keep coyotes. In 2019, Plaintiff sought relief in Illinois state court, which found that should she regain possession of Luna again, she must possess a Breeder Permit. The court did not consider whether that permit alone was sufficient or whether a Hound Running Permit is also required. Plaintiff then voluntarily dismissed her state court complaint and, four months later, filed a six-count verified complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. After that filing, Plaintiff moved for a TRO and preliminary injunction enjoining Defendants from (1) requiring her to hold a Hound Running Permit in order to keep Luna in Illinois; and (2) seizing Luna so long as Tranchita holds a current Breeder Permit. Tranchita seeks prospective declaratory and injunctive remedies that are all directed to allowing her to keep Luna in Illinois without a Hound Running Permit. The court first examined Tranchita 's likelihood of success on the merits for her five claims: her “class-of-one” equal protection claim, preemption claim, free exercise claim, procedural due process claim, and substantive due process claim. As to the first "class-of-one" claim, the court found that Tranchita's displeasure and disagreement with Defendants’ failure to enforce the Hound Running Permit requirement against other alleged violators likely does not give rise to a class-of-one claim. Further, the court found Tranchita was not likely to success on her claim asserting that the AWA preempts the IDNR's policy requiring an individual who wants to possess a coyote to obtain a Hound Running Permit. The court rejected Plaintiff's argument that hound running in Illinois constitutes an “animal fighting venture” that the AWA prohibits. Indeed, the court noted that the state definition for "hound running" includes when an authorized species "pursued with dogs in a hound running area, but not in a manner or with the intent to capture or kill.” Further, the court noted the Seventh Circuit held that Congress did not intend for the AWA to preempt or ban state legislation, like the Wildlife Code, that regulates wild animals. Tranchita also asserts that the Hound Running Permit requirement violates her rights under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The court found that Hound Running Permit requirement is neutral and generally applicable and is rationally related to a legitimate government interest" (i.e., regulating who can keep coyotes (and where) in that it requires an individual who wants to raise a coyote to do so on at least ten contiguous acres of land). Because the Hound Running Permit requirement appears to be supported by a rational basis, Tranchita is not likely to succeed on her Free Exercise claim. Finally, Tranchita brings claims for procedural and substantive due process violations. The court stated that, to succeed on this contention, Plaintiff must provide something that happened after April 2019 that could arguably return her property interest in Luna or provide her with a new, independent property interest in Luna. However, the court found that Plaintiff did not have a property interest in Luna at the time of the seizure because she did not have a Breeder Permit at that time. Because Tranchita has not demonstrated that she is likely to establish a protected property interest in Luna, she has failed to show that she is likely to succeed on either due process claim based on this interest. Tranchita's argument that her current Breeder Permit (issued without the concomitant Hound Running Permit by Illinois) protects her property interest also failed to persuade the court because the law states that "[n]o fur-bearing mammal breeder permits will be issued to hold, possess, or engage in the breeding and raising of striped skunks acquired after July 1, 1975, or coyotes acquired after July 1, 1978, except for coyotes that are held or possessed by a person who holds a hound running area permit under Section 3.26 of this Act." That granting of the Breeder Permit without the necessary Hound Running Permit required by law led Tranchita to her last argument: "the IDNR's custom and policy of issuing her Breeder Permits and allowing her to keep coyotes without a Hound Running Permit created an entitlement to possess a coyote based on a Breeder Permit alone." In fact, Tranchita points out that IDNR issued her a Breeder Permit on several separate occasions without requiring her to first have a Hound Running Permit while she already possessed coyotes. The court noted that a protected property interest may “arise from mutually explicit understandings," but the plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating the existence of a mutually explicit understanding. Here, the Court was "skeptical" that sufficient evidence existed to demonstrate a department-wide custom or policy. In essence, the court found Tranchita had no likelihood of succeeding on the merits of the claims. The court did briefly engage in addressing the preliminary injunction factors. With regard to her claim that she will suffer irreparable harm in the form of Luna's imminent death, the court noted that the harm must be "likely" rather than just "possible." Tranchita's delay in seeking preliminary injunctive relief (four months after she withdrew her state court claims) undermines her irreparable harm argument. While the court was sympathetic and concludes that Luna's death would constitute irreparable harm to Plaintiff, it was not enough to persuade the court that death is likely absent the issuance of a TRO or injunction. Finally, on balancing the harms and public interests, the court found they do not weigh decidedly in Plaintiff's favor. Thus, the court denied Tranchita's motion for a TRO and preliminary injunction.|
|Tranchita v. Dep't of Nat. Res.||--- N.E.3d ----, 2020 IL App (1st) 191251 (2020)||Plaintiff Tomi Tranchita alleged that she cared for four abused and abandoned coyotes for 13 years. The coyotes were housed within a fully fenced-in backyard, ate appropriate food, and received medical care from a veterinarian. The Plaintiff possessed a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Class C exhibitor’s license which imposed restrictions on the licensee such as unannounced annual inspections by a veterinarian or specially trained animal expert. Plaintiff alleged that she had never been cited for any USDA violations and had passed all inspections. Plaintiff also held an Illinois state permit as a fur-bearing mammal breeder from 2011 to 2016, however, this permit lapsed after Plaintiff failed to pay the annual fee. On April 24, 2019, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) executed a search warrant on Plaintiff’s premises. The coyotes were seized during this raid. Plaintiff was told that if she did not sign a relinquishment form that the coyotes would be euthanized or confined to a small space that would end up killing them. IDNR cited Plaintiff for lacking proper permits and for several criminal violations of the Wildlife code. Three of the four coyotes ended up dying from what was believed to be distemper. Plaintiff filed suit alleging claims under the fourth and fourteenth amendments. Plaintiff also filed an emergency motion for preliminary injunctive relief arguing that the coyote’s lives were at risk if they were not returned. Plaintiff alleged that she had a protected property interest in the coyotes pursuant to her federal exhibitor license. The trial court found that Plaintiff did not have a protected property interest in the coyotes because she did not possess the proper Illinois permit at the time of the seizure. The trial court subsequently denied her motion for a preliminary injunction. Plaintiff then appealed. The Court looked to state law to determine whether Plaintiff had a property interest in the coyotes. Under the Illinois Wildlife Code, a fur-bearing mammal breeder permit is necessary in order to possess or raise a coyote. Plaintiff was in violation of Illinois law the moment her permit lapsed in 2016. This made the coyotes contraband since they were possessed in violation of Illinois’ Wildlife Code. No person is permitted to assert legal ownership or a right to possession of property that is contraband. Plaintiff argued that her federal exhibitor’s license recognized a right of property in her coyotes, however, the Court found that the mere possession of a federal exhibitor’s license does not automatically vest a property right in the permit holder. The Court ultimately affirmed the judgement of the trial court.|
|Trautman v. Day||273 N.W.2d 712 (N.D. 1979)||
In Trautman v. Day, 273 N.W. 2d 712 (N.D. 1979), defendant shot plaintiff’s dog when it ran through defendant’s herd of cows. The court affirmed a verdict of $300 for plaintiff’s dog. In addition, the Court declined to apply the defense of immunity based on a statute concerning the “worrying of livestock.
|Travis v. Murray||977 N.Y.S.2d 621 (Sup. Ct. 2013)||
A short, childless marriage ended in a custody battle over a dachshund after one spouse allegedly took the dog while the other spouse was away on a business trip. After reviewing the progression of the law in New York and in other states, the court decided to apply a “best for all concerned” standard and to give the parties a full, one-day hearing. The plaintiff’s motion to order the defendant to return the couple's dog and to be awarded “sole residential custody” of the dog was therefore granted.
|Trimble v. State||848 N.E.2d 278 (Ind., 2006)||
In this Indiana case, the defendant was convicted after a bench trial of cruelty to an animal and harboring a non-immunized dog. On rehearing, the court found that the evidence was sufficient to show that defendant abandoned or neglected dog left in his care, so as to support conviction for cruelty to an animal. The court held that the evidence of Butchie's starved appearance, injured leg, and frost bitten extremities was sufficient to allow the trial judge to discount Trimble's testimony and infer that Trimble was responsible for feeding and caring for Butchie, and that he failed to do so.
|Trummer v. Niewisch||792 N.Y.S.2d 596 (N.Y., 2005)||
A woman fell from a horse during a riding lesson when her horse was frightened. The woman brought claims against the riding facility and riding instructor for negligence. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the Court of Appeals affirmed reasoning horses becoming frightened is an inherent risk when riding.
|Tulloch v. Melnychuk||1998 CarswellAlta 573||
In this case, the Plaintiff seeks damages from the Defendants for trespass to chattels. She alleged that the Defendants shot her valuable dog. The Defendants countered that they were justified in shooting the dog since it was on their land chasing and worrying their cattle contrary to the Stray Animals Act, R.S.A. 1980, c. S-23, Part 3. Here, the court found credible the testimony from the defendant cow-operator that the dog was chasing a lame cow to the point where the cow was exhausted. The action by plaintiff was dismissed.
|Tuman v. VL GEM LLC||Slip Copy, 2017 WL 781486 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 27, 2017)||
In this case, Tuman sued the owners of her apartment complex, VL GEM LLC and GEM Management Partners LLC, after the apartment complex refused to allow her to keep an emotional support dog in her apartment to help her deal with her post-traumatic stress disorder. Truman argued that she was discriminated against after she requested a “reasonable accommodation” for her disability, in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The defendants argued that Truman failed to provide sufficient medical documentation of her need for the support dog and therefore were not liable for discrimination under the FHA. The court found that Truman was able to establish a disability under FHA by showing that her PTSD “causes her to have severe anxiety and difficulties with socialization.” The court held that this satisfied the requirement under the FHA that the disability must “substantially limit one or more major life activities.” Since Truman qualified as disabled under the FHA, the court turned to whether or not she had provided the apartment complex with sufficient documentation and notice. Ultimately, the court found that Truman had provided the apartment with sufficient documentation because she provided them with a note from her doctor stipulating that Truman needed an accommodation in order to cope with her disability. Lastly, the court found that the apartment complex knew of Truman’s disability and request for an accommodation and still refused to allow her to have a dog, which resulted in a violation under the FHA. As a result, the court found for Truman.
|Turner v Cole|| TASSC 72||
RSPCA officers found a horse belonging to the applicant on the applicant's property and, after preparing the horse for transport, had to euthanise the animal when it collapsed. The applicant was convicted of failing to feed a horse which led to its serious disablement and eventual euthanisation. The applicant was unsuccessful on all issues on appeal and was liable for a fine of $4000 and prevention from owning 20 or more horses for five years.
|Turner v. Benhart||527 SO.2d 717 (Ala. 1988).||
Plaintiff horse owner appealed a judgment of the Jefferson Circuit Court (Alabama) entered on a jury verdict in favor of defendant veterinarian in a malpractice action arising from the death of the owner's horse. The horse owner contended that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a new trial based on the ground that the verdict was against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence. The court affirmed the trial court's judgment in favor of the veterinarian in the malpractice action.
|Turner v. Ferguson||--- F.Supp.3d ----, 2020 WL 97526 (E.D. Wis. Jan. 7, 2020)||On March 5, 2017 Lori turner was attacked by her neighbor’s (“Arndt”) dog which required her to receive 11 staples to close the wound on her scalp. She also suffered bites on her shoulder and wrist that would later require surgery. Pursuant to local regulations, the neighbor’s dog was quarantined for a ten-day period. Lori mentioned to officers that the City of Gelndale had recently enacted an ordinance that allowed for an officer to declare a dog vicious which then required the owner of the dog to adhere to certain requirements like securing the dog in a kennel when it was outdoors and maintaining liability insurance for dog bites. On March 14, 2017, Officer Ruppel issued a citation to Ardnt under a Glendale ordinance for damage caused by dogs, however, he did not declare the dog vicious under the vicious-dog ordinance. Officer Ruppel reasoned during deposition that he chose not to do so because he considered Ardnt grabbing the dog by the neck and Lori walking up and petting the dog (prior to Ardnt’s action) provocation. Lori filed suit against the officers she interacted with over the course of the next year claiming that the officers denied her equal protection of the law by refusing to declare Arndt’s dog vicious and by failing to protect her from loose dogs in the neighborhood. Lori had repeatedly contacted the police department over the course of a year about how she did not like the outcome of her dog bite case and about loose dogs in the neighborhood. Lori specifically alleged that the officers treated her with animus. The Court ultimately found that the evidence in the record did not support a class-of-one equal protection claim. Officer Ruppel’s decision to not declare Ardnt’s dog vicious was supported by a rational basis. Additionally, no evidence existed that suggested that the Glendale police department intentionally and irrationally treated Lori’s complaints about loose dogs in the neighborhood differently than it treated similar complaints by other citizens. The Defendant’s motion for summary judgment was granted.|
|Turtle Island Restoration Project v. U.S. Department of Commerce||438 F.3d 937 (9th Cir. 2006)||
Environmental Groups sued the National Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the United States Department of Commerce for making regulations which allowed swordfish longline fishing along the Hawaii coast, alleging violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Court found that because the regulations were made under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (Magnuson Act), and because that Act had a 30-day time limit for when challenges to regulations could be made, the environmental groups has not brought their challenge to the regulations in time.
|U.S. ex rel. Haight v. Catholic Healthcare West||602 F.3d 949 (9th Cir., 2010)||
The plaintiffs, In Defense of Animals and Patricia Haight brought suit against the defendants under the False Claims Act. In 1997, defendant Michael Berens, Ph.D., submitted a grant application to the NIH in which he sought federal funding for a project to develop a canine model to study glioma, a form of human brain cancer, and attempted to create a process for implanting gliomas in the brains of beagles. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants, holding that the plaintiffs failed to produce sufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could find that the challenged grant application statements were objectively false.
|U.S. ex rel. Haight v. Catholic Healthcare West||594 F.3d 694 (C.A. 9 (Ariz.), 2010)||
The plaintiffs, In Defense of Animals and Patricia Haight brought suit against the defendants, Michael Berens, the principal research investigator of the study in question, and the Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Catholic Healthcare West Arizona, and Catholic Healthcare West, his employers, under the False Claims Act. In 1997, defendant Michael Berens, Ph.D., submitted a grant application to the NIH in which he sought federal funding for a project to develop a canine model to study glioma, a form of human brain cancer, and attempted to create a process for implanting gliomas in the brains of beagles. The plaintiffs brought suit against Dr. Berens under the False Claims Act asserting that he had lied in his grant application in order to obtain NIH funding. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants, holding that the plaintiffs failed to produce sufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could find that the challenged grant application statements were objectively false. In response, the plaintiffs filed a notice to appeal 51 days later, relying on a circuit court precedent allowing plaintiffs 60 days to file a notice of appeal in these types of cases. However, an intervening Supreme Court decision declared that plaintiffs have only 30 days to file a notice to appeal in this type of case. This case was amended and superseded by US ex rel Haight v. Catholic Healthcare West , 602 F.3d 949 (9th Cir., 2010).
|U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation v. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection||867 A.2d 1147 (N.J. 2005)||
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish and Wildlife executed an administrative order preventing the issuance of bear hunting permits. Hunters and hunting organizations sought judicial review of the administrative decision. The Supreme Court of New Jersey ultimately held it was within the authority of the Environmental Protection Commissioner to approve policies of the Fish & Wildlife Council and, therefore, execute the administrative order against bear hunting permits.
|U.S. v. 2,507 Live Canary Winged Parakeets||689 F.Supp. 1106 (S.D.Fla., 1988)||
Plaintiff U.S. sought to forfeit the Defendant parakeets on the ground that they were imported in violation of Peruvian law and consequently, in violation of the Lacey Act. The court held that, if even the "innocent owner" defense was available under the Lacey Act (which the court held it is not under the forfeiture provision of the statute), the claimant importer never attempted to independently confirm or verify that the parakeet species in question (brotogeris versicolorus) could be lawfully imported from Peru. Thus, the court held the forfeiture valid where the U.S. established by probable cause to believe the Lacey Act was violated where the testimony at trial established that Peruvian Supreme Decree No. 934-73-AG prohibits from anywhere in the national territory the exportation of wild live animals coming from the forest or jungle region.
|U.S. v. 3,210 crusted sides of Caiman crocodilus yacare||636 F.Supp. 1281 (S.D. Fla. 1986)||
The plaintiff, the United States of America, seeks forfeiture of the defendant, 10,870 crusted sides of Caiman crocodilus yacare, an endangered species of wildlife (hides) transported from Bolivia to the U.S. in violation of the Lacey Act, among other statutes. The court found that the testimony concerning the shrinkage of the crocodile hides during tanning did not meet the buren of the claimed owners showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the hides, which were shipped from Bolivia under the size limit imposed by Bolivian law, were not subject to the forfeiture provisions of the Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. § 3374(a)(1) (1985). The provision of the Lacey Act at issue prohibits the interstate or foreign commerce of any wildlife taken in violation of any foreign law.
|U.S. v. 594,464 Pounds of Salmon, More or Less||687 F.Supp. 525 (W.D. Wash. 1987)||
Defendants were charged with exporting salmon from Taiwan in violation of Taiwanese regulations. The regulations and public announcement of the Taiwan Board of Foreign Trade restricting the export of salmon from Taiwan constituted "foreign law" as that term is used in the Lacey Act, despite the fact this was embodied in regulation, not statute. Moreover, this provision of the Lacey Act was not void for vagueness for failing to expressly state that the term "foreign law" encompassed both foreign statutes and regulations.
|U.S. v. Abbate||439 F.Supp.2d 625 (E.D.La., 2006)||
Before the Court is the appeal of Frank J. Abbate, Jr.from a misdemeanor conviction for violating a provision of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act ("MBTA") after a Louisiana Department of Fisheries and Wildlife agent witnessed Abbate illegally taking or attempting to take wood ducks after legal shooting hours. At trial, appellant was found guilty of the offense charged and sentenced him to a two-year term of probation. As a special condition, the magistrate ordered that appellant pay a fine of $500 and refrain from hunting birds during the probationary period. Appellant petitions this Court to review his portrayal of the facts and reconsider the credibility of the witnesses and evidence in light of the arguments and allegations presented in his appellate brief. However, rules of procedure governing this appeal preclude appellant from receiving a trial de novo. Accordingly, this Court cannot consider new facts which appellant did not allege at trial and disregarded appellant's arguments which raise conflict over the weight and credibility of testimony. With regard to sentencing, the court found that the magistrate properly exercised his discretion where appellant had a prior conviction under the MBTA for illegal hunting and the revocation of his hunting license would properly prevent future MBTA violations.
|U.S. v. Abeyta||632 F. Supp. 1301 (D.N.M. 1986)||
Defendant, an Indian who resided on a reservation charged with the possession of golden eagle parts under the BGEPA, challenged the indictment as a violation of treaty rights and an unconstitutional burden on his exercise of religion. In an unusual decision, the court found that the BGEPA placed an unconstitutional burden on defendant's exercise of religion, where the golden eagle was not threatened in New Mexico and permits to kill depredating eagles had previously been issued. The court also held that the treaty at issue granted special religious accommodations to the tribe, thereby preserving a treaty right to harvest eagles for religious needs. For further discussion on religious challenges to the BGEPA by Native Americans, see Detailed Discussion of Eagle Act .
|U.S. v. Antoine||318 F.3d 919 (9th Cir. 2003)||
Defendant was a member of a Canadian tribe when he brought eagle feathers across the border to the U.S. for a "potlatch" ceremony (exchange of eagle parts for money and goods, which was religiously significant to defendant). On appeal, defendant challenged his conviction under the RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act), arguing in part that the government lacked an asserted compelling interest where the USFWS had issued a proposed delisting of the eagle from the ESA list. The Ninth Circuit disagreed, finding the evidentiary weight of the proposed delisting was lacking and that defendant was not discriminated against based on religion, but rather was excluded from the permit system based on the secular component of the Act (i.e., the requirement for membership in a federally-recognized tribe).
|U.S. v. Apollo Energies, Inc.||611 F.3d 679 (C.A.10 (Kan.), 2010)||
Appellants, Apollo Energies, Inc. and Dale Walker, were charged with violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act after an agent with the USFWS discovered dead migratory birds lodged in each appellant's "heater-treater," a piece of equipment used in the course of appellants' Kansas oil drilling businesses, on several occasions. At trial, both Apollo and Walker were convicted of misdemeanor violations for "taking" or "possessing" migratory birds. On appeal, Apollo and Walker contested that (1) the MBTA is not a strict liability crime or, (2) if it is a strict liability crime, the MBTA is unconstitutional as applied to their conduct. Bound by a previous holding that found misdemeanor violations of the MBTA are strict liability crimes, the court concluded that the MBTA includes no mens rea requirement. As to Appellants' second contention challenging the constitutionality of the Act, the court concluded that while the Act is not unconstitutionally vague, "the MBTA requires a defendant to proximately cause the statute's violation for the statute to pass constitutional muster.
|U.S. v. Atkinson||966 F.2d 1270 (9th Cir. 1992)||
Melville O'Neal Atkinson was convicted of twenty-one felony violations of the Lacey Act for his role in organizing and guiding several illegal hunting expeditions. The court found sufficient evidence to sustain his conviction based on interstate commerce where, at the end of each illegal hunt, defendant arranged or assisted in arranging to ship deer carcasses to the hunters' homes outside the state.
|U.S. v. Bengis||631 F.3d 33 (2nd Cir. 2011)||
After two applications to seek compensation for South Africa were denied, the United States appealed the two orders and the 2nd Circuit held that South Africa (1) had a property interest in rock lobsters unlawfully harvested from its waters and (2) was a victim under the MVRA and VWPA. The 2nd Circuit therefore held that restitution was owed to South Africa and the case was remanded for the district court to calculate restitution.
|U.S. v. Big Eagle||684 F.Supp. 241 (D.S.D. 1988)||
On November 23, 1987, defendant, John Terrence Big Eagle, filed a motion to dismiss the indictment in this action on the grounds that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. The indictment charges the defendant with violating the Lacey Act prohibitions against transporting, selling, or acquiring fish taken or possessed in violation of state law or Indian tribal law. The court held that the fishing regulations of the Lower Bule Sioux Tribe were applicable to defendant, a Native American of another tribe, and that this subjected him to prosecution under the Lacey Act.
|U.S. v. Braddock||Slip Copy, 2011 WL 327416 (C.A.4 (S.C.),2011)||
Defendant-appellants appealed their convictions following guilty pleas to offenses relating to illegal cockfighting and gambling activities. On appeal, they challenged the denial of their motion to dismiss for selective prosecution or, in the alternative, for discovery in support of their selective prosecution claim. In particular, appellants contend that district court should have dismissed the indictment or granted leave to obtain discovery because they, as Caucasians, were prosecuted federally, while two Hispanic co-conspirators and thirty-six Hispanic people arrested in connection with another cockfighting ring in Hampton County, South Carolina, faced only state charges. The Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, found that appellants failed to show that they were similarly situated to the Hispanic defendants who were not prosecuted on federal charges.
|U.S. v. Brigham Oil and Gas, L.P.||840 F. Supp. 2d 1202, 1203 (D.N.D. 2012), appeal dismissed (Apr. 18, 2012)||The Government charged Brigham Oil & Gas, L.P.with “taking” (killing) two migratory birds found dead near one of its reserve pits. But, the Court found that the use of reserve pits in commercial oil development is legal, commercially-useful activity that stands outside the reach of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Therefore, the Court held that the oil and gas companies' use of reserve pits did not violate Migratory Bird Treaty Act's prohibition against taking of protected birds, since death or injury was not intentional, and grated the defendant's motion to dismiss.|
|U.S. v. Bronx Reptiles, Inc.||217 F.3d 82 (2nd Cir. 2000)||
After defendant received a shipment of dead frogs, he was convicted of violating a portion of the Lacey Act, 18 U.S.C.S. § 42(c), which made it a misdemeanor to knowingly cause or permit any wild animal to be transported to the United States under inhumane or unhealthful conditions. Defendant appealed, and judgment was reversed and remanded with instructions to enter a judgment of not guilty. The government failed to meet its burden to prove not only that the defendant knowingly caused or permitted the transportation to the United States of a wild animal, but also that the defendant knew the conditions under which the frogs was transported were "inhumane or unhealthful."
|U.S. v. Bryant||716 F.2d 1091 (C.A. Tenn., 1983)||
Ricky Bryant appeals convictions on one misdemeanor and two felony counts of purchasing illegally obtained fox pelts, violations of the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981, 16 U.S.C. § 3371-3378 (1981). The court held that the North Carolina regulation, which unambiguously prohibited the hunting of foxes without authorization and expressly stated that dealing in untagged pelts is illegal, withstood the void for vagueness test as prosecuted under the Lacey Act. The court further dismissed challenges based on an entrapment defense and arguments that the Lacey Act constitutes an unconstitutional delegation to the States of legislative power reserved to Congress.
|U.S. v. Cameron||888 F.2d 1279 (9th Cir. 1989)||
Defendant was a commercial fisherman and conditionally pled guilty to unlawfully acquiring and transporting halibut with market value of more than $350 and knowingly intending to sell illegally taken halibut in violation of Lacey Act after he exceeded the catch limits set by the Pacific Halibut Act. Defendant argued that the Lacey Act criminalized the same civil conduct regulated by the Halibut Act, thereby superseding that federal statute. The court disagreed, finding that the purpose of the Lacey Act was to strengthen existing wildlife laws where the underlying law did not specify exclusive control.
|U.S. v. Carpenter||933 F.2d 748 (9th Cir. 1991)||
Defendant owned a goldfish farm and hired lethal "birdmen" to kill various birds that interfered with his operation, including herons and egrets, by means of shooting, trapping, and poisoning. In reversing defendant's conviction under the Lacey Act, the Court disagreed with the government's position that the act of taking of the birds in violation of the Migratory Bird Treat Act also implicated the Lacey Act. The court held that the Lacey Act requires something beyond the first taking; indeed a person must do something to wildlife that has already been "taken or possessed" in violation of law.
|U.S. v. Chevron USA, Inc.||2009 WL 3645170 (Only the Westlaw citation is currently available.)||After 35 dead Brown Pelicans were discovered in the space between the inner wall of the caisson and the outer wall of a wellhead, Chevron was charged with a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. But, the Court held that the MBTA was clearly not intended to apply to commercial ventures where, occasionally, protected species might be incidentally killed as a result of totally legal and permissible activities. Therefore, at the plea hearing the Court refused to accept the plea of guilty from Chevron.|
|U.S. v. CITGO Petroleum Corp.||893 F.Supp.2d 841 (S,D.Tex.,2014)||In 2007, CITGO was convicted of unlawfully taking and aiding and abetting the taking of migratory birds under MBTA § 707(a) after ten dead birds were found in two large open-top oil tanks. CITGO moved the Court to vacate its convictions, arguing that the MTBA criminalizes the unlawful taking or killing of migratory birds by hunting, trapping, poaching, or similar means, but does not criminalize commercial activities in which migratory birds are unintentionally killed as a result of activity completely unrelated to hunting, trapping, or poaching. In response, the Government argued that the MTBA prohibits the taking or killing of a migratory bird at any time, by any means or in any manner. The evidence presented at trial established that a number of individuals saw oil-covered birds, both dead and alive. An employee told senior management and suggested to another member of CITGO's senior management team that CITGO install nets on the tanks to prevent birds from landing in the oil. Based on this evidence, the court held that not only was it reasonably foreseeable that protected migratory birds might become trapped in the layers of oil on top of the tanks, but that CITGO was aware that this was happening for years and did nothing to stop it. Because CITGO's unlawful, open-air oil tanks proximately caused the deaths of migratory birds in violation of the MBTA, CITGO's Motion to Vacate CITGO's Conviction for Violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was denied.|
|U.S. v. CITGO Petroleum Corp.||801 F.3d 477 (5th Cir. 2015)||CITGO was convicted of multiple violations of the Clean Air Act and its regulations, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (“MBTA”). CITGO urged the 5th Circuit to reverse the Clean Air Act convictions because the district court erroneously instructed the jury about the scope of a regulation concerning “oil-water separators.” CITGO also contended that the MBTA convictions were infirm because the district court misinterpreted the statute as covering unintentional bird kills. The 5th Circuit agreed with both contentions, holding that CITGO's equalization tanks and air floatation device were not oil-water separators under the Clean Air Act's regulations and that “taking” migratory birds involved only “conduct intentionally directed at birds, such as hunting and trapping, not commercial activity that unintentionally and indirectly caused migratory bird deaths. The district court’s decision was reversed and remanded with instructions.|
|U.S. v. Clucas||50 F.Supp. 609 (D.C. Va. 1943)||
Defendant and several individuals went on a duck hunt in and were charged with exceeding the limit for migratory birds under Virginia law. The game wardens testified that the defendant, Clucas, admitted in the presence of the other parties that they had killed more than the 'bag', meaning thereby that they had killed more than ten ducks allowed for each person. The government held the position that the other individuals were hired for the reason of taking or killing the ducks. The court held that in view of the fact that January 6, 1943, was not the first day of the season the possession of twenty-six ducks by the two defendants did not constitute a violation of the provisions of the Virginia regulation. The possession being legal, the burden of proof did not shift to the defendants.
|U.S. v. Corbin Farm Service||444 F. Supp. 510 (D. Cal. 1978)||
As related to the BGEPA, the opinion distinguishes the degree of intent under the MBTA from that of the BGEPA. It also holds that both statutes were designed to apply to activities outside of traditional scope of hunting and poaching (in this case poisoning of birds). For further discussion on activities such as poisoning and electrocution prohibited under the BGEPA, see Detailed Discussion of Eagle Act.
|U.S. v. Crutchfield||26 F.3d 1098 (11th Cir. 1994)||
The court reversed the district court's judgment of convictions against defendants for the illegal importation and the intent to sell iguanas in the United States because of prosecutorial misconduct. The court held that the prosecutor wasted valuable money in pursuing irrelevant testimony, and improperly questioned defendants and their witnesses after repeated warnings from the district court judge.
|U.S. v. Dion||476 U.S. 734 (1986)||
The legislative history surrounding the passage of the BGEPA as well as the plain language of the Act evinces an intent by Congress to abrogate the rights of Indians to take eagles except as otherwise provided by statute. Defendant, a member and resident of the Yankton Sioux Tribe and Reservation, was charged with violations of the BGEPA and ESA after shooting several eagles on the reservation and selling eagle parts. The Court held that any other interpretation would be inconsistent with the need to preserve the species. For further discussion on the abrogation of Indian treaty rights under the BGEPA, see Detailed Discussion of Eagle Act.
|U.S. v. Doyle||786 F.2d 1440 (9th Cir. 1986)||
Doyle is a physician who lives in Texas and runs a bird rehabilitation center where he breeds captive falcons, hoping to reintroduce them. Here, the evidence was sufficient to sustain a conviction for violation of the Lacey Act making it unlawful for any person to possess and transport in interstate commerce any wildlife taken or transported in violation of any state law (Montana). Although defendant obtained proper state permits to possess and transfer described falcons, defendant was aware that the falcons' origins had been misrepresented; therefore, defendant has sufficient knowledge under the statute.
|U.S. v. Fejes||232 F.3d 696 (9th Cir. 2000)||
The jury found that Fejes sold caribou in violation of the Lacey Act by providing guide services to two hunters that took the caribou in violation of Alaska law. The court held that a "sale" of wildlife for purposes of 16 U.S.C. § 3373(d)(1)(B) encompasses not only the agreement to provide guide or outfitting services, but also the actual provision of such services. Further, defendant was not entitled to instruction regarding alleged state law requirement that he transport illegally taken caribou because the evidence at trial unquestionably showed that he sold caribou in interstate commerce.
|U.S. v. Felts (unpublished)||Slip Copy, 2012 WL 124390 (N.D.Iowa)||
Defendant kennel operator was found to violate the AWA on multiple occasions when inspected by APHIS representatives. From 2005 to 2009, defendant repeatedly failed inspections where APHIS found that he provided inadequate veterinary care, did not maintain complete records on the dogs, and did not properly maintain the housing facilities for the dogs. The Administrator of APHIS filed and served on Defendant an administrative complaint for violations. Defendant never filed an answer, and so a Default Decision and Order was entered against Defendant. The Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment was granted in part because Defendant failed to file an answer to the administrative complaint, and so was deemed to have admitted the allegations in the complaint.
|U.S. v. FMC Corp.||572 F.2d 902 (2nd Cir., 1978)||FMC operated a plant which manufactured various pesticides, requiring large amounts of wastewater which was stored in a pond. The pond attracted waterfowl during migration, some of which died. FMC attempted various measures to keep birds away from the pond. But, the Court held that FMC had engaged in an activity involving the manufacture of a highly toxic chemical and had failed to prevent this chemical from escaping into the pond and killing birds. The Court, therefore, held that this was sufficient to impose strict liability on FMC.|
|U.S. v. Fountain||277 F.3d 714 (5th Cir. 2001)||
Roosevelt Fountain, Sr. ("Fountain") and his daughter, Shirley Fountain Ellison ("Ellison") operated an oyster fishing business in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, called Fountain Seafood, Inc., where their convictions arose from the manner in which they operated the business (i.e., tagging violations, taking of oysters from closed areas, taking of excess limits of oysters, and licensing violations). The indictment further contended that the appellants worked to accomplish this goal by creating false records relating to their oyster sales. The court held that it was not error for no instruction on the term "willfully," since the false record provision refers to "knowingly" as the mens rea requirement. Further, the court held that "materiality" is also not a provision of the Lacey Act's false records provision.