|State v. Spreitz
|945 P.2d 1260 (1997)
The court held that admission of photographs of the victim was harmless because based on the overwhelming evidence against defendant, the jury would have found him guilty without the photographs.
|Cohen v. Clark
|945 N.W.2d 792 (Iowa 2020)
|Karen Cohen possessed a severe allergy to pet dander which was medically documented. Cohen was even more severely allergic when exposed to cat dander which required her to carry an EpiPen with her. Initially her allergy to cats was the same as her allergy to dogs, however, with repeated exposure, her allergy to cats became worse. Cohen feared that her allergy to dogs would similarly progress if she were repeatedly exposed to dogs. As a result, Cohen entered into a lease agreement with 2800-1 LLC to rent an apartment relying on the fact that the apartment complex had a no pet policy. Two months into her lease, David Clark entered into a lease agreement with 2800-1 LLC to rent an apartment down the hall from Cohen. Shortly after moving in, Clark presented 2800-1 LLC with a letter from his psychiatrist explaining that due to Clark’s chronic mental illness a dog would benefit his mental health. Clark request a reasonable accommodation to have an emotional support animal (“ESA”) on the apartment premises. Jeffrey Clark, the leasing and property manager, notified the other tenants in the building of the request to accommodate the ESA and asked if any tenants had allergies to dogs. Cohen responded to Jeffrey detailing the allergies that she had to dogs and cats. Jeffrey subsequently contacted the Iowa Civil Rights Commission (“ICRC”) and requested a review or a formal agency determination. A staff member of the ICRC informed Jeffrey that he had to reasonably accommodate both Cohen’s allergies and Clark’s ESA request. There was no formal finding that this would constitute a reasonable accommodation. 2800-1 LLC allowed Clark to have a dog as his ESA while at the same time trying to mitigate Cohen’s allergies by having Cohen and Clark use separate stairwells and purchasing an air purifier for Cohen’s apartment. Despite the attempts to accommodate both tenants, Cohen still suffered allergic reactions and she had to limit the amount of time she spent in her apartment building. On September 27, 2017, Cohen brought a small claims action against 2800-1 LLC seeking one month’s rent as damages and alleging that 2800-1 LLC breached the express covenant of her lease that provided for no pets. Cohen also alleged that both Clark and 2800-1 LLC breached her implied warranty of quiet enjoyment. The small claims court dismissed Cohen’s claims. Cohen filed a notice of appeal three days later to the district court. The District Court concluded that 2800-1 LLC made sufficient efforts that would have justified denying Clark’s request for accommodation or asking him to move to another apartment building, however, because Iowa law was not sufficiently clear, they also dismissed the claims against 2800-1 LLC and Clark. Cohen filed an application for discretionary review to which 2800-1 LLC consented. The Supreme Court of Iowa granted the parties’ request for discretionary review. The Supreme Court noted that there is no law in Iowa or any other jurisdiction that clearly establishes how landlords should handle reasonable accommodation questions with ESAs. The Court ultimately found that Clark’s ESA was not a reasonable accommodation and that the 2800-1 LLC breached its promise to Cohen that the apartment would have no pets other than reasonable accommodations. 2800-1 LLC had other apartments available in other buildings that allowed pets. Cohen also had priority in time since she signed her lease first. The Court ultimately reversed and remanded the district court’s dismissal of Cohen’s case.
|People v. Curtis
|944 N.E.2d 806 (Ill.App. 2 Dist., 2011)
Defendant owned five cats and housed 82 feral cats in her home. One of her pet cats developed a respiratory infection and had to be euthanized as a result of unsanitary conditions. Defendant was convicted of violating the duties of an animal owner, and she appealed. The Appellate Court held that the statute requiring animal owners to provide humane care and treatment contained sufficiently definite standards for unbiased application, and that a person of ordinary intelligence would consider defendant's conduct toward her pet cat to be inhumane.
|U.S. v. One Bell Jet Ranger II Helicopter
|943 F.2d 1121 (9th Cir. 1991)
Sam Jaksick, Michael Boyce, and Chris Christensen were charged with conspiring to violate both the Airborne Hunting Act (AHA), 16 U.S.C. 742j-1 and the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981. They were also charged with knowingly using a helicopter to harass bighorn sheep in violation of the AHA. After a jury acquitted of the last two charges, the government, still convinced that the bighorn sheep had been harassed by the hunters, then brought this forfeiture action. While the court denied the forfeiture based for the most part on actions by the government in the case, it did hold that defendants' use of the helicopter to get as close as possible to identify the best trophy ram constituted sufficient intent for harassment under the Airborne Hunting Act.
|Auster v. Norwalk
|943 A.2d 391 (Conn. 2008)
Plaintiff, while on church premises, was bitten by a church employee's dog. Plaintiff seeks damages from church under the state dog bite statute, which imposes strict liability for damages on the dog's keeper. The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in favor of the church, reasoning that a non-owner must be responsible for maintaining and controlling the dog at the time the damage is done in order to be held liable under the statute.
|Allen v. Cox
|942 A.2d 296 (Conn. 2008)
The plaintiff (Allen) brought this action against the defendants (Jessica Cox and Daniel Cox) alleging that she was injured by the defendants' cat after the defendants negligently allowed the cat to roam free. The trial court rendered summary judgment for the defendants. Relying mainly on the Restatement (Second), this court held that when a cat has a propensity to attack other cats, knowledge of that propensity may render the owner liable for injuries to people that foreseeably result from such behavior.
|Rosenfeld v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Mendon
|940 N.E.2d 891 (Ma. App., 2011)
A zoning board granted landowner’s application for a special permit, and neighbor property owners appealed. The Appeals Court of Massachusetts held that defendant’s proposed use of land for horse stables fit within the agricultural use exception of the zoning ordinance and by-laws, and that plaintiffs had standing to enforce a deed restriction on defendant’s property.
|Swartz v. Heartland Equine Rescue
|940 F.3d 387 (7th Cir., 2019)
|The Plaintiff, Jamie and Sandra Swartz, acquired several horses, goats, and a donkey to keep on their farm in Indiana. In April of 2013, the county’s animal control officer, Randy Lee, called a veterinarian to help evaluate a thin horse that had been observed on the Swartzes’ property. Lee and the veterinarian visited the Swartzes’ on multiple occasions. The veterinarian became worried on its final visit that the Swartzes’ were not properly caring for the animals. Lee used the veterinarian’s Animal Case Welfare Reports to support a finding of probable cause to seize the animals. Subsequently, the Superior Court of Indiana entered an order to seize the animals. On June 20, 2014, the state of Indiana filed three counts of animal cruelty charges against the Swartzes. However, the state deferred prosecuting the Swartzes due to a pretrial diversion agreement. The Swartzes filed this federal lawsuit alleging that the defendants acted in concert to cause their livestock to be seized without probable cause and distributed the animals to a sanctuary and equine rescue based on false information contrary to the 4th and 14th amendments. The district court dismissed the Swartzes' claims to which, they appealed. The Court of Appeals focused on whether the district court had subject-matter jurisdiction over the Swartzes’ claims. The Court applied the Rooker-Feldman doctrine which prevents lower federal courts from exercising jurisdiction over cases brought by those who lose in state court challenging state court judgments. Due to the fact that the Swartzes’ alleged injury was directly caused by the state court’s orders, Rooker-Feldman barred federal review. The Swartzes also must have had a reasonable opportunity to litigate their claims in state court for the bar to apply. The Court, after reviewing the record, showed that the Swartzes had multiple opportunities to litigate whether the animals should have been seized, thus Rooker-Feldman applied. The case should have been dismissed for lack of jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine at the outset. The Court vacated the judgment of the district court and remanded with instructions to dismiss the case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
|United States v. Univ. of Neb. at Kearney
|940 F. Supp. 2d 974, 975 (D. Neb. 2013).
|This case considers whether student housing at the University of Nebraska–Kearney (UNK) is a “dwelling” within the meaning of the FHA. The plaintiff had a service dog (or therapy dog as the court describes it) trained to respond to her anxiety attacks. When she enrolled and signed a lease for student housing (an apartment-style residence about a mile off-campus), her requests to have her service dog were denied, citing UNK's "no pets" policy for student housing. The United States, on behalf of plaintiff, filed this suit alleging that UNK's actions violated the FHA. UNK brought a motion for summary judgment alleging that UNK's student housing is not a "dwelling" covered by the FHA. Specifically, UNK argues that students are "transient visitors" and the student housing is not residential like other temporary housing (migrant housing, halfway houses, etc.) and more akin to jail. However, this court was not convinced, finding that "UNK's student housing facilities are clearly 'dwellings' within the meaning of the FHA."
|McCready v. Virginia
|94 U.S. 391 (1876)
McCready, a citizen of Maryland, was indicted, convicted, and fined $500, in the Circuit Court of Gloucester County, Va., for planting oysters in Ware River, a stream in which the tide ebbs and flows, in violation of sect. 22 of the act of the assembly of Virginia. The precise question to be determined in this case is, whether the State of Virginia can prohibit the citizens of other States from planting oysters in Ware River, a stream in that State where the tide ebbs and flows, when its own citizens have that privilege. The Court held that the fisheries of a state are not a privilege or immunity of the citizens therein, but rather a property right of the people of the state. Thus, the citizens of one State are not invested by this clause of the Constitution with any interest in the common property of the citizens of another State. The Court also found the Commerce Clause inapplicable, as there is here no question of transportation or exchange of commodities, but only of cultivation and production.
|Department of Game of Wash. v. Puyallup Tribe
|94 S.Ct. 330 (1973)
The Washington Department of Game and the Department of Fisheries brought action for declaratory judgment that members of the Puyallup Indian tribe were not exempt from application of state fishery conservation measures. The Supreme Court held that commercial net fishing by Puyallup Indians, for which the Indians have treaty protection, Puyallup Tribe v. Dept. of Game, 391 U.S. 392, 88 S.Ct. 1725, 20 L.Ed.2d 689, forecloses the bar against net fishing of steelhead trout imposed by Washington State Game Department's regulation, which discriminates against the Puyallups, and as long as steelhead fishing is permitted, the regulation must achieve an accommodation between the Puyallups' net-fishing rights and the rights of sports fishermen.
|Hastings v. Sauve
|94 A.D.3d 1171 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept., 2012)
|Plaintiff motorist was injured after hitting a cow that had wandered onto the highway, and sued owner for negligently failing to confine cow. The Supreme Court held that injury claims could only proceed under strict liability theory based on owner's knowledge of animal's vicious propensities. There was no evidence that cow had a vicious propensity, or that owner knew of propensity, thus, owner was not liable. This order was Reversed by Hastings v. Sauve , 2013 WL 1829834 (N.Y., 2013).
|In re Marriage of Tevis-Bleich
|939 P.2d 966 (Kan. Ct. App. 1997)
|A couple had agreed to a divorce settlement where they each had visitation rights with their dog; the trial court approved of the arrangement. The wife later tried to have that section removed from the decree, but the trial court held that they did not have jurisdiction to make such a change. The appellate court affirmed the decision, which left visitation intact
|U.S. v. Lee
|937 F.2d 1388 (9th Cir. 1991)
Fishermen who took part in importing salmon that they knew or should have known had been taken in violation of Taiwanese regulation, could be subjected to criminal penalties for violation of the Lacey Act, despite the fact not all fishermen who were involved actually violated the Taiwanese regulation. The fishermen argue that the term "any foreign law" encompasses only foreign statutes, not foreign regulations; however, the court previously ruled that a Taiwanese regulation prohibiting the export of salmon without a permit constituted a "foreign law" under section 3372(a)(2)(A) and thereby supported an Act violation.
|Austin v. Bundrick
|935 So.2d 836 (La.App. 2 Cir. 2006)
This Louisiana case involves a suit against the owner of a cow (Bundrick) that wandered into the road where it was struck by plaintiff Austin's vehicle. Bundrick and his insurer, Colony Insurance Company, appealed the partial summary judgment finding Bundrick liable for the damages resulting from the accident. In reversing the lower court's order for partial summary judgment and remanding for a trial on the merits, the court noted that it is well settled that when an auto strikes a cow on one of the enumerated "stock law" highways, the burden of proof rests upon the owner of the animal to exculpate himself from even the slightest degree of negligence.
|McBride v. XYZ Ins.
|935 So.2d 326 (La.App. 2 Cir. 2006)
In this Louisiana dog bite case, a guest individually and on behalf of child brought an action against the dog owner to recover for bites. The child's bites occurred while the guest and her child were visiting defendant's home after the child had been petting and hugging the dog (a fairly large Chow). The appellate court held that the adult guest's conduct of swatting the dog with a shoe after the dog had released the child's arm was not provocation and the defendant was strictly liable for the injuries. While the district court reasoned that the guest failed to use reasonable caution in reading the warning signs and provoked the dog by striking him after he had already released the child, this court found that the guest and her children entered the yard through the house, and she did not notice the signs. Moreover, both witnesses testified that events unfolded very fast; the record persuaded the court that Ms. McBride's conduct in swatting Smokey with a shoe was not an intentional provocation but a natural and inevitable reaction to seeing her child's arm in the dog's jaws.
|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. Gregory (Unpublished Opinion)
|933 F.2d 1016 (1991)
Defendant challenged the search of his residence in a drug raid in which his dog was shot. The court held that the shooting of Gregory's dog was done excusably by an officer who reacted quickly in a potentially dangerous situation to a perceived attack by an animal reasonably believed to be an attack dog. The shooting of the dog did not render the search unreasonable.
|Ridley v. Sioux Empire Pit Bull Rescue, Inc.
|932 N.W.2d 576 (S.D., 2019)
|Plaintiff Ridley was walking at a campground where she was attacked and injured by a pit bull type dog belonging to Sioux Empire Pit Bull Rescue, Inc. (SEPR) and in the care of Susan Tribble-Zacher and Harry Podhradsky. At the time, the dog was tethered to a tree near the Zacher and Podhradsky campsite. SEPR functions as a pit bull fostering organization that takes pit bulls from situations of abuse and neglect and places them with foster providers until a permanent home can be found. The lower court granted both Zacher's and Podhradsky's motions for summary judgment, which Ridley appeals in this instant case. On appeal, Ridley claims the trial court erred by incorrectly weighing the evidence by viewing the facts in a light most favorable to SEPR instead of plaintiff. The appellate court disagreed, finding that the motion for summary judgment was granted on the basis that the injury to Ridley was not foreseeable. The court rejected Ridley's argument that pit bull type dogs have inherently dangerous breed tendencies and, as a result, the attack was foreseeable and the keepers should be held to a higher standard of care. The court noted that South Dakota law does not support any "breed-specific standard of care," and that every dog is presumed tame so that the burden is on a plaintiff to prove otherwise. The dog who attacked Ridley had no prior history of aggression toward humans to make the attack on Ridley foreseeable. In addition, the fact that Zacher and Podhradsky may have violated a policy by SEPR to keep the dog in a two-week "shutdown period," where the dog would not travel outside the home, did not make it foreseeable that the dog would attack Ridley. Thus, the defendants did not breach their duty of reasonable care toward Ridley. The motions for summary judgment were affirmed.
|Moore v. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc.
|932 N.E.2d 448 (Ill.App. 1 Dist., 2010)
Plaintiffs, Ami Moore and Doggie Do Right-911, Inc., aver that defendants PETA, Diane Opresnik, John Keene, and Mary DePaolo defamed them and placed them in a false light by stating that the plaintiff dog trainer placed a shock device on a dog's genitals and allegedly shocked it. Prior to this action, the claim against PETA was settled and dismissed. The defamation claims against Opresnik, Keene, and DePaolo, persisted. In dismissing the remaining claims, the court found that there was no positive factual statement of criminal animal cruelty to support a defamation per se claim. Further, another claim fell outside the statute of limitations period and was also inadequately supported by specific allegations.
|Morehead v. Deitrich
|932 N.E.2d 1272 (Ind.App.,2010)
Postal carrier sued landlord for negligence after tenant's dog bit her. The Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendant, holding that landlord did not have a duty to keep dog from biting postal carrier absent control over the property.
|ALDF v. Quigg
|932 F.2d 920(Fed. Cir. 1991)
|This case establishes the relative inability of third parties to challenge the veracity of an existing patent for genetically engineered animals. Judicial review is rare in such cases because third party plaintiffs, under the Administrative Procedures Act, lack standing to challenge the Patent and Trademark Office's interpretation of existing law.
|U.S. v. Lundquist
|932 F. Supp. 1237 (D. Or. 1996)
Defendant, a non-Native American practitioner of Native American religion, challenged his conviction as a religious exercise violation where there was no evidence that defendant was trafficking in eagle parts. Employing a RFRA analysis, the court found that while the limitation under the BGEPA to members of federally-recognized Indian tribes did substantially burden defendant's exercise of religion, the government asserted a compelling interest in protecting a rare species and maintaining Indian culture that was administered through the least restrictive means (e.g., the permit process). For further discussion on religious challenges to the BGEPA by non-Native Americans, see Detailed Discussion of Eagle Act .
|Granger v. Folk
|931 S.W.2d 390 (Tex. App. 1996).
The State allows for two methods of protecting animals from cruelty: through criminal prosecution under the Penal Code or through civil remedy under the Health & Safety Code.
|Sierra Club v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
|930 F. Supp. 2d 198 (D.D.C. 2013)
Using the Administrative Procedures Act, the Sierra Club filed a suit against the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) due to the USFWS's response to the Sierra Club's petition to revise critical habitat for the leatherback sea turtle; the Sierra Club also charged the USFWS with unlawfully delaying the designation of the Northeastern Ecological Corridor of Puerto Rico as critical habitat for the leatherback sea turtle. While both sides filed a motion for summary judgment, the District Court only granted the USFWS motion for summary judgment because the USFWS's 12–month determination was unreviewable under the Administrative Procedures Act.
|CHAPMAN v. DECROW
|93 Me. 378, 45 A. 295 (1899)
In this Maine case, the defendant was found liable for trespass after he killed the plaintiff's dog. Defendant asserted that the dog was trespassing on his premises, and was “then, or had been immediately before the shooting, engaged, with two other dogs, in chasing and worrying his domesticated animals, to wit, tame rabbits." As a result, he claimed that the killing was justified. This court first disagreed with defendant's claim that an unlicensed dog is not property because it constitutes a nuisance. This court found that, by the common law, a dog is property, for an injury to which an action will lie. Moreover, the statute to which defendant claims authority to kill an unlicensed dog only allows a constable to do so after a proscribed lapse.
|Porter v. DiBlasio
|93 F.3d 301 (Wis.,1996)
Nine horses were seized by a humane society due to neglect of a care taker without giving the owner, who lived in another state, notice or an opportunity for a hearing. The owner filed a section 1983 suit against the humane society, the county, a humane officer and the district attorney that alleged violations of substantive and procedural due process, conspiracy, and conversion. The district court dismissed the claims for failure to state a viable claim. On appeal, the court found that the owner had two viable due process claims, but upheld the dismissal for the others.
|Brower v. Daley
|93 F. Supp. 2d 1071 (2000)
Based on the Secretary of Commerce’s decision to weaken the dolphin-safe standard, David Brower, Earth Island Institute, The Humane Society of the United States, and other individuals and organizations challenged the finding as arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and contrary to law. The District Court for the Northern District of California found that the Secretary’s Initial Finding was not in accordance with the law and was an abuse of discretion because the Secretary failed to properly consider these studies.
|Nigro v. New York Racing Ass'n, Inc.
|93 A.D.3d 647 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept. 2012)
An experienced exercise rider sued the owner of a race track seeking damages for personal injury after the horse she was riding fell on her while crossing a gravel-strewn asphalt road. The Supreme Court held that the rider assumed the risk that the horse might fall by choosing to cross the road despite being aware of the danger. The doctrine of “primary assumption of the risk” applied, and the owner of the premises was not at fault.
|Hamlin v. Sullivan
|93 A.D.3d 1013 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept.)
Plaintiff was walking her dog in an area of state where dogs go off-leash. Plaintiff and defendant were back in the parking lot talking when defendant's dog, who was still off-leash, ran into her, causing her to fall and sustain injuries. The appellate court found that plaintiff's evidence was insufficient to meet the burden establishing that the dog had a proclivity to run into people and knock them over. While testimony showed that the dog (Quinn) routinely ran up to people and put his paws on their chest to "greet" them, this was different than a propensity to knock people down. The court found that the behavior of jumping on people "was not the behavior that resulted in plaintiff's injury, and plaintiff failed to produce any evidence that defendant had notice of a proclivity by Quinn to run into people and knock them over. . ." The court also noted that the dog's rambunctious behavior, occurring at a dog park where dogs freely run around, was insufficient to establish vicious propensities. Summary judgment for the defendants was affirmed.
|State v. Peck
|93 A.3d 256 (Me. 2014)
|Defendant appealed a judgment entered in the District Court after a bench trial found she committed the civil violation of cruelty to animals. Defendant contended that the court abused its discretion in quashing a subpoena that would have compelled one of her witnesses to testify; that the cruelty-to-animals statute is unconstitutionally vague; and that the record contains insufficient evidence to sustain a finding of cruelty to animals and to support the court's restitution order. The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine, however, disagreed and affirmed the lower court's judgment.
|Bartlett v. State
|929 So.2d 1125, (Fla.App. 4 Dist.,2006)
In this Florida case, the court held that the evidence was sufficient to support a conviction for felony cruelty to animals after the defendant shot an opossum "countless" times with a BB gun after the animal had left defendant's home. As a result, the animal had to be euthanized. The court wrote separately to observe that the felony cruelty section (828.12) as written creates a potential tension between conduct criminalized by the statute and the lawful pursuit of hunting. The commission of an act that causes a "cruel death" in Section 828.12 applies to even the unintended consequence of a lawful act like hunting.
|United States of America v. Lawrence J.Romano
|929 F.Supp. 502 (D. Mass. 1996)
On July 7, 1995, a grand jury returned an eight-count indictment against the defendant charging him with violations of the Lacey Act; defendant has filed a motion to dismiss the indictment. The court found that the Lacey Act embodies Congress' valid exercise of commerce power even when applied to a recreational hunter who purchased hunting guide services in violation of state law.
|Com. v. Seyler
|929 A.2d 262 (Pa.Cmwlth., 2007)
This Pennsylvania case construes the term "owner" for purposes of the state's Dog and Rabies Laws. Gretta R. Seyler appeals from an order of the trial court, which found her guilty of two counts each of violating Dog Law and guilty of two counts of violating Section 8 of the Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act after a pit bull jumped out of a window of her home and attacked a neighbor. First, the court found that there was no question that Seyler was caring for the dogs at the time the incident occurred or was permitting them to remain “on or about” the premises occupied by her. Although Seyler argues that the record clearly indicates that the two dogs were owned by her adult sons, the court found that the argument is without much force, as no paperwork showing the sons' ownership of the dogs was introduced at the hearing. Further, the court observed that the plain and unambiguous intent of Sections 8 of the Rabies Act and 305 of the Dog Law is that dogs be vaccinated and confined at all times. Thus, if the person having the property interest in a dog does not perform that function, then the statutes clearly require one harboring or caring for the dog, here Seyler, to perform it.
|Snead v. Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Pennsylvania
|929 A.2d 1169 (Pa.Super., 2007)
This Pennsylvania case involves cross-appeals following a jury trial in which defendant SPCA, was found liable for euthanizing the dogs belonging to plaintiff Snead, who was awarded damages in the amount of $154,926.37, including $100,000 in punitive damages. The facts stemmed from a seizure several dogs at a seemingly abandoned property owned by Snead where Snead was arrested on dog fighting charges, which were then dropped the next day. However, Snead was not aware that the charges were dropped and that the dogs were therefore available to be reclaimed. The dogs were ultimately euthanized after Snead went to reclaim them. On appeal, this court first held that the SPCA does not operate as a branch of the Commonwealth and therefore, does not enjoy the protection of sovereign immunity or protection under the Pennsylvania Tort Claims Act. The court held that there was sufficient evidence presented for Snead's Sec. 1983 to go to the jury that found the SPCA has inadequate procedures/policies in place to safeguard Snead's property interest in the dogs. As to damages, the court found the there was no evidence to impute to the SPCA evil motive or reckless indifference to the rights of Snead sufficient for an award of punitive damages.
|Bonner v. Martino
|927 So.2d 564 (La.App. 5 Cir., 2006)
Plaintiff-housekeeper brought an action against her employers and their liability insurance providers after the employers' dog jumped up on a door that subsequently injured the plaintiff. In affirming the trial court's granting of defendants' motion for summary judgment, the appellate court held that housekeeper did not demonstrate that dog presented an unreasonable risk of harm.
|Wilkison v. City of Arapahoe
|926 N.W.2d 441 (Neb.,2019)
|Brooke Wilkison (Brooke) got an American Staffordshire Terrier (pit bull) in 2015. In 2016, the city of Arapahoe passed an ordinance regarding dangerous dogs which contained a restriction on owning a Rottweiler or an American Staffordshire Terrier within city limits. The ordinance allowed for dogs licensed prior to January 1, 2017 to be grandfathered in as acceptable. Brooke did not have his dog licensed prior to the that date. Law enforcement told Brooke he could not keep the dog. Brooke filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment and an injunction to prevent Arapahoe from implementing and enforcing the ordinance. The trial court found for Brooke and Arapahoe appealed. Arapahoe's first assignment of error is that the court erred by applying the Fair Housing Act (FHA) to the ordinance. The Court found that Arapahoe was not exempt from the strictures of the FHA. Arapahoe's second assignment of error was that the Court erred by enjoining enforcement of the ordinance against Brooke because Brooke's accommodation is not reasonable and necessary. The Court found that Brooke failed to meet his burden of proof that his requested accommodation is necessary for him to receive the same enjoyment from his home as a non-disabled person would receive. Brooke already owned another dog and the ordinance only covered certain dog breeds. Brooke's other claims for relief were remanded to the district court. In conclusion, the district court erred in entering a declaratory judgment and enjoining Arapahoe from enforcing the ordinance as applied to Brooke.
|Cox v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
|925 F.2d 1102 (8th Cir. 1991)
USDA had suspended a kennel owner’s license for 90 days and imposed a fine on the owner for violating AWA regulations. These violations included delivering dogs for transportation in commerce, that were under eight weeks old, failing to hold dogs for at least five days after acquiring them, and refusing APHIS inspections. Owner claimed that such sanctions were excessive. However, the court found that there was willful violation of the AWA, since inspections were refused. Also, ignorance is not considered a defense, and although the owners claimed they did not know the age of the eight-week old puppies, they could have found out. Thus, the sanction was appropriate.
|Humane Soc. of U.S. v. Bryson
|924 F.Supp.2d 1228 (D.Or., 2013)
In order to manage sea lion predation of salmonids at the Bonneville Dam, the NMFS decided to authorize agencies from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to lethally remove sea lions that were not protected by the ESA when efforts to deter their feeding on salmonids failed. The Humane Society of the United States, Wild Fish Conservancy, Bethanie O'Driscoll, and Andrea Kozil disagreed and sued the NMFS; the agencies of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho intervened. Finding that the NMFS’s authorizations did not conflict with the MMPA’s protection of Stella Sea Lions, that the NMFS complied with the National Environmental Protection Act, and that the NMFS did not act arbitrarily and capriciously when it issued the authorizations, the district court granted the NMFS’s and the state agencies’ cross motion for summary judgment. The case was therefore dismissed.
|Com. v. Beam
|923 A.2d 414 (Pa.Super., 2007)
In this Pennsylvania case, defendant appeals from convictions for licensing violations under the state's Dog Law and for violation of the Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act after a copier repair person was attacked by defendant's three German Shepherds. Because the Department of Health dog warden could not gain access to either question defendant about the dogs' vaccinations or quarantine the dogs, the victim had to receive a series of rabies shots. Based on the testimony of the dog warden that he finally saw vaccination certificates, and the fact the Commonwealth did not present any contrary evidence, the fines imposed under the Rabies Act were reversed. However, the court sustained the convictions for licensing violations under the Dog Law since defendant failed to show proof of licenses for 2005 (when the attack occurred).
|Carroll v. State
|922 N.E.2d 755 (Ind.App., 2010)
Defendant Lee Carroll appealed his sentence after the trial court accepted his plea of guilty to two counts of class A misdemeanor dog bite resulting in serious bodily injury. While the court noted that Defendant's lack of criminal history was a mitigating factor, the "great personal injury" suffered by the victim far exceeded any mitigation. On each count, the trial court sentenced Carroll to 365 days, with four days suspended, and ordered “both” to “run consecutive to one another.” On appeal, Defendant argued that any consideration of the his dogs' breed was improper. However, the court found that the other evidence was sufficient to support his sentence (in a footnote the court addressed it directly: "We need not address whether the trial court erred to the extent it found the breed of his dogs to be an aggravator..."). The court was not persuaded that the nature of the offenses or the character of the offender justified revising his sentence.
|Savage v. Prator
|921 So.2d 51 (La., 2006)
Two Louisiana "game clubs" filed an action for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against parish commission and parish sheriff's office after being informed by the sheriff that an existing parish ordinance prohibiting cockfighting would be enforced. The clubs contended that the ordinance was violative of the police power reserved explicitly to the state (the state anti-cruelty provision is silent with regard to cockfighting). The First Judicial District Court, Parish of Caddo granted the clubs' request for a preliminary injunction. The Supreme Court reversed the injunction and remanded the matter, finding that the parish ordinance prohibiting cockfighting did not violate general law or infringe upon State's police powers in violation of Constitution.
|Savage v. Prator
|921 So.2d 51 (La. 2006)
After being informed by the Caddo Sheriff's Office that a 1987 Parish ordinance prohibiting cockfighting would be enforced, two organizations, who had held cockfighting tournaments since the late 1990s and the early 2000s, filed a petition for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. After the trial court granted the organizations' request for a preliminary injunction, the Parish commission appealed and the court of appeals affirmed. Upon granting writ of certiorari and relying on the home rule charter, the Supreme Court of Louisiana found that local governments may authorize or prohibit the conduct of cockfighting tournaments within municipal boundaries. The case was therefore reversed and remanded to the district court with the injunction being vacated.
|Smith v. Meyring Cattle Co., L.L.C.
|921 N.W.2d 820 (Neb., 2019)
|Harley Smith worked for Meyring Cattle Company. Smith was injured when a herd dog allegedly nipped at the hoof of one of the cows and the cow charged forward trampling Smith. Smith sustained substantive injuries. Smith sued Meyring under negligence theories and under strict liability as set forth under Nebraska law. The district court found for Meyring. Smith appealed asserting that the district court erred by finding as a matter of law that strict liability did not apply to the facts of the case and for granting Meyring’s motion for partial directed verdict. as matter of first impression, the Supreme Court of Nebraska stated that the element that a dog be vicious or have dangerous propensities is implicitly part of the strict liability statute. The Court concluded that there was no evidence that the herd dog bit, worried, or chased Smith. There was also no evidence that the herd dog’s actions were directed toward Smith. The language of the strict liability statute was never understood as encompassing bodily hurt to a person by way of a dog worrying or chasing “any sheep or other domestic animals” that collided with that person. The Court affirmed the judgment of the district court.
|Beckett v. Warren
|921 N.E.2d 624 (Ohio, 2010)
On a certified conflict from the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Ohio decided here whether a plaintiff pursuing a claim for bodily injuries caused by a dog must elect either a statutory remedy under R.C. 955.28 or a remedy at common law for negligence. The Supreme Court found that the defense's conflict case, Rodenberger v. Wadsworth, 1983 WL 7005, did not turn on the issue of whether both claims could be pursued simultaneously, but rather whether the statutory cause of action abrogated the common law cause of action (which it held did not). In looking at the plain language of R.C. 955.28, the Court found that the statute itself does not preclude a simultaneous common law action for damages for bodily injuries caused by a dog. Under both theories of recovery, compensatory damages remain the same so there is no issue of double recovery. Thus, a plaintiff may, in the same case, pursue a claim for a dog bite injury under both R.C. 955.28 and common law negligence.
|Ramirez v. M.L. Management Co., Inc.
|920 So.2d 36 (D. Fla. 2004)
In this Florida dog bite case, the appellant asked the court to limit the application of a case that held that a landlord has no duty to third parties for injuries caused by a tenant's dog where those injuries occur off the leased premises. The child-tenant injured in this case was bitten by the dog of another tenant in a park adjacent to the apartment complex where she lived. The appellate court reversed the grant of summary judgment for the landlord because the boundary of the premises is not dispositive of the landlord's liability.
|Frost v. Sioux City, Iowa
|920 F.3d 1158 (8th Cir. 2019)
|Plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of a ban making it “unlawful for any person to own, possess, keep, exercise control over, maintain, harbor, transport or sell within the City of Sioux City, Iowa, any pit bull.” Two of the original plaintiffs stipulated to dismissal because they moved out of Sioux City and did not anticipate that they would face enforcement under the ordinance. The remaining plaintiff Myers admitted in deposition that she does not currently own a dog nor does she currently reside in Sioux City, but that, in the near future, she intends to adopt a pit bull dog and take the dog to visit friends and family in Sioux City. Based on these facts, the district court, sua sponte, dismissed Myers' claims due to lack of standing. On review of that dismissal here, the appellate court first noted that, to show standing, Myers must have suffered an injury in fact. While the conduct of defendant Sioux City caused Myers injury in the past when they seized her two dogs, she must now face "a real and immediate threat" of similar injury in the future. Her intention to one day adopt a dog and take it to Sioux City does not suffice, according to the court. The declaratory judgment plaintiff seeks cannot redress a past injury. The court also found no abuse of discretion in not holding an evidentiary hearing on the dismissal prior to its sua sponte ruling. The judgment was affirmed.
|Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Labs, Inc. v. Board of Trustees of State University of New York
|92 NY2d 357 (NY, 1998)
Citizens wanted access to University records dealing with biomedical research using cats and dogs. These records were created, as required by federal Law, but access to the records was requested under state law. According to the New York Freedom of Information Act (FOIL), documents held by an “agency” should be disclosed. The lower Appellate Division held that s ince the University did not fall under the definition of “agency" under New York Public Officers Law, it was not required to turn over such documents. The New York Court of Appeals, however, found that the Appellate Division's rationale for denying FOIL disclosure was inconsistent with precedent, and that the legislative goal behind FOIL of was liberal disclosure, limited only by narrowly circumscribed specific statutory exemptions. Thus, in reversing the Appellate Division's decision, the Court of Appeals held that the records were subject to disclosure.
|Pflaum v. Summit Cty. Animal Control
|92 N.E.3d 132 (OhioApp.2017)
|Defendant appealed a trial court determination that his dog was dangerous under Ohio law. The designation stemmed from an incident in 2015, where defendant's dog and another dog began to fight. A neighbor attempted to break up the fight and was subsequently bitten on the hand. A week after that incident, the local deputy dog warden gave the defendant notice that there was cause to believe his dog was dangerous due to the bite on the hand. The magistrate found the dog did not meet the statutory definition of a dangerous dog. Animal control then appealed the magistrate's decision and the trial court agreed, finding that animal control demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that the dog was dangerous. At the Court of Appeals, Pflaum argued that the trial court abused its discretion in overturning the magistrate's decision. The court observed that the neighbor's striking of the Pflaum's dog during the fight fell within the concept of "torment" for purposes of determining provocation. While the neighbor's action were "well-intentioned," the issue of whether a person "tormented" a dog does not depend on whether there was a malicious intent. Thus, there was not clear and convincing evidence that the dog acted without provocation when it caused injury to a person. The trial court was reversed and the cause remanded.
|Cordoves v. Miami-Dade Cnty
|92 F. Supp. 3d 1221 (S.D. Fla. 2015)
|This case arises out of an incident at the Dadeland Mall, during which plaintiff had a confrontation with security personnel that ended with her arrest. The incident was precipitated by the presence of a small dog plaintiff was toting in a stroller while shopping with her mother and daughter. Plaintiff alleged discrimination in public accommodations under the ADA, and excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment under § 1983. Defendants moved for summary judgment.The District Court denied the motion in part and granted the motion in part, finding that an issue of material fact existed as to whether the dog was a service animal; that the patron was precluded from bringing negligence claim premised on intentional torts; that officer's use of force in arresting patron was de minimis; and that the right to be free from officer's application of force was not clearly established.