|American Bird Conservancy v. Harvey||232 F. Supp. 3d 292 (E.D.N.Y. 2017)||
Plaintiff, American Bird Conservancy, is a non-profit organization that was dedicated to the conservation of the Piping Plover (a threatened species) in this case. The individual Plaintiffs, David A. Krauss and Susan Scioli were also members of the organization, who observed Piping Plovers at Jones Beach, in New York State for many years. The Plaintiffs brought an action against Defendant Rose Harvey, the Commissioner of the New York State “Parks Office”. The Plaintiffs asserted that the Commissioner failed to act while members of the public routinely fed, built shelters, and cared for the feral cats on Jones Beach. As the cat colonies flourished, the Piping Plover population decreased due to attacks by the cats. The Plaintiffs contended that by failing to take measures to decrease the feral cat population, the Commissioner was allowing the cats to prey on the Piping Plover, in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Commissioner moved to dismiss the complaint. The District Court, held that: (1) the affidavit and documentary evidence provided by the Alley Cat Allies (ACA) organization was outside the scope of permissible supporting materials for the motion to dismiss. (2)The Plaintiffs had standing to bring action alleging violation of the Endangered Species Act. The Commissioners motion to dismiss was denied.
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. United States Department of Agriculture||2017 WL 2352009 (N.D. Cal. May 31, 2017) (unpublished)||The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regularly posted documents about the enforcement activities of the Defendant, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, (“APHIS”). The documents were posted on two online databases. However, APHIS grew concerned that its Privacy Act system was insufficient. Therefore, the USDA blocked public access to the two databases so that it could review and ensure that the documents did not contain private information. However, the Plaintiffs, animal welfare non-profit organizations, asserted that by blocking access to the databases, the USDA breached its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act's (“FOIA”)'s reading-room provision. The Plaintiff’s also asserted that the USDA's decision to block access was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”). Plaintiff's motioned for a mandatory preliminary injunction. The United States District Court, N.D. California denied the Plaintiffs motion and held that the Plaintiffs are not likely to succeed on their FOIA claim because (1) there is no public remedy for violations of the reading room provision and they have not exhausted administrative remedies. (2) The Plaintiffs are not likely to succeed on their claim under the APA because FOIA provides the Plaintiffs an adequate alternative remedy. The Plaintiffs cannot establish that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction or that the balance of harms weighs in their favor in light of the on-going review and privacy interests asserted by the USDA.|
|907 Whitehead Street, Inc. v. Secretary of U.S. Dept. of Agriculture||701 F.3d 1345 (C.A.11 (Fla.))||
The appellant in this case, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida ("Museum"), appeals the lower court's determination that it is an animal exhibitor for purposes of the Animal Welfare Act ("AWA"). Appellant contends that while admission is charged for the Museum, it does not exhibit the Hemingway cats to the public for compensation; thus, the cats are not distributed through interstate commerce. The court, however, found that since the AWA itself is ambiguous on the question of whether "distribution" includes the fixed-site commercial display of animals, the USDA's broader interpretation of "distribution" and "exhibitor" are entitled to legal deference. While the court sympathized with the museum's frustrations, it affirmed the district court's findings of law and held that Museum is an AWA animal exhibitor subject to USDA regulation
|Access Now, Inc. v. Town of Jasper, Tennessee||268 F.Supp.2d 973, 26 NDLR P 107 (E.D.Tenn.,2003)||Plaintiffs Access Now, Inc. and Pamela Kitchens, acting as parent and legal guardian on behalf of her minor daughter Tiffany brought this action for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against defendant Town of Jasper, Tennessee under the ADA after the town denied her request to keep a keep miniature horse as service animal at her residence. The town's ordinance at issue provided that no person shall keep an enumerated animal within 1000 feet of any residence without a permit from the health officer. The Jasper Municipal Court held a hearing and determined that the keeping of the horse was in violation of the code and ordered it removed from the property. On appeal, this Court found that while the plaintiffs contended that the horse helped Tiffany in standing, walking, and maintaining her balance, Tiffany does not have a disability as defined by the ADA and does not have a genuine need to use the horse as a service animal. Further, the Court found that the horse was not a service animal within the meaning of 28 C.F.R. § 36.104 because the animal was not used in the capacity of a service animal and instead was a companion or pet to Tiffany. The plaintiffs' complaint was dismissed with prejudice.|
|Adams v. Vance||187 U.S. App. D.C. 41; 570 F.2d 950 (1977)||
An American Eskimo group had hunted bowhead whales as a form of subsistence for generations and gained an exemption from the commission to hunt the potentially endangered species. An injunction was initially granted, but the Court of Appeals vacated the injunction because the interests of the United States would likely have been compromised by requiring the filing of the objection and such an objection would have interfered with the goal of furthering international regulation and protection in whaling matters.
|ALDF v. Glickman||204 F.3d 229(2000)||
Animal welfare organization and individual plaintiffs brought action against United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), challenging regulations promulgated under Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to promote psychological well-being of nonhuman primates kept by exhibitors and researchers. The Court of Appeals held that: (1) regulations were valid, and (2) animal welfare organization did not have standing to raise procedural injury. Case discussed in topic: US Animal Welfare Act
|ALDF v. Glickman||154 F.3d 426 (1998)||
Animal welfare group and individual plaintiffs brought action against, inter alia, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), challenging its regulations concerning treatment of nonhuman primates on grounds that they violated USDA's statutory mandate under Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
|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.|
|Allen v. Pennsylvania Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals||488 F.Supp.2d 450 (M.D.Pa., 2007)||
This is a § 1983 civil rights action brought by Robert Lee Allen against certain state actors arising from their search of his property, seizure of his farm animals, and prosecution of him for purported violations of Pennsylvania's cruelty-to-animals statute. The animals Allen typically acquires for his rehabilitation farm are underweight, in poor physical condition, and suffer from long-standing medical issues. After receiving a telephone complaint regarding the condition of the horses and other livestock on Allen's farm, humane officers visited Allen's property to investigate allegations. Subsequently, a warrant to seize eight horses, four goats, and two pigs was executed on a day when the officers knew Allen would be away from his farm with "twenty five assorted and unnecessary individuals." The court held that the farmer's allegations that state and county humane societies had a custom, policy or practice of failing to train and supervise their employees stated § 1983 claims against humane societies. Further, the defendants were acting under color of state law when they searched and seized farmer's property.
|Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Austin||55 F. Supp. 3d 1294 (D. Mont. 2014)||Plaintiff challenged the defendants' approval of the Rennic Stark Project in the Ninemile Ranger District of the Lolo National Forest under the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Forest Management Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. The Project proposed a host of forest management measures. Under the National Environmental Protection Act, the defendant published an Environmental Assessment (“EA”) for the project in November 2012. The EA discussed the likely effects of the project on a number of wildlife species, including the ESA-listed threatened Canada lynx, the Forest Service-sensitive fisher, the Forest Service-sensitive North American wolverine, goshawk, and westslope cutthroat trout. The defendant signed and issued a Decision Notice adopting Alternative 2 from the EA, as well as a Finding of No Significant Impact. Plaintiff timely appealed the defendant's decision, but the defendant denied the appeal. Plaintiff then filed its complaint in this court and moved for summary judgment. Defendants filed their cross-motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment was denied on all claims and defendants’ motion for summary judgment was granted on all claims.|
|Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Salazar||672 F.3d 1170 (9th Cir. 2012)||Environmental organizations challenged constitutionality of Section 1713 of the 2011 Appropriations Act ordering Secretary of Interior to reissue a final rule removing a distinct gray wolf population in the northern Rocky Mountains from protections of Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Court of Appeals held that the statute did not violate the separation of powers doctrine, and reasoned that Congress amended, rather than repealed, ESA as to delisting of gray wolf by directing Secretary to reissue rule without regard to any other statute or regulation.|
|Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Weber||979 F.Supp.2d 1118 (D.Mont.,2013)||
An environmental group sued the U.S. Forest Service claiming it violated the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) when it permitted the implementation of the Flathead National Forest Precommercial Thinning Project. The court that the defendants' designation of matrix habitat was not arbitrary and that there was no showing of irreparable harm to lynx habitat to require the Service to be enjoined from implementing project. Likewise, plaintiffs’ claims regarding the grizzly bear’s critical habitat did not prevail; nor did the plaintiffs’ claims regarding the National Forest Management Act’s Inland Native Fish Strategy. The court, therefore, granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment and denied the plaintiffs' motion.
|Alliance for Wild Rockies v. Lyder||728 F.Supp.2d 1126 (D.Mont., 2010)||
Plaintiffs challenge the USFWS' 2009 designation of approximately 39,000 sq. miles of critical habitat for the United States distinct population segment of the Canada lynx. Specifically, they contend that the Service: (1) arbitrarily failed to designate occupied critical habitat in certain national forests in Montana and Idaho, as well as in Colorado entirely; (2) arbitrarily failed to designate any unoccupied critical habitat whatsoever; and (3) failed to base its decision on the "best scientific data available." The court concluded that the FWS arbitrarily excluded areas occupied by lynx in Idaho and Montana and failed to properly determine whether areas occupied by the lynx in Colorado possess the attributes essential to the conservation of the species.
|Alternative Research & Dev. Found. v. Veneman||262 F.3d 406 (D.C. Cir. 2001)||
An animal rights foundation sought to have the definition of “animal” amended, so that birds, mice and rats used for research would not be excluded. USDA agreed to consider the animal rights foundation petition to have the definition amended, and agreed to do so in reasonable amount of time. The National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), a biomedical research group that used birds, mice and rats in its research, attempted to intervene and prevent USDA from considering the petition. However, NABR was prohibited from doing so because there was no showing that preventing intervention would result in its interests not being violated.
|Alternatives Research & Development Foundation v. Glickman||101 F.Supp.2d 7 (D.D.C.,2000)||
In this case, the plaintiffs, a non-profit organization, a private firm and an individual, alleged that the defendants, the USDA and APHIS violated the mandate of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by promulgating regulations that exclude birds, mice and rats from the definition of “animal” under the Act. Defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that all three plaintiffs lack standing to bring suit. Defendants also moved to dismiss on the grounds that the exclusion of the three species is within the agency's Congressionally delegated discretion, not subject to judicial review. The court denied defendant's motion, holding that based on Lujan , defendants challenge to standing failed. Further, the AWA does not grant the USDA "unreviewable discretion" to determine what animals are covered under the AWA.
|Altman v. City of High Point||330 F.3d 194 C.A.4 (N.C. 2003)||
This case arises out of several shooting incidents in the City of High Point, North Carolina. In each incident, a High Point animal control officer shot and killed one or more dogs that were running at large in the city. Plaintiffs, the owners of the animals, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the officers' actions violated their Fourth Amendment rights. The Court of Appeals concluded that the dogs at issue in this case do qualify as property protected by the Fourth Amendment and that the officers seized that property. However, because in each instance the seizure involved was reasonable, it concluded that the officers did not violate the plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights.
|Am. Anti-Vivisection Soc'y et. al. v. USDA et. al.||946 F.3d 615 (D.C. Cir. 2020)||Congress passed the Animal Welfare Act (“AWA”) in 1966 to insure that animals intended for use in research facilities, for exhibition purposes, or for use as pets were provided humane care and treatment. Initially the definition of the word “animal” excluded birds according to the USDA. In 2002, Congress amended the AWA to make it known that birds were to be protected as well. The USDA promised to publish a proposed rule for public comment once it determined how to best regulate birds and adopt appropriate standards. Eighteen years later, the USDA has yet to issue any standards regarding birds. The American Anti-Vivisection Society and the Avian Welfare Coalition sued to compel the USDA to either issue bird-specific standards or to apply its general standards to birds. These animal-rights groups argued that the USDA’s utter failure to promulgate any bird specific standards amounted to arbitrary and capricious agency action. Their second argument was that USDA unlawfully withheld and unreasonably delayed action. The district court dismissed their complaint for failure to state a claim to which the animal-rights groups appealed. The Court of Appeals found that the AWA, when it was amended in 2002, required the USDA to issue standards governing the humane treatment, not of animals generally, but of animals as a defined category of creatures including birds not bred for use in research. The USDA failed to take “discrete action” issuing standards to protect birds that the AWA requires it to take. The Court ultimately affirmed the district court as to the arbitrary and capricious claim but reversed and remanded as to the unreasonable delay claim to determine whether the issuance of bird-specific standards has been unreasonably delayed.|
|Am. Anti-Vivisection Soc'y v. United States Dept. of Agric.||--- F.Supp.3d ----, 2018 WL 6448635 (D.D.C. Dec. 10, 2018).||The American Anti-Vivisection Society and the Avian Welfare Coalition sued the Department of Agriculture and its Secretary alleging that the Department's failure to promulgate bird-specific regulations is unreasonable, unlawful, and arbitrary and capricious in violation of the APA. The Plaintiffs sought court-ordered deadlines by which the Department must propose such rules. The Department moved to dismiss the Plaintiff's claims arguing that the Plaintiffs lack standing to sue, that it is not required by law to promulgate regulations for birds, and that it has not taken a final action reviewable by the court. The District Court ultimately held that, although the Plaintiffs have standing to sue, both of their claims fail. The Department is not required by the Animal Welfare Act to issue avian-specific standards; rather, it must to issue welfare standards that are generally applicable to animals. Secondly, although the Department has not taken any action to develop avian-specific standards, that does not mean that will not do so in the future. The District Court granted the department's motion to dismiss.|
|Am. Soc'y for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Animal & Plant Health Inspection Serv.||60 F.4th 16, 2023 WL 2026831(2d Cir. 2023)||In 2019, Plaintiff-Appellant the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (“ASPCA”) sued Defendants-Appellees the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (“APHIS”) alleging that APHIS followed a "policy or practice" of violating FOIA for failing to comply with requests for records related to the agency response to maintenance of animal welfare standards and licensing of animal dealers/exhibitors. This suit was prompted by APHIS' 2017 decommissioning of two public databases that allow users (including the ASPCA) to access records on commercial breeding facilities including inspection reports and photographs. APHIS contends that there was not a policy or practice that violated FOIA because it was corrected as the result of an intervening act of Congress, specifically, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020. In April of 2020, APHIS moved for summary judgment on the pleadings arguing that ASPCA failed to state a policy or practice claim related to the decommissioned databases and that it makes every effort to respond to FOIA requests within the statutory timeframe. The district court granted the motion for summary judgment on the pleadings, finding that while the decommissioning of the databases did indeed impair the ability of the ASPCA to receive prompt FOIA requests, ASPCA did not establish that the court must intervene to correct such a policy or practice and Congress already acted to correct the breakdown through the appropriations bill. On ASPCA's timely appeal here, the Second Circuit agreed with the district court that the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 reversed the records access problems. While the ASPCA contended that there were certain records like photographs that were removed from the database, there is nothing in the complaint to suggest that such record requests would not be processed in the future. In essence, this court agreed that the intervening act of Congress by the change in law corrected the action. Thus, a broad order by the court mandating changes to the FOIA process would amount to an unlawful advisory opinion because there is no policy or practice currently occurring by APHIS. The district court's judgment was affirmed.|
|Ambros-Marcial v. U.S.||377 F.Supp.2d 767 (D. Arizona 2005)||
Eleven illegal aliens tragically died in Arizona while attempting to cross the Sonoran Desert in May 2001. Plaintiffs, the aliens' surviving relatives, filed suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act, claiming that the manager of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge where decedents were found, caused their deaths by refusing to allow an immigrant rights group to erect water drums on the refuge in April 2001. Defendant moved to dismiss, arguing that (1) the Court lacks jurisdiction because the decision was a “discretionary function” under 28 U.S.C. § 2680(a), and (2) Plaintiffs failed to state a claim because Defendant owed no duty to Plaintiffs. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment and motion to dismiss. The District Court held that defendant's concerns about the safety of aliens (who might be encouraged to cross the area because of the presence of water drums), the safety of refuge visitors (who have been victimized by a small percentage of illegal crossers), and environmental harm (arising from habitat disruption and littering of debris) gave Defendant the discretion to decline to authorize the erection of water drums on Cabeza Prieta, and therefore the Court has no jurisdiction to hear this case. In addition, Defendant owed no duty to affirmatively assist trespassers illegally crossing Cabeza Prieta in avoiding the obvious dangers of a hostile desert. Therefore, Defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted.
|American Bald Eagle v. Bhatti||9 F.3d 163 (Mass.,1993)||
A group of animal preservationists filed suit to enjoin deer hunting on a Massachusetts reservation because it contended that the activity posed such a risk to bald eagles so as to constitute a prohibited “taking” under the ESA. The essence of the plaintiff's argument was that some of the deer shot by hunters would not be recovered and then eagles would consume these deer thereby ingesting the harmful lead slugs from the ammunition. The district court denied the preliminary injunction, ruling that appellants failed to show a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits. On appeal of the denial for injunction, this Court held that plaintiff failed to meet the showing of actual harm under the ESA. There was no showing in the record of harm to any bald eagles during the deer hunt of 1991 and the record fully supported the trial judge's conclusion.
|American Dog Owners Ass'n, Inc. v. Dade County, Fla.||728 F.Supp. 1533 (S.D.Fla.,1989)||
Associations of dog owners sued Dade, County, Florida seeking declaratory judgment that an ordinance that regulated “pit bull” dogs was unconstitutionally vague. Plaintiffs contend that there is no such breed as a pit bull, but rather a three breeds that this ordinance has mistakenly lumped together. The District Court held that ordinance sufficiently defined “pit bull” dogs by specifically referencing three breeds recognized by kennel clubs, including a description of the characteristics of such dogs, and provided a mechanism for verification of whether a particular dog was included. The uncontradicted testimony of the various veterinarians reflected that most dog owners know the breed of their dog and that most dog owners look for and select a dog of a particular breed.
|American Horse Protection Ass'n v. U. S. Dept. of Interior||551 F.2d 342 (C.A.D.C. 1977)||
Appellants (American Horse Protection Association and a member of the joint advisory board created under the Act) initiated an action in the District Court against the Dept. of the Interior, alleging violations of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and other federal statutes in connection with a roundup of horses on federal lands. In January and February of 1973, there was a roundup of horses (said by appellants to be wild and free-roaming) on public lands near Howe, Idaho. The District Court for the District of Columbia, granted summary judgment for appellees, rejecting appellants' contention that the Brand Inspector lacked authority under the Act to determine ownership conclusively. On appeal, the Court of Appeals found the District Court's construction of Section 5 unacceptable. This Court did not believe that Congress intended to abdicate to state officials final determinations under Section 5 on ownership of wild free-roaming horses and burros on federal lands. Thus, the Court held that final role is reserved to the Federal Government. The judgment appealed from was reversed, and the case was remanded to the District Court.
|American Horse Protection Ass'n, Inc. v. Lyng||681 F.Supp. 949 (D.D.C.,1988)||
This case resulted from a remand by the Court of Appeals after the USDA denied the plaintiff's application for additional rulemaking for the Horse Protection Act to expressly prohibit the use of ten ounce chains and padded shoes in the training of show horses. The use of these materials, argues plaintiff, constitutes soring (the act of deliberately injuring a horse's hooves to obtain a particular type of gait prized at certain horse shows. The object of soring is to cause a horse to suffer pain as its feet touch the ground). This Court denied defendant's motion to dismiss and granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. In doing so, it directed the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture to institute rulemaking procedures concerning the use of action devices on show horses. The Court further held that the existing regulations are contrary to law and that the Secretary ignored his mandate from Congress under the Horse Protection Act.
|American Horse Protection Asso. v. Frizzell||203 F. Supp. 1206 (D. Nev. 1975)||
The court upheld the Secretary’s decision to remove 400 horses from certain public lands in Nevada because of the risks of overgrazing, but also asserted that the Secretary’s discretion was not so complete as to deny judicial review of his actions.
|American Horse Protection Assoc. v. Andrus||608 F.2d 811 (9th Cir. 1979)||
The court stated that the Secretary’s decision to remove 3,500 to 7,000 wild horses in order to maintain the horse population at a permanent level might qualify as “major” federal action and thus require an EIS before removal could occur. While the secretary has wide discretion under the WFRHBA, he has no discretion regarding compliance with NEPA. The court also held that the exercise of jurisdiction by two courts over public lands created no threat of conflicting decisions on range utilization, because the courts only determined whether the land use decision was an informed one.
|American Soc. for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Feld Entertainment, Inc.||677 F.Supp.2d 55, 2009 WL 5159752 (D.D.C., 2009)||
This opinion represents the nine-year culmination of litigation brought by plaintiff Tom Rider and Animal Protection Institute (API) against Defendant Feld Entertainment, Inc. (“FEI”) - the operator of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey traveling circus. Plaintiffs alleged that defendant's use of bullhooks and prolonged periods of chaining with respect to its circus elephants violates the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1531, et seq. This Court held that plaintiffs failed to establish standing under Article III of the United States Constitution and entered judgment in favor of defendants. Since the Court concluded that plaintiffs lack standing, it did not reach the merits of plaintiffs' allegations that FEI “takes” its elephants in violation of Section 9 of the ESA.
|American Soc. for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Feld Entertainment, Inc.||659 F.3d 13 (C.A.D.C., 2011)||
The Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, affirmed the lower court's finding that plaintiffs lack standing to sue Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for violation of the Endangered Species Act. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that the use of two training methods for controlling elephants, bullhooks and chaining, constitute a "taking" under the Act. Here, the court found no clear error by the district court as to former employee Tom Rider's standing to sue where Rider's testimony did not prove an injury-in-fact. As to API's standing, the court held that API did not meet either informational standing or standing under a Havens test.
|American Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus||317 F.3d 334 (C.A.D.C.,2003)||
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Fund for Animals, and Thomas Rider sued Ringling Bros. and its owner, Feld Entertainment, Inc., claiming that Asian elephants are an endangered species and that the circus mistreated its elephants in violation of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq. The only question was whether, as the district court ruled in dismissing their complaint, plaintiffs (including a former elephant handler) lack standing under Article III of the Constitution. The Court of Appeals held that the former elephant handler demonstrated present or imminent injury and established redressability where the elephant handler alleged enough to show that his injuries will likely be redressed if he is successful on the merits.
|American Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus||246 F.R.D. 39 (D.D.C.,2007)||
In this case, the court considered the parties’ respective motions for reconsideration. On August 23, 2007, the Court granted summary judgment to defendant as to elephants subject to a captive-bred wildlife (“CBW”) permit and denied summary judgment as to elephants for which defendant claimed a “pre-Act” exemption. Defendant has filed a motion for reconsideration challenging the Court's decision regarding the “pre-Act” elephants and plaintiff has filed a motion for reconsideration challenging the Court's decision regarding the CBW permit elephants. Defendant’s motion was granted in part as to the standing of plaintiff, Tom Rider. The court held that Rider’s standing is now limited to those six elephants to which he became “emotionally attached.” Notably, the court ended its opinion with a “hint to the wise” that the court will not tolerate any further filings inconsistent with FRCP.
|American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus||2008 WL 3411666 (D.D.C.)||
On Plaintiffs’ motion to compel discovery from Defendants, The United States District Court, District of Columbia, determined that “master schedules” and “performance reports” were not documents pertaining to the chaining of elephants, and/or describing practices and procedures for maintaining elephants on the train, and Plaintiffs were therefore not entitled to such documents. The Court could not determine whether certain audio tapes demanded by Plaintiffs pertained to the medical condition or health status of any Asian elephants in Defendants’ custody during a specified time-frame, or pertained to the investigation of Defendants’ operation conducted by the Department of Agriculture, without being given the opportunity to listen to and review the audio tapes. Plaintiffs’ mere speculation that Defendants hired an outside consulting firm to follow and/or counteract a previous employee’s efforts did not entitle Plaintiffs to any further judicial action.
|American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals, v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus||502 F.Supp.2d 103 (D.D.C., 2007)||Plaintiffs-ASPCA filed suit against Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Feld Entertainment, Inc, under the citizen-suit provision of the Endangered Species Act. Plaintiffs allege that FEI routinely beats elephants, chains them for long periods of time, hits them with sharp bull hooks, breaks baby elephants with force to make them submissive, and forcibly removes baby elephants from their mothers before they are weaned. This conduct, plaintiffs contend, violates the "take" provision of the ESA. In the court's opinion regarding defendants' motion for summary judgment, the court held that the pre-Act exemption does not insulate defendant from claims of taking under the ESA. However, the court found that the captive-bred wildlife (CBW) permit held by defendant does not allow for challenge under a citizen-suit provision.|
|American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign v. Perdue||865 F.3d 691 (D.C. Cir. 2017)||This case involves a challenge by plaintiff-wild horse preservationists under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) to a proposed management plan issued for wild horse territory (WHT) by the Forest Service (FS). Plaintiffs argue that the revision, which changed the borders by removing a middle section so that it was not a contiguous territory, was arbitrary and capricious. After the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted summary judgment for the Forest Service, plaintiffs appealed. On appeal, FS contends that the unified territory was based on a cartographic error in the 1980s; in essence, FS argues that the 2013 change merely corrects an "administrative error" and returns management to the correct WHT boundary from 1975. However, this Court held that FS' decision to eliminate the middle section of the WHT was arbitrary and capricious because the plan failed to explain the change in policy. Further, FS did not adequately consider whether an Environmental Impact Statement was required under NEPA regarding this change. The Court was unconvinced by the FS's attempts to "shrug off" the inclusion of the Middle Section as an "administrative error" and stated that there is no "oops" exception for federal agencies. There were decades of data that relied on the "error" along with formal published plans that supported management activities and population studies. The court was unwilling to allow the FS to correct a past error by committing a new legal error: "[I]n administrative law, as elsewhere, two wrongs do not make a right." The court noted that FS may change its policies in the future, provided it reasonably supports those changes. Additionally, the Court found the FS' "Finding of No Significant Impact" in the environmental analysis was a "head-in-the-sand" approach that ignored real consequences of the boundary changes. Accordingly, this Court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in part and directed the district court to remand to the Service for further consideration.|
|American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign v. Vilsack||133 F. Supp. 3d 200 (D.D.C. 2015)||The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (Plaintiffs) brought this action against the United States Forest Service (Forest Service) to prevent the implementation of the new Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory Plan (WHT) that Modoc County helped develop. Plaintiffs brought six claims against defendants, all under the Administrative Procedures Act. In Counts I, II, and III, plaintiffs alleged that the boundary clarification was arbitrary and capricious because it violated the Wild Horses Act, the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and in Counts IV, V, and VI, they claimed that the adjustment to the "appropriate management level" (AML) range was arbitrary and capricious because it was contrary to the same three statutes. Because the Forest Service reasonably concluded that the disputed territory was never formally incorporated into the Devil's Garden WHT, and that any references to one contiguous territory were the result of administrative error, the Court found that it was not arbitrary and capricious or in violation of the law for the Forest Service to act to correct the boundary in the 2013 Environmental Assessment and the 2013 Management Plan. Thus, defendants were entitled to summary judgment on Counts I, II, and III. And because the Forest Service articulated a rational basis for its decision to adjust the AML range for the Devil's Garden WHT that was not counter to record evidence or otherwise contrary to the law, the Court found that defendants were also entitled to summary judgment on Counts IV, V, and VI. Thus, plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment was denied, defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment was granted, and because they sought the same relief as defendants, the intervenor-defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment was denied as moot.|
|Amons v. District of Columbia||231 F. Supp 2d. 109 (D.D.C. 2002)||
Plaintiff filed a Section 1983 action against D.C. police officers alleging, inter alia , intentional infliction of emotional distress for the unprovoked shooting of his dog inside his home. The court found that the officers lacked probable cause for the warrantless entry into his home to make the arrest, the arresting officer made "an egregiously unlawful arrest," and the officers were unreasonable in shooting plaintiff's dog without provocation.
|Anderson v. City of Blue Ash||798 F.3d 338 (6th Cir. 2015)||This case stems from a dispute between Plaintiff/Appellant and the city of Blue Ash (City) on whether Plaintiff/Appellant could keep a miniature horse at her house as a service animal for her disabled minor daughter. Plaintiff/Appellant’s daughter suffers from a number of disabilities that affect her ability to walk and balance independently, and the horse enabled her to play and get exercise in her backyard without assistance from an adult. In 2013, the City passed a municipal ordinance banning horses from residential property and then criminally prosecuted plaintiff/appellant for violating it. Plaintiff/Appellant’s defense was that the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and the Fair Housing Amendments Act (“FHAA”), both entitled her to keep the horse at her house as a service animal for her daughter. Rejecting those arguments, the Hamilton County Municipal Court found Plaintiff/Appellant guilty. Plaintiff/Appellant filed suit in federal court arguing that the ADA and FHAA entitled her to keep her horse as a service animal. The district court granted summary judgment to the City, finding that Plaintiff/Appellant's claims were barred by claim and issue preclusion stemming from her Municipal Court conviction. On appeal, the Sixth Circuit found that, because the fact-finding procedures available in a criminal proceeding in municipal court differed substantially from those available in a civil proceeding, Plaintiff/Appellant's conviction had no preclusive effect on this lawsuit. Furthermore, while there was no evidence that the City's actions were motivated by discriminatory intent against the minor daughter or had a disparate impact on disabled individuals, there were significant factual disputes regarding whether the ADA or FHAA required the City to permit Plaintiff/Appellant to keep her miniature horse at her house. The district court's grant of summary judgment to the City on those claims was therefore reversed.|
|Anderson v. City of Camden||2011 WL 4703104 (2011)||
Defendant Animal Control officers took Plaintiffs' two dogs pursuant to a pick-up order issued by a Magistrate of Kershaw County. The two dogs had a history of attacking other dogs and of running loose. Plaintiffs filed Fourth Amendment and South Carolina Tort Claims Act claims against Defendants. Court granted Defendants' motions for summary judgment because they did not violate a clearly established constitutional law, and were, therefore, entitled to qualified immunity from Plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claim.
|Anderson v. Creighton||483 US 635 (1987)||
Suit was brought against FBI agent seeking damages resulting from warrantless search of residents' home.
|Anderson v. Evans||314 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2002)||
Concerned citizens and animal conservation groups brought an action against United States government, challenging the government's approval of quota for whale hunting by Makah Indian Tribe located in Washington state. On appeal by the plaintiffs, the Court of Appeals held that the failure of the government to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement before approving a whale quota for the Makah Tribe violated National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The court also found that the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) applied to tribe's proposed whale hunt, as the proposed whale takings were not excluded by the treaty with the tribe.
|Anderson v. Evans||371 F.3d 475 (9th Cir. 2004)||
Advocacy groups challenged governments approval of quota for whale hunting by the Makah Indian Tribe. The Court of Appeals held that in granting the quota, the government violated the NEPA by failing to prepare an impact statement, and, that the MMPA applied to the tribe's whale hunt. REVERSED.
|Andrews v. City of West Branch Iowa||454 F.3d 914 (8th Cir., 2006)||
Appellants filed a suit against defendant, City of West Branch, Iowa and former police chief Dan Knight, seeking damages and relief under Section 1983. The dog was killed by Knight in the owners' fenced backyard in view of one of the plaintiffs. The district court's grant of summary judgment for the officer was reversed and the case was remanded for a jury trial.
|Andrus v. Allard||444 U.S. 51 (1979)||
The Court holds that the narrow exception in the BGEPA for "possession and transportation" of pre-existing eagles and eagle artifacts does not extend to sale of the those lawfully obtained artifacts. The legislative history and plain language of the statute is clear on Congress' intent to prohibit any commerce in eagles. This prohibition on commerce in eagle artifacts does not constitute an unconstitutional taking because the ability to sell the property is but one strand in the owner's bundle of property rights. The denial of one property right does not automatically equate a taking. For further discussion on the prohibition in commerce of pre-existing eagle artifacts, see Detailed Discussion of Eagle Act.
|Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Olympic Game Farm, Inc.||--- F.Supp.3d ----, 2019 WL 2191876 (W.D. Wash. May 21, 2019)||This case has to do with the mistreatment and unsafe captivity of numerous animals kept at a roadside zoo in Sequim, Washington called Olympic Game Farm (OGF). The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) alleged that OGF’s failure to abide by the Federal Endangered Species Act, as well as alleged violations of Washington State animal cruelty laws created a public nuisance. OGF admitted one of the allegations, specifically, that they are not accredited but possess or display Roosevelt Elk. That was an admitted violation of Washington law which makes it unlawful for a non-accredited facility to possess such a species. That single admission supported ALDF’s public nuisance claim in addition to all of the other alleged state violations. The court stated that ALDF met the "low bar" of standing in a public nuisance context. Accordingly, OGF’s Motion to Dismiss was denied.|
|Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Olympic Game Farm, Inc.||591 F. Supp. 3d 956 (W.D. Wash. 2022), on reconsideration in part, No. C18-6025RSL, 2022 WL 4080657 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 6, 2022), and on reconsideration in part, No. C18-6025RSL, 2022 WL 4080658 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 6, 2022)||This matter concerns defendant Olympic Game Farm, Inc.'s Motion for Summary Judgment after plaintiff sued those owners and operators of an animal-based attraction on the Olympic Peninsula for violating the federal Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) by taking and possessing protected species and creating a public nuisance in violation of Washington state law. Specifically, defendants seek a summary determination that its brown bears, wolves, and Canada lynx are not listed species for purposes of the ESA, that it has not harmed, harassed, or possessed any species in violation of the ESA, and that it is not a public nuisance. In granting the motion in part, the court held that grizzly bears found in Washington state are protected under the Endangered Species Act and wolves with some domestic dog ancestry are also protected by the Endangered Species Act. However, the animal welfare group did not give the operators enough notice of their claims regarding the housing and care of the grizzly bears. The court also found it unclear whether allowing tourists to feed grizzly bears large amounts of bread is a violation of accepted animal care practices. With regard to the wild cats, the animal welfare group did not prove that the operators' lion enclosures failing to meet the aspirational Association of Zoos and Aquariums (“AZA”) standards, a standard met by only a minimum of USDA exhibitors, showed a failure to meet a "generally accepted standard" of care. In contrast, the court found that it was unclear whether the operators provided adequate veterinary care for their tigers and thus, this aspect of the ESA claim may proceed. On the state nuisance claim, the court held that the operators' alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act did not constitute a public nuisance. Finally, it was unclear whether the operators' treatment of a Canada lynx's fractured femoral bone violated Washington's animal cruelty laws. Said, the court, "[a]lthough it is not clear that mere negligence in providing veterinary care violates Washington's animal cruelty laws, in the absence of any countervailing argument or facts, plaintiff has raised a triable issue of fact regarding this claim." The motion was granted in part and denied in part.|
|Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Otter||Not Reported in F.Supp.3d, 2015 WL 4623943 (D. Idaho Aug. 3, 2015)||The Animal Legal Defense Fund, and various other organizations and individuals, challenge Idaho Code § 18–7042 as unconstitutional. Section 18-7042 criminalizes undercover investigations of agricultural production facilities. ALDF alleges that § 18–7042 has both the purpose and effect of stifling public debate about modern agriculture and raises two substantive constitutional challenges against the State: (1) violation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment; and (2) violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court first found that § 18–7042 is both content and viewpoint based, and thus, must survive the highest level of scrutiny. The Court held that the law does not survive strict scrutiny because it "would contravene strong First Amendment values to say the State has a compelling interest in affording these heavily regulated facilities extra protection from public scrutiny." Even if the interests in property and privacy of these industries is compelling, the law is not narrowly tailored as it restricts more speech than necessary and poses a "particularly serious threat to whistleblowers' free speech rights." Finally, the Court found that the law also violated the Equal Protection clause because the law was spurred by an improper animus toward animal welfare groups, furthers no legitimate or rational purpose, and classifies activities protected by the First Amendment based on content. ALDF's motion for summary judgment was granted.|
|Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Reynolds||--- F.Supp.3d ----, 2022 WL 777231 (S.D. Iowa Mar. 14, 2022)||Plaintiffs, five non-profit organizations dedicated to animal protection, food safety, and other advocacy issues, filed suit challenging Iowa Code § 717.3B, which they contend infringes on their constitutional rights. Specifically, these organizations contend that Iowa's new "ag-gag" law criminalizes their actions in gathering information through undercover investigations at animal production facilities. These organizations must misrepresent or conceal their identities to gather gather evidence of animal abuse and other alleged illegal conduct in day-to-day activities at facilities where they suspect wrongdoing occurs. Iowa Code § 717A.3B is the second in a series of laws passed by the Iowa legislature aimed at criminalizing undercover investigations such as the ones conducted by Plaintiffs. The previous law was challenged by these same plaintiffs and a permanent injunction was passed by the United States District Court. The defendants challenged the injunction in the Eighth Circuit, but before that was decided, the Iowa legislature passed the new section (§ 717A.3B). Here, both parties have filed Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. Plaintiffs contend that the new law violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution because it discriminates based on content and viewpoint and cannot survive strict scrutiny. Defendants argue that the law does not regulate protected speech under the First Amendment or, if it does regulate protected speech, it is content-neutral and viewpoint-neutral and passes intermediate scrutiny. The court first noted that the issue with § 717A.3B, and other laws aimed at prohibiting trespassers at agricultural facilities, is the law seeks to single out specific individuals for punishment based on their viewpoint regarding such facilities. This law operates in a viewpoint discriminatory fashion because it prohibits the deceptive trespasser who gains access or obtain employment at an agricultural facility with the intent to cause “economic harm ... to the agricultural production facility's ... business interest" as opposed to trespassers with an intent to benefit the facility. Thus, Section 717A.3B does not focus solely on the right to exclude, the legally cognizable harm of trespass, but only on the right to exclude those with particular viewpoints. While the court noted that a state legislature may determine whether specific facilities—such as agricultural facilities, nuclear power plants, military bases, or other sensitive buildings—are entitled to special legal protections, the First Amendment does not allow those protections to be based on a violator's viewpoint. Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment was granted and Defendant's was denied.|
|Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Vaught||8 F.4th 714 (8th Cir. 2021)||Several animal advocacy organizations filed a complaint against the Vaughts and Peco Foods, Inc. seeking an order that would prevent defendants from bringing a civil suit under Ark. Code Ann. § 16-118-113 (colloquially known as Arkansas' "ag gag" law). The statute at issue provides a civil cause of action for unauthorized access to protected properties described under the law. Plaintiffs claim that the statute violates their right to free speech under the First Amendment by chilling them from engaging in activities protected under the First Amendment. In particular, the plaintiffs have "specific and definite plans" to investigate the defendants' chicken slaughterhouses and pig farms by sending undercover investigators to seek employment with defendants and collect information in an effort to support their mission to "reform animal agriculture." The district court found that plaintiffs failed to establish Article III standing to sue, finding that the injury at hand was too speculative. On appeal here, the court noted found that plaintiffs established the three primary elements of standing from the Lujan case ("(1) an injury in fact, (2) a causal relationship between the injury and the challenged conduct, and (3) that a favorable decision will likely redress the injury."). First, but for the statute, plaintiffs allege that they would engage in the protected constitutional conduct. Second, the plaintiffs adequately outlined their intention to engage in a course of conduct that is proscribed by the statute. Finally, the court found a credible threat of enforcement that was objectively reasonable. This is bolstered by the fact plaintiffs have successfully engaged in the conduct at other facilities in the past. While defendants contend that there is no credible threat that they would enforce the statute because these organizations would not find entry to their facilities worthwhile. However, plaintiffs presented allegations that indeed they would be interested in documenting the plaintiffs' operations because of the conditions of pigs in "nearly immovable quarters" and the use of controversial methods of slaughter. The court was equally unpersuaded by defendants' claims that there is no injury in fact since plaintiffs are not poised to publish any information gathered from their facilities. Additionally, plaintiffs sent letters to defendants asking them to waive their rights to sue and neither defendant responded. Thus, the complaint sufficiently established a case or controversy. The lower court judgment was reversed and the case was remanded.|
|Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Wasden||878 F.3d 1184||In 2012, an animal rights activist went undercover to get a job at an Idaho dairy farm and then secretly filmed ongoing animal abuse there. Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group, publicly released portions of the video, drawing national attention. The dairy farm owner responded to the video by firing the abusive employees who were caught on camera, instituting operational protocols, and conducting an animal welfare audit at the farm. Local law enforcement authorities launched an investigation that culminated in the conviction of one of the employees for animal cruelty. After the video's release, the dairy farm owner and his family received multiple threats. In 2012, an animal rights activist went undercover to get a job at an Idaho dairy farm and then secretly filmed ongoing animal abuse there. Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group, publicly released portions of the video, drawing national attention. The dairy farm owner responded to the video by firing the abusive employees who were caught on camera, instituting operational protocols, and conducting an animal welfare audit at the farm. Local law enforcement authorities launched an investigation that culminated in the conviction of one of the employees for animal cruelty. After the video's release, the dairy farm owner and his family received multiple threats. Animal rights advocacy organization brought action against the Governor and Attorney General of Idaho, challenging statute that criminalized interference with agricultural production facilities as violative of the First Amendment's free speech protections, violative of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and preempted by federal law. The United States District Court for the District of Idaho entered summary judgment in favor of organization and granted organization's motion to permanently enjoin enforcement of the statute. The court held that 1) Idaho statute criminalizing entry into an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation violated First Amendment; 2) Idaho statute criminalizing obtaining records of an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation did not violate First Amendment; 3) Idaho statute criminalizing obtaining records of an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation did not violate Equal Protection Clause; 4) Idaho statute criminalizing obtaining employment with an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation with the intent to cause economic or other injury to the facility's operations, property, or personnel, did not violate First Amendment; 5) Idaho statute criminalizing obtaining employment with an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation with the intent to cause economic or other injury to the facility's operations, property, or personnel did not violate Equal Protection Clause; and 6) Idaho statute prohibiting a person from entering a private agricultural production facility and, without express consent from the facility owner, making audio or video recordings of the conduct of an agricultural production facility's operations violated First Amendment. Affirmed in part; reversed in part.|
|Animal Legal Defense Fund Boston, Inc. v. Provimi Veal Corp.||626 F.Supp. 278 (D.Mass.,1986)||
District Court found that federal law preempts Massachusetts's consumer protection statute that requires retailers to inform consumers of relevant information, the disclosure of which may have influenced the buyer or prospective buyer not to enter into the transaction. The District Court also held that the Animal Legal Defense Fund could not enforce a cruelty to animals claim because it involves criminal statutes that only public prosecutors and legislatively-sanctioned groups may enforce.
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Herbert||Slip Copy 2017 WL 2912423 (D. Utah July 7, 2017)||This case deals with the constitutionality of Utah's "ag gag" law, enacted in 2012. The law criminalizes lying to obtain access to an agricultural operation and the subsequent recording or filming once inside. According to statements made enactment, it is directed at undercover operations that investigate farm animal abuse. Plaintiffs assert that the law violates their First Amendment rights. On review of motions, the court first looked at whether the First Amendment applies to this type of "lying." Because a recent U.S. Supreme Court case makes lying that causes "cognizable legal harm" outside the protection of the First Amendment, the court examined the type of lying at issue in the Utah law. Ultimately, the court found that lying to gain access to these agricultural facilities does not in itself cause a legally cognizable harm. Thus, "absent an additional showing of harm, under either interpretation, at least some of the lies criminalized by the Act retain First Amendment protection." With regard to First Amendment protections for the act of recording once at an agricultural operation and whether a strict scrutiny standard applies, the court looked to other circuits that found the act of making speech (i.e., recording/filming) is protected. The State countered with the fact that such recording occurs on private property, but the court found the government cannot place criminal restrictions on speech simply because it occurs on private property. The court noted that the property owner can indeed remove the person from the property and sue for any damages resulting from the trespass, which is different than prosecution by the state to curtail speech. Finally, after finding that the act impinges protected speech, the court then analyzed whether it withstood a strict scrutiny review. The State proffered government interests that include concerns over worker protection and disease outbreak. However, the court noted nothing in the legislative history on these claims or any actual incidents that supported these asserted government interests. The court found the Act did not survive strict scrutiny as it was not narrowly tailored and instead was directed at the content of the speech (the act of recording a facility). The Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment was granted and the State's Motion for Summary Judgment was denied.|