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Titlesort descending Citation Alternate Citation Summary Type
Hartlee v. Hardey Not Reported in F.Supp.3d, 2015 WL 5719644 (D. Colo. Sept. 29, 2015)

Plaintiffs filed suit against a veterinarian and a number of police officers who were involved in their prosecution of animal cruelty. Plaintiffs Switf and Hatlee worked together on a Echo Valley Ranch where they provided care and boarding for horses. In February 2012, Officer Smith went to Echo Valley Ranch to conduct a welfare check on the horses. Officer Smith noticed that the horses seemed to be in poor condition, so he requested that a veternarian visis the ranch to inspect the horses. Dr. Olds, a local veterinarian, visited the ranch and wrote a report that suggested that the horses be seized due to their current state. Officer Smith initially served plaintiffs with a warning but after returning to the ranch and noticing that the horses’ condition had worsened, the horses were seized and plaintiffs were charged with animal cruelty. In this case, plaintiffs argued that the veterinarian had wrote the medical report for a “publicity stunt” and that this report influenced Officer’s Smith’s decision to seize the horses and charge plaintiffs with animal cruelty. The court ultimately found that the veterinarian’s report was not made as a “publicity stunt,” especially due to the fact that the report was filed privately and not made available to the public. Also, the court found that there was no evidence to suggest that the veterinarian and the officers were working with one another in a “conspiracy” to seize the horses and charge plaintiffs with animal cruelty.

Case
Hebert v. Broussard 886 So.2d 666 (La.App. 3 Cir., 2004) 2004 WL 2536810 (La.App. 3 Cir.)

A dog that chased and pinned a man was shot by a police officer who had been called for assistance.  The dog owner instituted an action against the police officer, the police chief and the city.  The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the police officer, police chief and city, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision holding the police officer was entitled to statutory immunity.

Case
Hoog-Watson v. Guadalupe County, Tex 591 F.3d 431 (Tex., 2009) 2009 WL 4828742 C.A.5 (Tex.)

In this Texas case, Hoog-Watson asserted that a search and seizure of her home violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Texas tort law, and sought both monetary and injunctive relief against county officials. On appeal, this Court found that Hoog-Watson presented sufficient evidence to raise a genuine issue of fact as to whether the the requisite prior criminal proceeding took place, thereby precluding summary judgment. As to County Attorney Murray-Kolb's claim of prosecutorial immunity, this court found that because Murray-Kolb partipated in the search and seizure, an investigative function normally performed by the police, she is protected only by qualified immunity.

Case
Ivey v. Hamlin (Unpublished) 2002 WL 1254444 (Tenn.Ct.App.)(Not reproted in S.W.3rd)

This is an action for damages for the deliberate killing of a dog by a Deputy Sheriff that was alleging terrorizing the neighborhood.  In finding for defendant-officer, the court noted that the consensus among the courts is that a vicious dog is a public nuisance and that governments and their agents have broad power to protect the public from these animals.  The court thus found the officer acted reasonably under the circumstances and had a qualified immunity defense.

Case
Johnson v. City of Murray 544 Fed.Appx. 801 (C.A.10 (Utah),2013) 2013 WL 5832524 (C.A.10 (Utah),2013)

An animal control employee lost her job due to the city’s decision to outsource the department to another city. Plaintiff sued the city on eleven counts, but lost due to the district court’s grant of the city’s motion for summary judgment. On appeal, the plaintiff lost on her First Amendment, American Disability Act, Utah Protection of Public Employees Act, and breach of contract claims.

Case
Johnson-Schmitt v. Robinson 990 F. Supp. 2d 331 (W.D.N.Y. 2013) 2013 WL 6859110 (W.D.N.Y. 2013)

Seeking compensatory and injunctive relief, Plaintiffs commenced a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Defendants County of Erie, Erie County Sheriff's Department, and John Does 1 and 2; Defendants Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ("SPCA") and a SPCA peace officer; and a dog control officer based on alleged searches of Plaintiffs' property and seizure of animals purportedly belonging to Plaintiffs. After reviewing the defendants moved for summary judgment, the district court granted and dismissed the motion in part.

Case
Kuba v. 1-A Agr. Ass'n 387 F.3d 850 (9th Cir., 2004) 34 Envtl. L. Rep. 20, 119 (2004)

Activist sued a state-created agricultural association under 42 USC § 1983 to challenge a rule that limited demonstrations to “free expression zones” outside a state-owned performance facility. The Court of Appeals held that the association was not entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. It held that the parking lots and walkways were public fora, and thus time, place and manner restrictions on speech had to be content-neutral and narrowly tailored to serve an important government interest. The Court held that the state did not have a significant interest in restricting protestors to these zones. The rule was not narrowly tailored enough to promote the association's interest in preventing traffic congestion, and restricted more speech than was necessary. Therefore, the rule unduly infringed free speech on its face.

Case
Lawson v. Pennsylvania SPCA 124 F. Supp. 3d 394 (E.D. Pa. 2015) 2015 WL 4976523 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 20, 2015) Upon an investigation of numerous complaints, the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty obtained a warrant and searched plaintiffs’ house. As a result, plaintiffs were charged with over a hundred counts that were later withdrawn. Plaintiffs then filed the present case, asserting violations of their federal constitutional rights, as well as various state-law tort claims. Defendants moved for summary judgment, claiming qualified immunity. The district court granted the motion in part as to: (1) false arrest/false imprisonment, malicious prosecution of one plaintiff and as to 134 of the charges against another plaintiff, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and invasion of privacy; and (2) to the following claims in Count One: verbal abuse, security of person and property, false arrest/false imprisonment, due process and equal protection, and failure to train or discipline as the result of a policy or custom. The District Court denied the motion with respect to (1) the following claim in Count One: unreasonable search and seizure and the individual defendants' request for qualified immunity in connection with that claim; and (2) with respect to one plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim, but only to the charge relating to the puppy's facial injuries. Case
Lesher v. Reed 12 F.3d 148 (8th Cir. 1994)

Seizure of pet dog violated Fourth Amendment where police acted unreasonably in going to canine police officer's house to seize the dog after the dog bit a child.

Case
Lunon v. Botsford --- F.3d ----, 2019 WL 7198501 (8th Cir. Dec. 27, 2019) Lunon had a German Shephard as a breed dog, named Bibi, which had gotten loose and was turned into the local animal shelter. The animal control officer failed to scan the dog for a microchip. After five days at the animal shelter, Bibi was sterilized and adopted out. Lunon was able to recover his dog through a replevin action, however, Lunon claimed that his fourteenth amendment right to procedural due process was violated when Bibi was spayed and adopted out without providing pre-deprivation notice and an opportunity for Lunon to be heard. Lunon filed suit against the animal control officer, two directors of the animal shelter in Pulaski County, the city of North Little Rock, Pulaski County, the Pulaski County Animal Shelter, and the North Little Rock Animal Shelter. The defendants removed the case to federal court and sought summary judgment. The district court did not grant summary judgment and the defendants appealed. The Court found that the animal control officer picking up Bibi and delivering her to the animal shelter did not deprive Lunon of a protected property interest. There is no constitutional duty for an animal control officer to scan a stray dog for a microchip. Therefore, the animal control officer was not liable. The public officials that participated in this action were all protected under governmental immunity because Lunon failed to demonstrate that each individual defendant violated his constitutional right to due process. The Court ultimately reversed the order of the district court and remanded with directions to enter judgment dismissing those claims with prejudice. Case

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