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Titlesort descending Citation Alternate Citation Summary Type
Utah Animal Rights Coalition v. Salt Lake County 566 F.3d 1236 (C.A.10 (Utah),2009)

The plaintiffs-appellants (Utah Animal Rights Coalition (UARC) and five individuals) filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim for alleged violations of their First Amendment rights to free speech and to peaceably assemble after the individual plaintiffs attempted to protest a circus in South Jordan, Utah. The district court entered summary judgment against the plaintiffs. On appeal, this court held that, without a showing of harm, the UARC did not meet its burden to demonstrate an injury in fact. The court did find that the individuals properly pleaded harm to establish standing. With regard to the § 1983 action, this court ruled that the district court correctly determined that county officials were entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

Case
Viilo v. City of Milwaukee 552 F. Supp. 2d 826 (E.D. Wis. 2008) The court in this case denied summary judgement for the defendant after two police officers shot plaintiff’s dog four times which ultimately resulted in the dog’s death. The court denied summary judgment because it believed that there was a question as to a material fact of the case. The material fact in this case was whether or not the officers reasonably feared for their lives when the dog was shot the third and fourth time. After the dog was injured from the first two shots, there was inconsistent testimony as to whether the dog was still acting in an aggressive manner, which may have warranted the third and fourth shots. Due to the inconsistent testimony, the court held that a ruling of summary judgment was not appropriate. Defendants' motion for summary judgment was granted as to all claims except the claim that the third and fourth shots constituted an illegal seizure. Case
Viilo v. Eyre 547 F.3d 707 (C.A.7 (Wis.),2008) 2008 WL 4694917

Virginia Viilo sued the City of Milwaukee and two of its police officers under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 after an officer shot and killed her dog 'Bubba.' The district court denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity and the defendants took an interlocutory appeal challenging this denial. The court found that defendants' interjection of factual disputes deprived the court of jurisdiction. The court further held that it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment for a police officer to shoot and kill a companion dog that poses no imminent danger while the dog’s owner is present and trying to assert custody over her pet.  

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Walker-Serrano ex rel. Walker v. Leonard 325 F.3d 412 (C.A.3 (Pa.),2003) 175 Ed. Law Rep. 93

Public school student circulated a petition during class and recess that opposed a school field trip to the circus. School officials prevented her from circulating the petition, and she complained of a violation of her First Amendment right to free speech. The Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the school, holding that the student's rights had not been violated because a school may regulate the times and circumstances a petition may be circulated when it interferes with educational goals or the rights of other students.

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Wall v. City of Brookfield 406 F.3d 458 (7th Cir. 2005) 2005 WL 1022967 (7th Cir.)

A dog that was constantly in violation of local leash ordinances was held as a stray by the town.  The owner of the dog brought a section 1983 action claiming deprivation of the dog's companionship without due process and the trial court held in favor of the town.  The Court of Appeals affirmed reasoning that only a post-deprivation hearing was necessary under the statute (which defendant could have received had she filed a petition with the court).

Case
Warboys v. Proulx 303 F.Supp.2d 111 (D. Conn. 2004) 2004 WL 234395 (D. Conn. 2004)

Pitbull owner filed suit seeking compensatory damages arising from the shotting and killing of his dog by police.  Defendants removed the action based on federal question jurisdiction and moved for summary judgment, and the dog owner moved to amend the complaint.  Motions granted.

Case
Zalaski v. City of Hartford 723 F.3d 382 (C.A.2 (Conn.)) 2013 WL 3796448 (C.A.2 (Conn.))

When animal rights activists, who were protesting the treatment of animals at a race sponsored by a circus, were arrested for criminal trespass and obstruction of free passage,  the filed a section 1983 lawsuit for false arrest, unlawful retaliation, malicious prosecution, and interference with free expression under both the U.S. and Connecticut constitution against the city and the officer.  Upon appeal of the lower court’s rejection of the activists’ First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment claims, the court (1) affirmed the lower court’s decision on the ground of qualified immunity under section 1983, (2) would not address whether a pro se attorney who represented plaintiffs in addition to himself may be awarded fees because the issue was not raised in district court, and (3) vacated the judgment only in order to remand the case for the limited purpose of having the district court clarify whether it awarded the activists the costs incurred as a result of a discovery certification violation.

Case
Zimmerman v. Wolff 622 F.Supp.2d 240 (E.D. Pa. 2008) Plaintiff initiated this action against defendant in his official capacity as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, asking the Court to enjoin defendant from seizing plaintiff's dogs and from preventing him from operating his dog kennel under his federal license. Plaintiff simultaneously filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. The State moved for dismissal due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Since the Animal Welfare Act did not create a private cause of action, the district court dismissed the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff’s constitutional claims were also dismissed because the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over constitutional claims brought against state actors directly. Plaintiff’s motions were therefore denied and defendant’s motion was granted. The court went on to address whether it would be appropriate to grant plaintiff leave to amend his complaint to bring the Commerce and Supremacy clause claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and found that it would be futile for both. Case

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