Delaware

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Titlesort ascending Summary
Thompson v. Dover Downs, Inc.


Vernon Thompson appeals from a Superior Court order reversing a decision and order of the Delaware Human Relations Commission (DHRC) after Thompson was denied access to defendant's casino because Thompson insisted that his dog accompany him, but refused to answer the officials' inquiries about what his alleged support animal had been trained to perform. The DHRC determined that by denying access, Dover Downs had unlawfully discriminated against Thompson in violation of the Delaware Equal Accommodations Law. The Supreme Court here agreed with the Superior Court in reversing the DHRC. It found that Dover Downs' personnel were entitled to ask Thompson about his dog's training. Since Thompson refused to answer these questions, there is no rational basis to conclude that Dover Downs' refusal to admit Thompson accompanied was pretextual.

State v. Sego


Fifteen horses were seized by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) because the animals were in poor condition. The SPCA sent bills to the owners for feeding, upkeep, and veterinary care, but the owners did not pay the bills. After 30 days of nonpayment, the SPCA became the owners of the horses, and the prior owners were not entitled to get the horses back.

Overview of Delaware Great Ape Laws This is a short overview of Delaware Great Ape law.
Nuzzaci v. Nuzzaci
The court refused to sign a stipulation and order (prepared by the parties and signed by each of them and their attorneys) concerning visitation of the divorcing couple’s dog.  The court held that a court can only award dog in its entirety to one party or the other.  The court advised the couple to come to their own private agreement instead, reasoning that the court has no jurisdiction in this matter and further no way to side with one party or the other in the event of a future dispute.
Naples v. Miller In this case, the plaintiff brought a lawsuit against the defendant alleging damage to property, which included past and future veterinary bills, emotional distress, mental anguish, and punitive damages caused by the attack of “Ricky”, defendant’s rescue dog to the plaintiff’s terrier “Peanut”. Peanut's veterinary treatment cost over $14,000. Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment were filed by both parties. Defendants alleged that veterinary expenses were not compensable in a property damage case. Additionally, defendants argued that there was no basis for recovery for emotional distress and mental anguish as noneconomic damages were not available for damage to personal property either. Finally, defendants contended that facts did not support an argument for punitive damages as this claim required conduct that is "outrageous" or the result of an "evil motive" or a "reckless indifference to the rights of others," Plaintiff’s moved for summary judgment as well. Plaintiff argued that defendants responsibility was based on 7 Del. C. § 1711 that makes the owner of a dog liable in damages for "any loss to person or property." However, the issue as to the measure of damages was not addressed. The court granted partial summary judgment for the defendant. In its opinion, the court stated that “under Delaware law, dogs were seen as personal property, and the damages to Peanut could not be measured as if Peanut was a human being.” As personal property, a dog is “subject to the same measure of damages as a sofa, a car, a rug, a vase, or any other inanimate item of property.” For that reason veterinary expenses in excess of market value and emotional damage could not be recovered. On the punitive damages allegations, the court did not find that the plaintiff had presented any evidence as to the defendant’s conduct that would satisfy the standard of behavior required.
Douglas Furbee, et al. v. Gregory L. Wilson, et. al. Shelly Linder lived in an apartment complex with a no-pet policy. Linder asked if she could have an emotional-support animal and provided a letter from a licensed family and marriage therapist, which stated that Linder had a disability and required an emotional-support animal to help alleviate her symptoms. The letter did not identify a specific disability and the landlord subsequently requested more information from Linder. Linder did not provide any additional information and instead brought her cat into her apartment as her emotional-support animal. The landlord charged Linder a fine after discovering the cat on the premises and gave her seven days in which to remove the cat. Linder failed to comply which led to Linder’s eviction. The Indiana Civil Rights Commission filed a complaint against the landlord on behalf of Linder in Delaware Circuit Court alleging that the landlord failed to accommodate her request for an emotional-support animal in turn violating the Indiana Fair Housing Act. The trial court denied summary judgment for the landlord and this appeal followed. The landlord conceded that Linder was disabled and requested a reasonable accommodation, however, the landlord argued that it was not given enough information from which to “meaningfully” review Linder’s request. The Delaware Court of Appeals agreed that the Landlord did not have sufficient information to meaningfully review Linder’s request and because Linder did not inform the Landlord about her disability and her need for the cat, she was acting in bad faith. The Court ultimately reversed and remanded the case to the trial court.
DICKERSON v. BRITTINGHAM.


In this Delaware case, the plaintiff brought an action against the defendant to recover damages for the death of plaintiff's horse, alleged to have been caused by the negligent driving by the defendant of his team. This resulted in a head-on collision, which caused the death of the horse days after. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff. On appeal, the court held that if the jury believed from the evidence presented that the defendant was driving without ordinary care, the verdict should stand for the plaintiff.

Detailed Discussion of Delaware Great Ape Laws In Delaware, the importation, possession, and sale of apes are governed by the state’s Endangered Species laws and the Exotic Animal laws. The following discussion begins with a general overview of the various state statutes and regulations affecting Great Apes. It then analyzes the applicability of those laws to the possession and use of apes for specific purposes, including their possession as pets, for scientific research, for commercial purposes, and in sanctuaries.
DE - Woodchuck - § 797. Woodchuck or groundhog not protected wildlife This Delaware statute declares that the woodchuck or groundhog will not be considered protected wildlife.
DE - Wildlife - Chapter 1. Protected Wildlife These statutes comprise Delaware's protected wildlife provisions. The section outlines the powers and duties of the Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as how funds derived from fishing and hunting licenses may be used. The code also explains the procedure private parties may take when protected wildlife injures crops.

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