Indiana

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Titlesort descending Summary
Liddle v. Clark In November of 2005 DNR issued an emergency rule that authorized park managers to permit individuals to trap racoons during Indiana’s official trapping season which it reissued on an annual basis from 2007 to 2013. Harry Bloom, a security officer at Versailles State Park (VSP) began installing his own lethal traps with the authorization from the park’s manager. The park manager did not keep track of where the traps were placed nor did Bloom post any signs to warn people of the traps due to fear of theft. As a result, Melodie Liddle’s dog, Copper, died in a concealed animal trap in the park. Liddle filed suit against several state officials and asked the court to declare the state-issued emergency rules governing trapping in state parks invalid. The trial court awarded damages to Liddle for the loss of her dog. Liddle appealed the trial court’s ruling on summary judgment limiting the calculation of damages and denying her request for declaratory judgment. On appeal, Liddle claimed that the trial court erred in ruling in favor of DNR for declaratory judgment on the emergency trapping rules and in excluding sentimental value from Liddle’s calculation of damages. The Court concluded that Liddle’s claim for declaratory relief was moot because the 2012 and 2013 versions of the emergency rule were expired and no longer in effect. The Court also concluded that recovery of a pet is limited to fair market-value since animals are considered personal property under Indiana law. The Court ultimately affirmed the trial court’s ruling.
AKERS v. SELLERS


This Indiana case involves an action in replevin by John W. Akers against his former wife, Stella Sellers. The controversy at issue was ownership and possession of a Boston bull terrier dog. At the time of the divorce decree, the dog was not part of the property division and was instead left at the marriage domicile in custody of the former wife. Appellant-Akers claimed that legal title and the dog's best interests rested with him and unsuccessfully brought a suit in replevin in the lower court. On appeal, this Court held that there was no sufficient evidence to overturn the lower court's determination. The judgment was affirmed.

Anderson v. State (Unpublished)


After shooting a pet dog to prevent harm to Defendant's own dog, Defendant challenges his animal cruelty conviction.  Defendant argues that since he was attempting to kill the dog, he did not intend to torture or mutilate the dog within the meaning of the statute.  The court affirms his conviction, reasoning that the evidentiary record below supported his conviction.

Baker v. Middleton (unpublished opinion)
Barnes v. City of Anderson


Virginia Barnes and Jan Swearingen appealed a trial court's decision in favor of the City of Anderson, Ind., granting a permanent injunction enjoining the women from keeping and maintaining Swearingen's pet Vietnamese pot-belly pig, Sassy, and ordering Sassy's removal from the residence. Appeals Court found for pig owner, holding that the phrase "raising or breeding" in an Anderson livestock ordinance refers to a commercial enterprise and not to the keeping of pigs as pets.  

Boss v. State
Defendant appealed her convictions of misdemeanor failure to restrain a dog and misdemeanor harboring a non-immunized dog after her dogs attacked a neighbor and a witness to the incident causing serious injury to both parties. Evidence supported her convictions for failure to restrain dogs because her fence had gaps through which the dogs could escape, and another dog was wearing only a loose collar. Evidence supported her convictions for harboring dogs that had not been immunized against rabies because she did not show proof that dogs had been immunized, which supported inferences that she was aware of the high probability that the dogs had not been immunized, and therefore, she knowingly harbored non-immunized dogs. 
Browning v. State


The Brownings were each charged with 32 counts of animal cruelty and convicted of five counts for their failure to provide adequate nutrition and veterinary care to their horses and cattle.  As a result, Cass County seized and boarded several of their animals at a significant cost to the county.  Although only five of those horses and cattle were ultimately deemed to be the subject of the defendants' cruelty, the appellate court affirmed the order requiring the Brownings to reimburse the county for boarding and caring for the horses and cattle during the proceedings totaling approximately $14,000 in fines and costs.

Carpenter v. State After being convicted by a Superior Court bench trial and having the Superior Court’s judgment affirmed by the Court of Appeals, defendant appealed the admission of evidence recovered from his home after officers entered it without a warrant in pursuit of an aggressive and bloody dog. The Supreme Court of Indiana found that the entry was unreasonable under the Indiana Constitution and that the evidence obtained pursuant to a subsequent search warrant was inadmissible. The Superior Court's judgment was therefore reversed.
Carroll v. State


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.

Davis v. Animal Control–City of Evansville


Dog attack victim sued city and its animal control department, seeking damages for injuries he sustained from a dog attack in his neighborhood. The victim claimed that the city failed to enforce its animal control ordinance. The Supreme Court held that city and its animal control department had law enforcement immunity because the Tort Claims Act provided immunity to governmental entities for any loss due to failure to enforce a law.


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