New Jersey

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Titlesort descending Summary
In re Tavalario


This appeal presents a challenge by Anthony Tavalario to the manner in which the State Agricultural Development Committee (SADC) determines whether keeping horses on property constitutes a "commercial" agricultural operation that exempts the property from local zoning and other land use restrictions as the result of the preemptive force of the Right to Farm Act, N.J.S.A. 4:1C-1 to -10.4. The SADC found that Tavalario's use of the land did not qualify for protection under the Act, because he could not demonstrate that, as of July 3, 1998, his operation produced "agricultural or horticultural products worth $2,500 or more annually" as required by the definitional section of the Act. Tavalario contends on appeal that the SADC erred because it failed to consider as income in 1998 uncollected stud fees, the imputed value of a horse sold as a broodmare in 2002 for $8,000 and another horse sold in 2003 for $5,400, and race winnings of an undisclosed amount allegedly awarded at an unspecified time after 1998. The court found no grounds for reversal of the SADC's interpretation of the production requirements of the definition of "commercial farm" found in N.J.S.A. 4:1C-3 or its application to Tavalario's case.

In the Matter of Kerlin


Respondent Raymond Kerlin, D.V.M., appealed a decision of the Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs, Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (Board), finding him guilty of "gross malpractice or gross neglect" in the practice of veterinary medicine after an employee at his office (his wife) stated that the office could not treat a deathly ill kitten after the owners requested payment by credit (apparently not accepted at the office).  In this case, the court observed nothing in the findings of facts to support a conclusion that respondent was aware of the exchange which occurred between the kitten’s owner and Mrs. Kerlin in time for him to have prevented the situation or to have taken remedial steps. Nothing adduced at trial proved that Dr. Kerlin followed the policy of rejecting requests for emergency treatment on credit. Thus, the court concluded that the State failed to establish that respondent was guilty of a violation or of conduct warranting disciplinary action for "gross malpractice", and the decision of the Board was reversed. 

JACQUELINE CONRAD, Plaintiff–Appellant, v. SUSAN CATAPANO and JIM CATAPANO, Defendants–Respondents


Plaintiff was injured by defendants' dog after being knocked to the ground. The plaintiff had her dog over to defendants' house for a "doggie play date" and the dogs were running off-leash in the fenced yard.The lower court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's claims of negligence and absolute liability, finding that the defendants had not prior knowledge of the dog's propensity to run into people. The Court found that there were genuine issues of material fact as to defendants' prior knowledge of the dog's proclivities to become "hyper" in the presence of other dogs. Thus, the decision to grant summary judgment was reversed and the matter remanded for trial. Notably, the Court did state that it shared "the motion judge's observation that plaintiff may well be comparatively at fault here for choosing to stand in the backyard while the three unleashed dogs ran around."

LaPlace v. Briere

In this New Jersey case, a horse owner brought an action against the person who exercised his horse while the horse was being boarded at the defendant's stable. While the stable employee was "lunging" the horse, the horse reared up, collapsed on his side with blood pouring from his nostrils, and then died. On appeal of summary judgment for the defendant, the court held that the person who exercised horse could not be liable under the tort of conversion as she did not exercise such control and dominion over the horse that she seriously interfered with plaintiff's ownership rights in the horse. While the court found that a bailment relationship existed, the plaintiff failed to come forward with any additional evidence that established the horse was negligently exercised or that the exercise itself was a proximate cause of its death. The grant of summary judgment for the defendants was affirmed.
Liberty Humane Soc., Inc. v. Jacobs
This case concerns the authority of the Department of Health to revoke certifications of animal control officers who willfully contravened the state law on impounding dogs.

 

The court found that “[s]


ince the Department acknowledged that it is charged with revoking certifications of animal control off


icers when those officers pose ‘


a


threat to the health and safety’


of the community, it should follow that allegations of officers willfully and illegally taking a dog from its owner and falsifying records to claim it a stray so as to expose it to adoption by another or euthanasia calls for the Department to take action.





It


would be


both arbitrary and capricious for the Department to ignore its duty to determine if revocation of certification is required.




McDougall v. Lamm


This New Jersey case considered whether a pet owner should be permitted to recover for emotional distress caused by observing the traumatic death of that pet. The incident giving rise to this case occurred when plaintiff's "maltipoo" dog was attacked and killed by a neighbor's larger dog as she was walking her dog. Plaintiff then brought an action against the owner of the larger dog, alleging negligence and emotional distress. The lower court entered partial summary judgment to the owner of the large dog on the emotional distress claim, and a bench trial awarded plaintiff replacement costs for her dog. On appeal here, the Supreme Court recognized that while many individuals develop close, familial bonds with their pets, expanding a cause of action for emotional distress due to the loss of a pet would create "ill-defined and amorphous cause of action that would elevate the loss of pets to a status that exceeds the loss of all but a few human beings."

McDougall v. Lamm (unpublished)


Plaintiff witnessed her dog be killed by Defendant's dog. The  court held that Plaintiff’s damages were limited to her dog's “intrinsic” monetary value or its replacement cost. Plaintiff was not entitled to compensation for the emotional distress she experienced in witnessing the attack.

New Jersey Revision of Statutes 1709-1877: Chapter XII Supplement: An act for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

A supplement to the New Jersey Revision of Statutes for 1877.  The supplement covered standing for officer's of New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  In addition, the supplement addresses the question of jurisdiction for the enforcement the anti-cruelty laws.

New Jersey Revision of Statutes 1709-1877: Chapter XII: An act for the prevention of cruelty to animals.


A compilation of the New Jersey anti-cruelty laws as of 1877. The laws covered include treatment of animals, penalties, and exceptions for scientific experiments.

New Jersey Soc. for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. New Jersey Dept. of Agriculture


The issue in the case was whether the regulations promulgated by the NJDA pursuant to this authority were invalid for failing to comply with the “humane” standards requirement. Although the court held that the regulations in their entirety were not invalid, the court found that NJDA acted arbitrarily and capriciously in enacting its regulations by allowing all “routine husbandry practices,” as there was no evidence that those practices were “humane.” The court further rejected NJDA regulations allowing cattle tail docking, finding no evidence to support that the practices were “humane.” Finally, the court rejected the assertion of NJDA that certain controversial farm practices, such as castration, de-beaking, and toe-trimming, are “humane” if they are performed by a “knowledgeable individual” “in a way to minimize pain.”

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