North Carolina

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Branks v. Kern


In this negligence action, a cat owner brought suit against veterinarian and veterinary clinic after she was bitten by her own cat while the cat was receiving treatment by the veterinarian. At issue, is whether the veterinarian owed a duty to the cat owner to exercise reasonable care in preventing the cat from harming the owner while the cat was being treated.  In review of the lower court’s grant of motion for summary judgment, the Court of Appeals held that substantial issues of material fact existed to preclude the grant of summary judgment. However, this was overturned on appeal at the Supreme Court. (

See

,

Branks v. Kern (On Appeal) 

 359 S.E.2d 780 (N.C.,1987)).

Animal Legal Defense Fund, Wake County, A North Carolina Body Politic and Kelli Ferris, D.V.M., Plaintiffs v. Janie Conyers, Def Plaintiffs in this case consist of the Wake County Animal Care, Control, and Adoption Center and the local chapter of the ALDF. They seek preliminary and permanent injunctions pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. Secs. 19A-1 through 19A-4 against Defendant Janie Conyers, who was found to have 106 animals living in her house under deplorable conditions. Specifically, plaintiffs seek to enjoin Defendant from acquiring any animals for 10 years after entry of judgment in this action. Plaintiffs also moved for an order pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 19A-4 terminating all possessory interests in the animals seized and awarding custody and possessory rights to the ALDF. Most of the animals suffer from severe chronic oral and skin conditions due to neglect. Included in the documents are affidavits from veterinary professionals and the director of Wake County Animal, Care, Control, and Adoption Center concerning both the conditions of the animals seized and the estimated costs of care for those animals during the pendency of the litigation.
Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Woodley


In this North Carolina Case, Barbara and Robert Woodley (defendants) appeal from an injunction forfeiting all rights in the animals possessed by defendants and the removal of the animals from defendants' control, and an order granting temporary custody of the animals to the Animal Legal Defense Fund. On 23 December 2004, plaintiff filed a complaint against defendants seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions under North Carolina's Civil Remedy for Protection of Animals statute (Section 19A). N.C. Gen.Stat. § 19A-1 et seq. (2005). Plaintiff alleged that defendants abused and neglected a large number of dogs (as well as some birds) in their possession. On appeal, defendants argue that Section 19A is unconstitutional in that it purports to grant standing to persons who have suffered no injury, and that it violates Article IV, Section 13 of the N.C. Constitution by granting standing through statute. The court held that Article IV, Section 13 merely “abolished the distinction between actions at law and suits in equity," rather than placing limitations on the legislature's ability to create actions by statute, contrary to defendants' interpretation.

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