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Titlesort descending Summary
Crisman v. Hallows

Plaintiff dog owners appeal the trial court's entry of summary judgment in favor of defendant Ted Hallows. Hallows. a Division of Wildlife Resources employee, shot the dogs after they got loose from plaintiffs' backyard. While the factual accounts of the shooting differed, Hallows asserted that he shot the dogs within the scope of his employment and was therefore protected under the Governmental Immunity Act. On appeal, the court first found that plaintiffs may maintain an action against Hallows for conduct outside the scope of his employment and this claim was not barred by their admitted failure to comply with the Immunity Act's notice of claim and statute of limitations requirements. Further, as to plaintiffs' claims that Hallows was not acting within his scope of employment when the shooting occurred, there was sufficient evidence to raise a genuine issue of material fact.

Detailed Discussion of Utah Great Ape Laws The following article discusses Great Ape law in Utah.Utah does not have a law dealing with great apes, but addresses use and possession through regulations issued under the authority of the state’s Wildlife Resources Code. Additionally, only some great apes are protected under Utah’s anti-cruelty laws. The law prohibits both affirmative acts of cruelty such as torture or unjustified killing, and the failure to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter for an animal in the person's custody. Exceptions to the definition of “animal” exclude those animals owned or kept by a AZAA accredited zoological park or temporarily in the state as part of a circus or traveling exhibitor licensed by the USDA.
Ellertson v. Dansie

In this Utah case, plaintiff sued the defendants for personal injuries he sustained in attempting to untangle the defendants' horse from a chain that he alleges the defendants negligently tied it to a post in their yard.  The Supreme Court held that plaintiff who, at defendant's request, entered upon defendants' land to help free horse which had become entangled in chain because of defendant's alleged negligence in tying the horse to the post, could not recover for his injuries since it was his knowing and voluntary conduct in going into a "plain-to-be-seen" danger.  The dissent found that defendants did owe a duty to plaintiff to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances in the manner in which they tied the horse.  The dissent found this case more analogous to those under a "rescue doctrine," where recovery is not barred based on the doctrine of assumption of risk or intervening cause. 

Jackson v. Mateus Plaintiff filed suit against the defendant after she was bitten by the defendant’s cat and required medical attention as a result of the bite. Plaintiff found the defendant’s cat on her property and mistakenly started petting the cat, thinking that it was one of her own cats. As plaintiff was petting the cat, it bit her causing her injury. Plaintiff filed a negligence claim against defendant for not restraining the cat. The court held in favor of the defendant because the court found that this incident was not foreseeable and because it was not foreseeable, the defendant did not owe a duty to restrain the animal under the common law, municipal law, or state law.
Kanab City v. Popowich

In this Utah case, the defendant appeals the decision of the district court finding him guilty on four counts of failing to maintain a city dog license and one count of running an illegal kennel. In December 2005, a Kanab City animal control officer responded to numerous complaints of barking dogs at Defendant's residence. This officer observed four dogs over the age of three months on the premises during two separate visits to Defendant's home that month and on subsequent random visits in the following months. On appeal, defendant argued that the city ordinance on which his conviction for operating an illegal kennel is based is unconstitutionally vague. This court disagreed, finding that an ordinary person reading the ordinance would understand that, in order to keep more than two dogs over the age of three months in the same residence, a citizen must register for a kennel permit.

Labor Commission v. FCS Community Management This case concerns the Utah Anti-discrimination and Labor Division's (UALD) determination that a homeowner's association's three-month delay in responding to a member's request for reasonable accommodation to keep chickens on their property as assistance animals for a child with anxiety and PTSD violated the Utah Fair Housing Act. The trial court found that this three month delay was a constructive denial of the request, because under the Utah Fair Housing Act a housing provider must participate in an interactive process to evaluate and discuss the request for accommodation, and no such interactive dialogue or interactive process took place. On appeal, the court found that the three month delay in responding to the request was not unreasonably long, especially considering that the HOA had to review the status of chickens as support animals, chicken waste runoff, and possibility of rodent complaints during this time. The court of appeals also found that the members were not harmed by the HOA's alleged delay, since they were still allowed to keep the chickens at this time. The court of appeals then reversed the trial court's holding granting the members damages, fees, and other relief.
Labor Commission, Antidiscrimination and Labor Division v. FCS Community Management This is an appeal of a complaint filed by the Utah Anti-discrimination and Labor Division (ULAD) seeking review of the determination that an HOA violated members' request for reasonable accommodation by denying homeowner's the ability to keep chickens on their property. The chickens were intended to be assistance animals for the homeowner's daughter, who has anxiety and PTSD. The district court found that the HOA constructively denied the homeowner's request for reasonable accommodation by delaying their response to the request for three months. This court reversed the decision of the lower court, finding that there was no constructive denial of the request since the HOA allowed the homeowners to keep the chickens during the interim period, did not punish them for keeping the chickens, and ultimately granted the request to keep the chickens.
Park v. Moorman Mfg. Co.

Plaintiffs sued defendant corporation for breach of warranty as to fitness of purpose of poultry feed concentrate after egg production dropped, hens became malnourished, and an unusual amount of picking and cannibalism developed. As to the issue of damages, the Supreme Court held instruction that plaintiff was entitled to damages in amount of market value of chickens destroyed and that provided formula by which market value of suitable replacements could be determined was correct.

Peck v. Dunn

Subsequent to the game cockfighter's conviction for cruelty to animals, she sought a declaratory judgment that the ordinance was unconstitutional on the grounds: (1) that it was vague and uncertain in that innocent conduct of merely being a spectator could be included within its language; and (2) that presence at such a cockfight was proscribed, without requiring a culpable mental state. On review the court held that the board, in the exercise of its police power, had both the prerogative and the responsibility of enacting laws which would promote and conserve the good order, safety, health, morals and general welfare of society. The courts should defer to the legislative prerogative and should presume such enactments were valid and should not strike down legislation unless it clearly and persuasively appeared that the act was in conflict with a constitutional provision.

Posnien v. Rogers

The plaintiff sought to recover damages for the defendant's negligence in the diagnosis and the treatment of plaintiff's brood mare, which resulted in the mare's infertility. Plaintiff was required to show that Dr. Rogers did not exercise the care and diligence as is ordinarily exercised by skilled veterinarians doing the same type of work in the community, and that the failure to exercise the required skill and care was the cause of the injury. Experts testified at trial that the care exercised by Dr. Rogers met the standard of care of veterinarians practicing in the area, and had they been treating the mare, the treatment would not have differed substantially from that of Dr. Rogers.  The Supreme Court held that the record is clear that the plaintiff failed to sustain his burden that the care of Dr. Rogers did not meet the standard of care of other practitioners practicing in the community.