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Thread: Legal Types: What Are my Chances of winning???

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rnd's Avatar
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    Default Legal Types: What Are my Chances of winning???

    I know I shouldn't post this but I'm going to any way...(Never been accused of being too bright) This may get long........

    Animal Enforcement showed up today. (again) It seems that I have a neighbor that does not approve of me airing my dogs, across the road from their house. I have been warned (in writing) for letting my dog run "At Large" and "Defecating On Public Property".

    On the surface it would appear that I am at fault. However, Said neighbor does NOT own the property in question!!! Neither do I. BUT I do have written permission from the owner to Train, exercise my dogs and, use it as I see fit. As well as my guests.

    The officer was going to issue me another warning but I insisted he write me up. So since he saw my dog cross the road without a leash he is citing me for "not having my dog contained" He is only issuing a warning for defecating. (Dog got stage fright and couldn't perform) He does however have a very nice picture of my dog taking a dump under a tree.

    The neighbor will not identify themselves to me or Animal Enforcement. (Passive Aggressive Generation)

    I'm going to get my day in court: The question I think depends on the definition of "Restraint" Never does the ordinance say "leash" or "Contained" But must be restrained.

    My argument is I am that restraint... Nowhere does it say "Physical Restraint"

    So what are my chances and what Free advice would offer??

    I'm going to paste the ordinance as well as a link to the whole ordinance.

    1.04 Defecation Upon Public or Private Property

    A. It shall be unlawful for any owner of an animal to cause, suffer or allow such
    animal to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance on any street, sidewalk,
    passageway or other public property or on any private property without the prior
    express permission of the owner of such property

    A. The owner of an animal must immediately remove any feces deposited by the
    owner’s animal upon any public or private property other than that of the owner
    and dispose of same in a proper and sanitary manner.


    Owner to Keep Animal Under Restraint

    A. The owner of an animal shall keep his or her animal under restraint at all times
    and shall not permit such animal to run at large in the Township.

    A. On property of the owner, an animal must be so controlled or restrained as to
    prevent the animal from attacking or threatening any person legitimately coming
    onto the property or being on any sidewalk, street or lot adjacent to the property.

    http://www.millcreektownship.com/Por.../ord_00_15.pdf

    Thank you, Randy

    P.S. I feel I don't need a leash and don't have to pick up the poop...What say you??
    Last edited by Rnd; 01-08-2014 at 09:06 PM. Reason: Added PS
    May you pin all the marks and line the blinds!!

    Avatar courtesy of RTF"s TZAPPIA

  2. #2
    Senior Member BJGatley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rnd View Post
    I know I shouldn't post this but I'm going to any way...(Never been accused of being too bright) This may get long........

    Animal Enforcement showed up today. (again) It seems that I have a neighbor that does not approve of me airing my dogs, across the road from their house. I have been warned (in writing) for letting my dog run "At Large" and "Defecating On Public Property".

    On the surface it would appear that I am at fault. However, Said neighbor does NOT own the property in question!!! Neither do I. BUT I do have written permission from the owner to Train, exercise my dogs and, use it as I see fit. As well as my guests.

    The officer was going to issue me another warning but I insisted he write me up. So since he saw my dog cross the road without a leash he is citing me for "not having my dog contained" He is only issuing a warning for defecating. (Dog got stage fright and couldn't perform) He does however have a very nice picture of my dog taking a dump under a tree.

    The neighbor will not identify themselves to me or Animal Enforcement. (Passive Aggressive Generation)

    I'm going to get my day in court: The question I think depends on the definition of "Restraint" Never does the ordinance say "leash" or "Contained" But must be restrained.

    My argument is I am that restraint... Nowhere does it say "Physical Restraint"

    So what are my chances and what Free advice would offer??

    I'm going to paste the ordinance as well as a link to the whole ordinance.

    1.04 Defecation Upon Public or Private Property

    A. It shall be unlawful for any owner of an animal to cause, suffer or allow such
    animal to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance on any street, sidewalk,
    passageway or other public property or on any private property without the prior
    express permission of the owner of such property

    A. The owner of an animal must immediately remove any feces deposited by the
    owner’s animal upon any public or private property other than that of the owner
    and dispose of same in a proper and sanitary manner.


    Owner to Keep Animal Under Restraint

    A. The owner of an animal shall keep his or her animal under restraint at all times
    and shall not permit such animal to run at large in the Township.

    A. On property of the owner, an animal must be so controlled or restrained as to
    prevent the animal from attacking or threatening any person legitimately coming
    onto the property or being on any sidewalk, street or lot adjacent to the property.

    http://www.millcreektownship.com/Por.../ord_00_15.pdf

    Thank you, Randy

    P.S. I feel I don't need a leash and don't have to pick up the poop...What say you??
    Your audience needs to be educated on a proper trained dog. The poop part will be up in the air.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Senior Member windycanyon's Avatar
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    Seems to me if the property is privately owned and you have the permission of the owner, you'd be okay. Be sure and take that document or owner w/ you to court.
    If I tell someone they can "air" their dogs on my property (on or off leash), I can't see how the other neighbors could take issue with it. Anne

  4. #4
    Senior Member achiro's Avatar
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    I guess I'm confused. If you have written permission from the property owner, what is the issue exactly?
    "The thing I admire about the rat tail is that it takes commitment. It's not like one day you just decide you want one, you have to grow out that bad boy and you have to repeatedly convince the hairdresser to trust you because it's a great idea."

  5. #5
    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    Is the fine fixed or at the Judges discretion? I ask because in most cases like yours the verdict is guilty and a salty judge is happy to teach a lesson.
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rnd's Avatar
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    I guess I'm confused. If you have written permission from the property owner, what is the issue exactly?
    That's what the Judge will determine...

    Is the fine fixed or at the Judges discretion? I ask because in most cases like yours the verdict is guilty and a salty judge is happy to teach a lesson.
    Fixed. But get gets larger with each infraction..

    So HNTFSH you a lawyer??? I don't think I need to have my dog leashed or pick up poop every time the pup poops. On my own property. If the owner of the property doesn't care why should anybody else...

    Just asking not bring a wise guy..

    Randy
    May you pin all the marks and line the blinds!!

    Avatar courtesy of RTF"s TZAPPIA

  7. #7

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    I'm an atty, but can't say I've specialized in this kind of thing before have spent most of my career in front of judges. Some observations:

    1. The 2nd half of the orindance kind of defines restraint or restrained as keeping the dog from threatening or attacking anyone. The dog crossing the road is neither and no one was threatened or attacked.

    2. Is the land across the street privately owned and that's who you have permission from? If so, that is not public property, that's private property, and therefore, not subject to the language of the ordinance. If the conduct the neighbor is complaining about happened on that private property, there is no violation of anything.

    3. Consider bringing the landowner you have permission and/or another friendly neighbor to testify you aren't some bum just letting dogs bother neighbors for the hell of it. Judges can be persuaded by more seeing that more voters support you than oppose you.

    4. Consider bringing a few of your dogs' title certificates or ribbons to show you aren't just some guy who has watched a few episodes of Dog Whisperer.

    5. Boulder, Colorado has an ordinance that allows people to run their dogs in the public parks when they have proven they have reasonable control of their dogs. Its called "sight and sound" and dogs aren't required to be on a leash as long as they are within sight and can be called with a reasonable expectation they will respond. You might download that ordinance to use as an example of how restraint should be defined in your town if it isn't otherwise explained.

    6. Finally, I know its not your first impulse, but consider making peace with and trying to win over the animal control officer. Those guys are just doing a job and don't want to be out there for bogus calls anymore than anyone else. Invite him to see you putting your dogs through their paces and that a dog crossing the road on his own isn't the norm, but instead the exception. Done correctly, you might win them over to the point that the next time the phone rings to complain about you, they simply shut down the caller and don't even come out.

    I had a similar situation with my condo association and I took the dogs up to the office to introduce them and do a little simple obedience and hand signal demonstration. After that, a couple of haters called to complain and the office staff said something like "Oh, those are Tom's dogs, aren't they wonderful?" End of complaint...

    Good luck.

  8. #8
    Senior Member RookieTrainer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rnd View Post
    I know I shouldn't post this but I'm going to any way...(Never been accused of being too bright) This may get long........

    Animal Enforcement showed up today. (again) It seems that I have a neighbor that does not approve of me airing my dogs, across the road from their house. I have been warned (in writing) for letting my dog run "At Large" and "Defecating On Public Property".

    On the surface it would appear that I am at fault. However, Said neighbor does NOT own the property in question!!! Neither do I. BUT I do have written permission from the owner to Train, exercise my dogs and, use it as I see fit. As well as my guests.

    The officer was going to issue me another warning but I insisted he write me up. So since he saw my dog cross the road without a leash he is citing me for "not having my dog contained" He is only issuing a warning for defecating. (Dog got stage fright and couldn't perform) He does however have a very nice picture of my dog taking a dump under a tree.

    The neighbor will not identify themselves to me or Animal Enforcement. (Passive Aggressive Generation)

    I'm going to get my day in court: The question I think depends on the definition of "Restraint" Never does the ordinance say "leash" or "Contained" But must be restrained.

    My argument is I am that restraint... Nowhere does it say "Physical Restraint"

    So what are my chances and what Free advice would offer??

    I'm going to paste the ordinance as well as a link to the whole ordinance.

    1.04 Defecation Upon Public or Private Property

    A. It shall be unlawful for any owner of an animal to cause, suffer or allow such
    animal to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance on any street, sidewalk,
    passageway or other public property or on any private property without the prior
    express permission of the owner of such property

    A. The owner of an animal must immediately remove any feces deposited by the
    owner’s animal upon any public or private property other than that of the owner
    and dispose of same in a proper and sanitary manner.


    Owner to Keep Animal Under Restraint

    A. The owner of an animal shall keep his or her animal under restraint at all times
    and shall not permit such animal to run at large in the Township.

    A. On property of the owner, an animal must be so controlled or restrained as to
    prevent the animal from attacking or threatening any person legitimately coming
    onto the property or being on any sidewalk, street or lot adjacent to the property.

    http://www.millcreektownship.com/Por.../ord_00_15.pdf

    Thank you, Randy

    P.S. I feel I don't need a leash and don't have to pick up the poop...What say you??
    I think you are absolutely required to pick up poop under that ordinance unless it is on your property. The ordinance seems to make this clear when it says "must immediately remove any feces deposited by the owner's animal upon any public or private property other than that of the owner and dispose of same in a proper and sanitary manner". If it's not your property then you have to pick it up. And particularly where you are using someone else's property, why wouldn't you pick it up?

    You have a good technical argument that "restraint" in that ordinance doesn't mean only a leash, particularly when a lot of our dogs with a collar on are under much better control and restraint than a lot of "regular dogs" on an actual leash Good luck getting a municipal judge to side with you against an officer that he sees all the time in his court.

    I will have to say that may be the vaguest ordinance I have seen on that. What does "legitimately" on the property mean - is that what the person coming onto the property says or what the owner says? And what in the world does it mean to be "threatened" - and is that an objective, reasonable person standard or is it what that person says they felt?

    Waterdog 711 gave you some very good suggestions for different ways to handle this, and i would seriously consider his suggestion to make nice with the animal control officer I don't see where you are accomplishing a whole lot by going to court here because you are not going to find out who the complaining party is.

    I would be careful about involving the landowner as well. If the neighbor starts wearing him out, he can very easily make his phone stop ringing by revoking your permission to use his property. Food for thought.
    Last edited by RookieTrainer; 01-08-2014 at 10:16 PM.
    Steve Wyatt

    HR Belle's Rolling Big Rig "Jimmy"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rnd's Avatar
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    Waterdog: Thank you. That's the kind of info I was looking for.

    The property is privately owned and permission is from the owner. In writing on his business letterhead and signed. My wife and I are both named as having permission, as well as our guests.

    The Officer and I get along well. We both want the same thing: His phone to stop ringing, the emails to stop, and his boss of his azzzz. And me out off his life. I insisted he write me a citation. So I could go to court and put this to rest... We do however disagree on "restraint" "containment" and "leashes"

    I also like the Boulder idea.

    Thank you for your time and effort. It is appreciated, Randy
    May you pin all the marks and line the blinds!!

    Avatar courtesy of RTF"s TZAPPIA

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rnd's Avatar
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    Rookie:
    And particularly where you are using someone else's property, why wouldn't you pick it up?
    It is a wild area pond, cattails, weeds etc.etc. The owner doesn't mow it I do. I guess you couldn't know that. My first post was long enough without ALL the details... Do pick up dog poop in the field?? I don't. Yard yes. Also nobody lives on this property. No structures nothing wild.

    I'm banking on this Claus to cover the poop. "private property without the prior
    express permission of the owner of such property"

    Thanks, Randy
    May you pin all the marks and line the blinds!!

    Avatar courtesy of RTF"s TZAPPIA

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