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57 dogs taken, 28 supposedly remain.  these folks over there seem to be incredibly incompetent on a lot of levels.  I talked to Floyd last night and broached the idea of a class action.  I've also gathered some legal referrals and would love to see the ACLU or some other similar group assist these folks who are terrorized by LE/ARs in making a class action constitutional challenge to these unlawful warrants and/or seizures.

UPDATES 12-09 notice the number of remaining dogs keeps dropping.

Scott brothers get dogs back after dog fighting case dropped

Dec 16, 2009

By ABC-7 Reporter Jill Galus

Las Cruces, New Mexico - The dog fighting case - dropped.  And the canines - picked up.

The reunion made possible after New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled the search warrant in the case illegal.

Eddie, China, Ginger - cage to cage, Daron and Duryea Scott claimed a dozen of their pitbulls Tuesday.
But some confusion created a trail of sticky paws for the brothers at the Mesilla Valley Animal Services Center.
"There are 12 dogs we're going to get back today and between four properties, 43 dogs that are missing," Duryea Scott said.  "We know by reports that some were stolen, some were lost, some were given back to people who came into the animal shelter and given to the wrong people by mistake."
Police seized dozens of pitbulls from four different properties owned by the duo more than two years ago.
The Mesilla Valley Animal Services Center has since housed the dogs.
The Scott brothers faced several counts of dog fighting and animal cruelty charges.
Last month, all charges dropped when the searched warrant deemed improperly obtained.
And the reunion was free of charge for the Scotts.
Officials with Animal Control initially claimed, the Scotts had a 30-day window to pick up the dogs.
And since it is past the month mark, the brothers were told they would be charged.
"Why should I have to pay for dogs that you illegally took," Daron Scott said.
Animal Control officials say, it is a matter of miscommunication.
"I don't know whose issue it is - is it their issue, is it our issue," Curtis Childress said.  "So we're just gonna forgo any fees to that point."
The Scotts scheduled to pick up eight more of their pitbulls next Tuesday.
These other eight did not go home today because five are at another facility and three are still in foster care.

http://www.kvia.com/Global/story.asp?S=11686266


Scott brothers getting dogs back

By Diana M. Alba Sun-News reporter
Posted: 12/14/2009

LAS CRUCES -- Pit bulls seized more than two years ago from twin brothers Daron and Duryea Scott of El Paso will be returned to them over the next two weeks, said the Doña Ana County-Las Cruces animal shelter director last week.

Of the 18 dogs housed at the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley, 10 are scheduled to be picked up by the Scotts on Tuesday, shelter director Beth Vesco-Mock said late Friday. They'll get the remaining animals a week later, she said.

Charges that the Scotts had used the animals for dog fighting were dropped last month, after the New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld a district court ruling that a search warrant had been obtained improperly. As a result, the evidence seized in the case remained suppressed in the case.

District Judge Lisa Schultz on Nov. 10 ordered that the state return the dogs within 30 days.

Apparently up until mid-afternoon Friday, when the dogs would be returned was still up in the air.

Deputy District Attorney Susan Riedel said a condition on the court order was that the animals be returned only when the Scotts could show they wouldn't be violating any ordinances by possessing the dogs. For instance, she said, the city of Las Cruces and Do-a Ana County restrict the total number of animals a person can have.

But Riedel said sheriff's department investigator Robyn Gojkovich, who's handling the release of the dogs, hadn't heard from the Scotts until Friday. She said the owner of seized property is responsible for claiming it, once a case is over.

"I think everybody is trying to work together to make sure these animals are properly cared for," she said. "Returning evidence that's a live animal is not as easy as returning evidence that's a bunch of papers."

Around 1 p.m. the same day, Jose Coronado of Las Cruces, attorney for Duryea Scott, said he wasn't certain how long it might take before the animals were transferred. He said the delay stemmed from "some issue with coordinating the right people to meet -- Robyn Gojkovich to meet with the Scotts."

In addition to the dogs, Coronado said investigators also must return documents taken from the Scotts' homes.

The animals were initially seized from four properties, two in El Paso and two in Chaparral, in August 2007. The Scotts have maintained the dogs were part of a show dog breeding operation.

Vesco-Mock said the 18 dogs, being housed one per cage because of their aggressiveness toward other dogs, have been taking up valuable shelter space. News that the animals are being returned is welcome, she said.

"It will do a lot; it will open up 18 runs for us to house more adoptable animals," she said. "It helps out greatly."

Authorities are keeping about a dozen dogs from the case at an undisclosed location.

The Scotts in August filed a lawsuit against county officials and prosecutors contending their civil rights were violated because a number of their dogs have been lost or mistakenly killed while in the custody of law enforcement, which is documented in a police report. In the complaint, they contend just 17 of the 57 dogs seized remain in the county's custody.

The lawsuit was filed in state court, but it has since been moved to federal court.

Diana M. Alba can be reached at (575) 541-5443.

http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_13992024

end updates


Dog-fighting case against Scott brothers dismissed

By Diana M. Alba
Sun-News reporter
Posted: 11/13/2009

LAS CRUCES -- A state judge has dismissed the criminal case against twin brothers Daron and Duryea Scott of El Paso, who were accused of running a dog fighting breeding operation in Chaparral.

Third Judicial District Judge Lisa Schultz on Tuesday dismissed the charges -- 50 combined counts of dog fighting, animal cruelty and conspiracy -- with prejudice, meaning prosecutors can't refile the case.

Daron Scott, who has maintained all along that their dogs were part of a show animal breeding operation, said Wednesday that he and his brother's reputations have been harmed because they were improperly charged. He said it unfairly led to the loss of his job as a teacher with the Gadsden Independent School District and he's been turned down for other jobs since.

"I just want my name back," he said.

The grounds for the dismissal were based on a state Court of Appeals decision in September upholding a decision by a District Court judge to suppress all evidence in the case.

And without the evidence -- including dogs, photographs and other information gathered from them -- there's no case, said Susan Riedel, chief deputy attorney for the 3rd Judicial District in Las Cruces. Had the Scotts' attorneys not filed the motion to dismiss the case, Riedel said she would have.

"The court has suppressed all my evidence so there was no basis to go forward," she said. "The case couldn't proceed under any circumstances."

In February, 3rd Judicial District Judge Douglas Driggers ruledthat the warrant was improperly obtained. Do-a Ana County sheriff's investigator Robyn Gojkovich in August 2007 telephonically secured a search warrant for the seizure of pit bulls from the two Chaparral properties being rented by the Scotts. Questions arose about whether she entirely read the support documentation for the warrant to the judge, a requirement, and whether the telephonic approval was valid.

Prosecutors appealed Driggers' decision, but it was reaffirmed by the state appeals court.

Also Tuesday, Schultz ordered that the state return the dogs within 30 days to the Scotts.

Exactly how many dogs will be returned is unclear.

The Scotts in August filed a lawsuit against county officials and prosecutors contending their civil rights were violated because a number of their dogs have been lost or mistakenly killed while in the custody of law enforcement, which is documented in a police report. In the complaint, they contend just 17 of the 57 dogs seized remain in the county's custody.

The lawsuit was filed in state court, but it has since been moved to federal court.

Daron Scott repeated his concerns Wednesday about the missing dogs, especially considering the charges against he and his brother have been dismissed.

"You cannot get rid of evidence, unless we were convicted," he said. "This is about unlawfully taking animals."

Riedel said Duryea Scott relinquished ownership of some of the animals after they were seized. She said as of October, 28 dogs were alive and in the custody of the state.

"I don't have any reason to believe that we don't have 28 dogs," she said.

Riedel said the Scotts don't claim ownership of some of the dogs that the state says belong to them, something that must be resolved before the animals are given back. Plus, she said the district attorney's office wants to make sure the Scotts are in compliance with county animal permitting rules, before handing them over.


http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_13777223

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