Well this is fantastic news! and just as I've been saying for years, if some folks would actually stand up for themselves, and their dogs, and make some constitutional challenges sooner or later there will be judges who recognize our Constitutional Property Rights are being trampled as dog owners! but they aren't going to just hand it over for nothing, people have to fight! it's even more pathetic to watch so many bulldog owners just go belly up when as a whole our dogs are supposed to be the gamest yet so many of the people that own them seem to lack that very quality. there are some exceptions like a young man recently in Ramona California who fought for months to keep them from killing his pets (which they did anyway) but he is still fighting his circumstantial case even after their death.
Not only does this case forbid the unlawful, warrant-less seizure of our property (dogs) but it also goes on to further sustain the idea that the government (as well as their patsies the "humane" society) can NOT dispose of a citizen's property without an actual finding of guilt against them!
This is going to hugely affect the H$U$' ability to swoop in and take people's pets without warrants (they aren't even a governmental organization for chrissakes!) provided some bulldog owners have the guts this woman did and sue them for theft and Un-Constitutional deprivation of property without due process!
this beagle woman is my HERO!
In case this might be of interest or help to anyone, here is the original filing, request for summary judgment, order and opinion:
Re: THE LOUISVILLE KENNEL CLUB, INC., ET AL. Plaintiffs, v. LOUISVILLE/JEFFERSON COUNTY METRO GOVERNMENT
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Tina Perriguey <XXX>
Sent: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:00:14 PM
Subject: [CA-animal-legislation] Fwd: LKC Lawsuit
---Permission to cross-post.'''
I'm on the phone with Barbara Haines, Louisville Kennel Club. We've been
waiting for this decision for almost a year, but it was worth the wait.
This ruling by a federal judge (an esteemed Constitutional scholar) is a
This precedent has far-reaching implications, and sets the stage for
class-action lawsuits nationwide - anywhere similar ordinances have been
enacted, and Constitutional rights of pet owners have been violated
Highlights of the FEDERAL ruling:
1. Pets are personal property, under the Constitution. Due process, search
and seizure, etc.. (all protections provided by Constitution) apply to pets.
You are the OWNER of your pets (not the "guardian.")
2. Requirements for housing, treatment, etc.. cannot be mandated by
legislation to be different for intact dogs (vs. altered dogs.).
3. Seizure bond is FLAT-OUT illegal and unconstitutional. This practice
constitutes unlawful taking of personal property. If, after search warrant
is obtained, a person is arrested and their dogs are seized, their dogs
must be held AS IS (cannot be sterilized while held, cannot be sold,
"transferred" or euthanized) unless the owner is found guilty after trial.
Meantime, owner DOES NOT have to pay a dime for their care, until/unless
they are found guilty of the charges
-- -------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Barbara Haines <XXX>
Date: Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 10:17 AM
Subject: LKC Lawsuit
To: Tina Perriguey <XXX>
Subject: FW: LKC
Date: Sat, 3 Oct 2009 11:23:58 -0400
I have been informed that the Courier Journal and several tee vee stations
ran stories on the Judge Simpson's decision in our Federal action last
night. After hearing the reports, I am not sure that they read the same
opinion as we did. The plaintiffs in this action are beyond thrilled with
this decision. We prevailed on virtually every essential violation of the
Federal Civil Rights act asserted. Not every argument in a lawsuit carries
equal weight nor do they have equal impact on a national or local level.
No longer can LMAS inspect your property and decide if you can own an
unaltered dog. No longer can they require a seizure bond where failure to
post it makes you forfeit your animals without a finding of guilt. There is
a case currently in Kenton County where 10 years ago a women's beagles were
confiscated on a nuisance issue and recently they came back and asserted
cruelty. When she could not post the seizure bond, they said the animals
became their property and they euthanized all of them including 10 -year
olds. They then dismissed the cruelty charges. This is in Federal Court
in Northern Kentucky on a challenge to the seizure bond and a violation of
her civil rights. This decision by Judge Simpson holds that the conversion
of her animals without a finding of guilt violates her due process rights.
This type of thing is happening all over the county and this decision will
have a huge impact. While, the search and seizure issue was dismissed
because the city agreed with us, the Judge went on and discussed violations
of the Fourth Amendment and clearly indicated that the provision in the
Ordinance which allegedly permits seizure for any violation of this chapter
which is the provision used by LMAS to seize puppies because of an alleged
violation of the Class A Kennel License, requires a warrant for seizure.
Please take the opportunity to read this opinion several times. It will
have, we believe, a huge impact on a local and national basis. If you need
to contact me please do so or contact our counsel, Jon Fleischaker at
502-540-2319. We have the upmost confidence in you as you have always been
committed to accurate and complete reporting. Below is the information
sent to folks around the country. Thank you.
I've recently seen people say that they think this means that they can't take dogs until after a finding of guilt. here is my reply (I am not a lawyer!):
in order to get a warrant there must be probable cause that the actual animal is evidence of some crime.
then, in order to retain (or otherwise "deprive" aka keep from you permanently, notice the judge's use of that term "permanently deprive") your property they must find you guilty. but they can still take anything that is "warranted" and that could include dogs, like any other personal property (e.g. computer files, a bloody knife, etc) used to build a case.
but it must be specific. not just nazi-like humaniacs rifling and taking as they want then talk to a judge and/or prosecuter later, if ever, once they've taken fruit from the tainted tree. they can't just fish like they do now, which is maybe see one dog with a supposed mark (or just get an "anonymous report" of such and then third hand hearsay telephone calls) and use that as justification for an immediate forcible entry and search when basically they should be getting a judge's approval since there is no "crime in progress".
just as with any other physical evidence if a judge feels that there is probable cause that one or more PARTICULAR animals are EVIDENCE of some crime they can order them seized and held, but they must be kept and returned in similar/reasonable condition to when taken. they've been somehow using the cart to get the horse.
unless and until there is a finding of guilt or plea involving the particular animal seized (and held until trial or other resolution at no cost to defendant) as that dog particularly used in commission of some crime by its owner they are still property of their rightful owner and cannot be disposed of.
if someone uses their property (any property) in the commission of a crime they do subject it to seizure . I don't think we can have it both ways. they are our property and as such could be seized by a court. the key is "reasonably" and not without a right to due process.
I am not a lawyer but that is my reading of this. Although there is also some other low intellect blowhard being fawned over on that peds online pit that is calling this a "Pass Precedent", lol, what I think he is trying to refer to is past precedent or Stare Decisis ("Stare decisis is the policy of the court to stand by precedent; the term is but an abbreviation of stare decisis et quieta non movere ’ "to stand by and adhere to decisions and not disturb what is settled.""). This does not necessarily hold true for civil law and much more can be read on this theory but I would say that people should not just expect to now sit back and have their dogs not taken. while obviously valuable and favorable, one opinion does not a sweeping change make in this area. it will need to be ruled like this by many judges, and outside the western district of kentucky, before it could possibly be considered "settled" law. again, I'm not a lawyer these are just my lay opinions.