Motion for Summary Judgment Filed to Invalidate Marion County Dangerous Dog Ordinance

Definition of Dangerous Dog Challenged in Ulu's Case

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Motion for Summary Judgment to Test Constitutionality Set for March 18, 2011

A Motion for Summary Judgment has been filed in County Court to test the constitutionality of Marion County's definition of dangerous dog to include an animal that has killed a domestic animal once.  The definition does not meet the state law definition, and in the recent case of Hoesch v. Broward County, a one kill definition was found to be unconstitutional.

Based on the Hoesch case, it is argued that Marion County's definition is likewise unconstitutional, and asks the court to not only invalidate the definition, but to enjoin enforcement. The hearing is set for March 18, 2011, and it will be interesting to see how the County, based on Hoesch, can defend its position.

A second Motion has also been filed to be heard at the same time, asking the court to find that the ordinance violates due process, because it does not require the County to notify dog owners of the dangerous dog hearing.  In Ulu's case, the owner received no notice of the hearing, and only attended based on a witness calling the owner's attorney. The attorney objected to the hearing, as can be seen in the one page transcript here. The objection fell on deaf ears, and the attorney for the board announced, "Congratulations, you have an actual hearing. Proceed."

There were some questionable procedures regarding notice employed by the county as evidenced in the trial before Judge Stevens.  Nine pages of the hearing regarding the notice issue can be read hereYou should take the time to read this little snippet.  It shows the County knew on 4/7/10 that there was to be a dangerous dog hearing on 4/14/10, but waited to notify the owner until the day before on 4/13/10. And they think that's ok.

It will likewise be interesting to see how they defend this position, since you can't have due process at a hearing if you aren't notified of it.

Dangerous Dog Law

Helping to defend our best friends. Dangerous Dog Law (DDL) focuses on the legal defense of allegedly dangerous dogs. DDL is a member of the Pit Bulletin Legal News Network.

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