Justia Animal / Dog Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio
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The Supreme Court accepted the State's appeal from the decision of the court of appeals concluding that a prior designation as a dangerous dog is a prerequisite to its owner being prosecuted for failing to confine a dangerous dog in violation of of Ohio Rev. Code 955.22(D), holding that a prior designation of dangerousness pursuant to section 955.222 or otherwise is not a prerequisite to prosecution for failing to abide by the statute's dangerous dog laws.Defendant was convicted of failing to confine a dangerous dog. The court of appeals reversed, holding that a previous dangerous dog designation is a prerequisite to finding a violation of section 955.22(D). The Supreme Court affirmed, albeit on different grounds, holding (1) neither due process nor statutory language requires a prior dangerous dog designation before a defendant can be prosecuted for noncompliance with section 955.22's dangerous dog provisions; but (2) the State failed to meet its burden of offering sufficient evidence to sustain a conviction for failure to control a dangerous dog. View "State v. Jones" on Justia Law

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Cynthia Huntsman operated a farm on which she kept multiple species of wild animals that are regulated by the Ohio Dangerous Wild Animals and Restricted Snakes Act. Huntsman had no permit to possess “dangerous wild animals” under the Act. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) ordered the transfer of multiple dangerous wild animals found in Huntsman’s facility to a temporary holding facility established by the ODA. A Stark County Common Pleas Court judge granted Huntsman a temporary restraining order against the ODA and ordered the ODA to return the seized animals to Huntsman. The director of the ODA sought a writ of prohibition to prevent the judge from continuing to exercise jurisdiction over the case. The Supreme Court granted a peremptory writ of prohibition to prevent the judge from proceeding in the underlying case and ordered him to vacate his previous orders in the case, holding that the judge patently and unambiguously lacked jurisdiction to order the return of the dangerous wild animals seized from Huntsman and her farm. View "State ex rel. Dir., Ohio Dep’t of Agriculture v. Forchione" on Justia Law