Articles Posted in Animal / Dog 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

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During the investigation of a complaint that Arlie Risner was hunting without permission, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife (“ODNR”) officers seized parts of an antlered white-tailed deer. Risner later pled no contest to hunting without permission, and the court ordered the meat and antlers forfeited to ODNR. ODNR subsequently notified Risner that he owed $27,851 in restitution to the state pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 1531.201. Risner filed a declaratory-judgment action against ODNR alleging that the order of restitution was illegal and unconstitutional because the state had taken possession of the deer in the criminal proceeding. The trial court ruled in favor of Risner. The Court of Appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 1531.201(B) permits ODNR to file a civil action to recover the civil restitution value of an antlered white-tailed deer even though it had seized the deer meat and antlers as evidence in the investigation of an offender who was convicted of a violation of Ohio Rev. Code 1531 or 1533 or a division rule and was awarded possession as a result of the conviction. View "Risner v. Ohio Dep’t of Natural Res., Ohio Div. of Wildlife" on Justia Law

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Ohio's equine-activities-immunity statute, Ohio Rev. Code 2305.321, provides immunity from liability for harm sustained by an equine activity participant allegedly resulting from the inherent risk of equine activities. In this case the Supreme Court was asked to determine when an injured person is a "spectator" and therefore an "equine activity participant" whose claim for damages is barred by statute. Appellee assisted in the care and management of horses and was kicked in the head by a horse when she went to the aid of Appellant, who was unloading an untrained horse from its trailer. Appellant argued that he was immune from liability pursuant to section 2305.321. The trial court concluded that the statute barred Appellee's claim because (1) she was a spectator, i.e., she was present at the unloading of the horse and "noticed" that event, and (2) thus, Appellee was an "equine activity participant" when she was injured. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that one who purposely places herself in a location where equine activities are occurring and who sees such an activity is a "spectator" and hence an "equine activity participant" within the meaning of section 2305.321(A)(3)(g). Remanded. View "Smith v. Landfair" on Justia Law

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In this case the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying the request by Appellant, Terrie Sizemore, a veterinarian, for a writ of mandamus to compel Appellee, the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board, to reissue a 2007 adjudication order finding her guilty of misconduct and imposing fines. Sizemore contended that the original order was not in compliance with Ohio Rev. Code 119.09, preventing her from pursuing an appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment, holding (1) because the Board dismissed the charges against Sizemore, the mandamus claim was moot; (2) the Board have any duty to reissue its prior adjudication order finding Sizemore guilty of misconduct; and (3) Sizemore had an adequate remedy by way of a motion for contempt to raise her claim that the board violated the court of appeals mandate to reissue its adjudication order. View "State ex rel. Sizemore v. Veterinary Med. Licensing Bd." on Justia Law