HSUS/PETA/ARFs Get Huge Legal Set-Back

Posted on 10/04/2009

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US District Court Judge Charles R. Simpson III ordered the following
in the case of the Louisville KC, et. al. v. Louisville/Jefferson

County Metro Government.

RE: Civil Action No. 3:07-CV-230-S

Judge basically found that the determination between S/N’d and intact
dogs is without merit and thus required enclosure inspection for
intact dogs is unconstitutional, He also found that dogs are
personal property and the requirement of a seizure bond where the
individual must post a bond upon a showing of probable cause or their
animals become the property of the city, state, etc if unable is
unconstitutional. That a finding of guilt must occur before a court
can take your property.

Judge Simpson issued an injunction prohibiting the city from enforcing
these provisions.

It seems the Court spent a lot of time discussing the Fourth Amendment
and stated that notwithstanding the ordinance seeming to allow for
seizure without a warrant in the various parts, the Court reasoned
that no ordinance provision nullifies a warrant requirement so one
must be obtained prior to seizure. The Court then went point by point
and clarified the statute as to what was permissible and what wasn’t.
This is a major victory on the issues that matter on a national basis.

Another thing, the veterinary issue which was most important one, was
addressed by a change in the Kentucky State law which makes veterinary
records confidential and does not permit release of them unless a
court order issued or the owner gives consent in writing.

Following is the Order by Judge Simpson…

1. Section 91.022 of the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Gov. Code
of Ordinances(LJCMGC) is declared unconstitutional insofar as it
requires owners of unaltered dogs to obtain written approval of their
enclosures. Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgement (DN 20) is
GRANTED in this respect, and Metro’s motion for summary judgement(DN
27) is DENIED to the same extent. Metro is hereby enjoined from
enforcing 91.022’s written approval requirement.

2. Section 91.101 of the LJCMGC of Ordinances is declared
unconstitutional insofar as it threatens to deprive pet owners of
their property rights without a finding of guilt. Plaintiffs’ motion
for summary judgement (DN 20) is GRANTED in this respect, and Metro’s
motion for summary judgement(DN 27) is DENIED to the same extent.
Metro is hereby enjoined from enforcing 91.101 in the manner just
described.

3. Plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment claims regarding 91.073(D), 91.094(A)
and 91.101.(A) are hereby DISMISSED for lack of subject-matter
jurisdiction. The Court is without authority to rule on the parties’
motions for summary judgment as regards those claims.

With this one the court spent a lot of time discussing the 4th
amendment came to the conclusion that no ordinance provision nullifies
a warrant requirement prior to a seizure on this Ordinance that
basically said that a tethering violation, some cruelty issue or for
any ordinance violation would allow seizure w/o a warrant.

4. With respect to all other claims presented in this case, Metro’s
motion for summary judgment(DN27) is GRANTED, and plaintiffs’ motion
for summary judgment(DN 20) is DENIED.