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we received a notice today that we will be served papers on friday in reagrdds to this. we are currently building a fence around our property but have not finished .
wil this be enough to satisfy the court - we will have to pay fine?
Do I need to hire a lawyer to go with us?
Thanks for your question.You can talk to prosecutor to see if they will make you a deal here since you have taken remedial measures.Here is the law.
44-8-408. Dogs not allowed at large -Exception -Penalties. -(a) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, "owner" means a person who,
at the time of the offense, regularly harbors, keeps or exercises control over the dog, but does not
include a person who, at the time of the offense, is temporarily harboring, keeping or exercising
control over the dog.
(b) The owner of a dog commits an offense if that dog goes uncontrolled by the owner upon the
premises of another without the consent of the owner of the premises or other person authorized
to give consent, or goes uncontrolled by the owner upon a highway, public road, street or any
other place open to the public generally.
(c) It is an exception to the application of this section that:
(1) The dog was on a hunt or chase;
(2) The dog was on the way to or from a hunt or chase;
(3) The dog was guarding or driving stock or on the way to guard or drive stock;
(4) The dog was being moved from one place to another by the owner of the dog;
(5) The dog is a police or military dog, the injury occurred during the course of the dog's
official duties and the person injured was a party to, a participant in or suspected of being a
party to or participant in the act or conduct that prompted the police or military to utilize the
services of the dog;
(6) The violation of subsection (b) occurred while the injured person was on the private
property of the dog's owner with the intent to engage in unlawful activity while on the
(7) The violation of subsection (b) occurred while the dog was protecting the dog's owner
or other innocent party from attack by the injured person or an animal owned by the injured
(8) The violation of subsection (b) occurred while the dog was securely confined in a
kennel, crate or other enclosure; or
(9) The violation of subsection (b) occurred as a result of the injured person disturbing,
harassing, assaulting or otherwise provoking the dog.
(d) The exception to the application of this section provided in subdivisions
(c)(1)-(4) shall not apply unless the owner in violation of subsection (b) pays or tenders payment
for all damages caused by the dog to the injured party within thirty (30) days of the damage being
(e) It is not a defense to prosecution for a violation of subsection (b) and punished pursuant to
subdivision (g)(1), (g)(2) or (g)(3) that the dog owner exercised reasonable care in attempting to
confine or control the dog.
(f) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for a violation of subsection (b) and punished
pursuant to subdivision (g)(4) or (g)(5) that the dog owner exercised reasonable care in
attempting to confine or control the dog.
(g) (1) A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by fine only.
(2) A violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by fine only if the dog
running at large causes damage to the property of another.
(3) A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by fine only if the dog
running at large causes bodily injury, as defined by § 39-11-106, to another.
(4) A violation of this section is a Class E felony if the dog running at large causes serious
bodily injury, as defined by § 39-11-106, to another.
(5) A violation of this section is a Class D felony if the dog running at large causes the
death of another.
(h) Notwithstanding subsection (g), a violation of this section shall be punished as provided in
subsection (i) if the violation involves:
(1) A dog that was trained to fight, attack or kill or had been used to fight; or
(2) The owner of the dog violating this section knew of the dangerous nature of the dog
and, prior to the violation of this section, the dog had bitten one (1) or more people that
resulted in serious bodily injury or death.
(i) A violation of this section, where one (1) or more of the factors set out in subsection (h) are
present, shall be punished as follows:
(1) A Class C misdemeanor if the dog running at large does not cause property damage,
injury or death;
(2) A Class A misdemeanor if the dog running at large causes damage to the property of
(3) A Class E felony if the dog running at large causes bodily injury to another;
(4) A Class D felony if the dog running at large causes serious bodily injury to another; and
(5) A Class C felony if the dog running at large causes the death of another.
[Acts 1901, ch. 50, § 1; 1903, ch. 419, § 1; Shan., § 2853a4; Code 1932, § 5086; T.C.A. (orig.
ed.), §§ 44-1408, 44-8-108; Acts 2007, ch. 533, § 1; 2007, ch. 556, § 1
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