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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26145
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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last month I was found guilty of 12 counts of not keeping my

Resolved Question:

last month I was found guilty of 12 counts of not keeping my two pit bull properly contained . on the same day of my conviction ,one of the witnesses against me who had seen my dogs loose . walked up to me and tried to hand me a Vet bill for her donkeys . she said that her donkeys were attacked one evening and that it had to be my dogs . I refused to take the bill from her , it was 1:30 am and she did not see the dogs that attacked her animals . since I refused to accept the bill she filed a small claims against me for the money and we have a court date Nov,13th 2013. On Oct 30th, 2013 . I Video taped 2 Black dogs belonging to her neabors running from her property. I belive it was these two dogs who possably attacked her animals. can I use this as evidence to prove my innocents or show doubt on what dogs did the attack? Please help me present my evidence to the court so it wont be thrown out .
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 8 months ago.
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

The great thing about small claims? The formal rules of evidence and procedure do not apply.

So hearsay? Allowed.

Chain of custody on evidence? Not required.

Basically, small claims is a "peoples court" where you can tell your story and (hopefully) present evidence to the court to convince the judge on your position.

Your neighbor (the one who sued you) has the burden of proof.

She must prove, by a preponderance of evidence, that your animals caused the harm to her animals.

Now....if, for example, she can testify that she watched your dogs attack her animal? That can be tough to defend. YOu would either need to impeach her credibility (show she is lying or is prone to lie) or impeach her ability to perceive (so, for example, if this happened at night it may be she could not clearly identify your dogs)

The evidence you describe? That is admissible (since the rules of evidence do not apply)

And it is relevant (is something the court will want to consider) IF you can show either

1. She did not see what dogs attacked her animal

or

2. That she did see the dogs that attacked her animal, but her perception may have been flawed (eg due to the conditions/weather or anything that can cause a person to improperly perceive something)

BotXXXXX XXXXXne: the evidence is admissible and sounds like good evidence for your case

P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26145
Experience: 16 yrs. of trial experience
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