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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32322
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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On April 16th, my 5 yr old was waitung little sister w/ the

Customer Question

On April 16th, my 5 yr old was waitung for her little sister w/ the door open and our miniature pinscher ran out the door and up the hill where a group of kids were playing. My neighbor started out saying my dog "bit her dog, then her dog bit my dog, and she kicked him to get him away". I immediately went over and the dog wasn't acting stressed or even slightly worked up. She had her back to the dog smoking a cigarette as l very carefully checked him over to see that he was ok. At the time, her words were "oh my dog is fine, I think your dog just got scared because of all of the kids chasing him." A day shy of a week, April 22nd I was delivered a letter notifying me that my dog had to be removed by April 30th because they have zero tolerance policy for aggressive animals and since my dog "attacked" another dog in the community he had to go, which was dated April 20th. I explained to the manager that wasn't the case and a 13 yr old girl that had never held my dog nor had she even been around him prior had picked up my dog and stated my dog did not bite the neighbor's dog. She even told him that herself but he wouldnt listen. He told me the neighbor is a more credible source so he believed her over the 13 year old. I contacted him on Monday April 25th asking him if we could talk about this because there has to be something being overlooked. He said that there wasn't and he was sticking to his decision. I asked to speak to his boss and received a call from "Wade". He also said the neighbor was more credible but that he hadn't heard anything about anyone saying my dog did not bite her dog. He agreed to talk to our property manager to see if there was something he hadn't heard but immediately called back and said he was standing by the original decision. On Weds I went down to the office asking for a copy of the report of the neighbor's claims. I was told that she was quite certain i wasn't entitled to a copy but she'd ask Charlie, the property manager. He contacted my husband and told him I wasn't able to have or see a copy of the report because it was "inner company mail." There are no pictures, her do was not seen by a vet, nor was the police or animal control contacted. According to the office her report claims that my dog attacked her dog not once but twice as she tried to pull him away.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 6 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Is there a specific question with which I could assist?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Is this legal and am i entitled to a copy of the report made to the office?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 6 months ago.

It is legal, assuming that there is something in your lease/contract or the rules that allows for them to do this.

You are not entitled to a copy of the report simply because the law doesn't state you are entitled to it. If you believe the property is acting in a manner that breaches your contract, and you would have to have a local lawyer review all of the paperwork, handbooks you were provided, etc. then you can sue them for breach of contract and you can get a copy of the report in the lawsuit through the discovery process.

Please note, if there is no rule, regulation, contract clause, etc. then it would not be illegal for them to order you to remove your dog but it would be a breach of contract. "Illegal" implies that there is a specific law being broken whereas a breach of contract refers to the terms of an agreement between you and them.

Please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
He has since admitted that the report is in my file at the office so how is that inner company mail? Everyone in the community has received an ammendment to the lease stating that dogs must be on a handheld leash at all times and when I told him I have pictures of dogs running loose in my yard he said "that's not you" which I'm not sure what that means
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 6 months ago.

There is no legal definition of "intercompany mail" so it is whatever they say it is as far as they are concerned. However, if someone from their company sent it to them and then they placed it in their folder and it never went outside the company then it would meet any definition I have ever seen used for "intercompany mail".

I'm not sure what he means by "that's not you" either unless he is saying they selectively enforce certain provision of that amendment. What they will likely say is they only enforce it if someone complains.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
it is legal to enforce rules to certain tenants but not others? Is that not discrimination? He said he handles the situations as he sees them. How is it legal to choose one person to side with and not listen to any other witnesses?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 6 months ago.

It's not discrimination, in the legal sense, unless it is based on race, gender, age, etc.

You have to remember, this is a private company and the due process concerns, etc, are not applicable against them the way they would be against a governmental entity.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
is it just considered singling us out and that's fine? It doesn't seem legal to only make some tenants follow the rules and let everyone else do whatever they feel like. Also, how is it that one person becomes the credible source when she is constantly making complaints about others? Especially, since she has no evidence other than her word ?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 6 months ago.

I wouldn't say just fine but it's legal. It could b used as another piece of evidence to prove breach of contract as I discussed above. I know that most people believe any kind of singling out or discrimination is illegal but that's just not the law. I would be glad to ask another expert here to take a look at the answer I've given and see if they agree if it would provide you some reassurance but I'm 100% sure about the answers I've given.

As to why the office consider that person credible, I can't answer that since it is a judgment call made by them. My guess is that they think it is easier handling it this way but that's just based on what I've seen others do.