How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Chris The Lawyer Your Own Question
Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22763
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
32702153
Type Your New Zealand Law Question Here...
Chris The Lawyer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Is cat animal or pet for the purposes of Law, if there is

Customer Question

is cat animal or pet for the purposes of Law, if there is any law in NZ against cat's nuicance?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

The legislation draws a distinction between domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep, and also has specific provision for control of dogs. Cats are not regulated in this fashion, but if they are owned by somebody, and cause damage, then the owner will be liable.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How can be measured nuisance by cats in sense of noise and odour? How many cats can create such a thing?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

If cats are causing a nuisance by noise and smell, then the key is finding and proving that the evidence that those particular cats are causing the problem. This evidence could be obtained by photographs or even possibly by capturing the animal and checking the ownership with a microchip, if one is installed on the cat.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Chris I have pets 5 Bengal cats one male and 4 females. I breed them to cover cost of keeping them healthy and happy with food, medicament's, desections etc. My neighbor complaint to Council and exaggerated facts about my cats. Surely 5 cats cant be so bad? Is there any measurements which is damaging for anybody health?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My cats live in the house, deck and have access to the garden. I cant cope with any bad smells so I clean regularly the place. Why council is charging me with criminal law? Is to have cats is criminal?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

The number of cats you can keep is sometimes regulated by the local council. Not all councils have restrictions, and if your local council does not have a maximum number, then you are entitled to keep these cats. If your council does have a maximum number, then they can ask you to reduce to the legal number. If they are charging you with something, it would be helpful if you told me what is on the council documents and I can make suggestions

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I couldn't get a Legal aid because the council put me in criminal law, and I couldn't get a lawyer because I am on job seeker benefit is there any way I can get a legal aid lawyer?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

It depends what the charge is. What have you been charged with?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The Council charging me with offence against section 239 of the Local Government Act 2002, apparently my cats are causing a nuisance to some neighbours due to odourd and noises emitted by the cats if proven this will constitutes a breach of clause 6 of the Animal Management Bylaw 2015
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My cats use wooden pallets for the litter which absorb smell very well and regularly cleaned anyway. They have a different vocal abilities than usual domestic cats, but they are not noisy all the time. As any cats they will call on the seasons or just talk not loud they have a very beautiful talks and they are sleep most of the time. So it comes and goes, not as all the time
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Which city are you in so I can look at the bylaw? they are different for each city.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How serious is my situation as I love them dearly and don't want to loose my babies. I live in Auckland, NZ
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I don't mind to reduce the quantity if necessary, but they want all of them to be removed from my property
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Under this section there is a maximum fine of $5000 but you cannot go to jail for this. This is why you cannot get legal aid, because generally legal aid is only available for cases where you may get a jail sentence. But the council have to prove their case first.

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Have you been given a summons to appear in court?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
In there paper they said max is 20,000.00. Are they trying to threaten me? Another question is did they have a right to search my house, when the complaint was about outside the house problem?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

The bylaw says that

"7 Obligations of animal owners in public places (1) The owner of any animal in a public place must at all times – (a) ensure that animal does not intimidate or cause a nuisance to any other person; and ensure that animal does not damage any property belonging to any other person in a public place;"

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
They send me 5kg files of allegedly notes about my cats, but I believe its all make ups
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

There is no power under this bylaw to require you to remove some of the cats. They must also be able to prove that there has been damage and nuisance. That seems a very large amount of material about the issues, and I am not sure they have the right section for the maximum fine. They would have needed a warrant to search your property under the Search and Surveillance Act and should have shown you any warrant before searching. Did they show you a warrant?

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

As I see it they will not have an easy job proving this case against you

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

But unfortunately legal aid is not available.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
They gave me Search Warrant signed strangely by a ChCh judge Stretell
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
What should I do to plea guilty or to fight for my rights?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
to tell you honestly I believe there is a commercial plot against me by other Bengal cats breeders who are jealous of my Best Bengal kittens with a WOW factor and I have an email where they promised to destroy me and my cats, as well as extortion of the money by the council
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

I think you may have defences available but this would be hard without a lawyer. You could see the Community Law Centre at

The Tasman Building
16-22 Anzac Avenue
Auckland CBD

P(09)(###) ###-####/p>

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
they have a power and money and they use Known Law company against me and they threatening me that I will pay their costs as well if I will not plea guilty. I am so confused and powerless
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

It seems a lot of effort over five cats

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Are your neighbours hostile?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
This harrasments continues for 2 years and Council is taking it personal against me as I told them that they are using against me irrelevant law. I asked them to bring me law about cats, or even Bengal cats that it was not ambiguous law and then I will abide by that, but instead they created unfair files and now I am in vulnerable situation. I believe I am under harassment nuisance myself, as I can't have normal life with all that unfair attack on my cats and me.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

As I read the law, they can only stop you if they proved a nuisance and damage to someone. There would need to be a lot of evidence about this and photos and witnesses. I assume the papers they gave you include all of this. But even if you lose the judge will not fine you a large amount if you cannot pay a fine, and you would only pay court costs and not the legal fees of the council.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I live in cool-de-sack house with 7 neihgbours surrounding me. I have letters from 5 of them supporting me. The neighbour who is the main complainer unfortunately a few years ago had a very bad Motobike crash. She had many operations, but still she cant feel her hands and fingers by her own words and she cant work. Sometimes she doesn't have money even for petrol. Unlucky for me she is trying to put her frustration from pain and financial situation on me. She always had dogs in past which were coming into my property and were very noisy too, but I never complaint to authorities but to her. We are now at war
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Do you think some mediation would help?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
But will they continue to harass me after that? My health is undermined by these threats and unfair treatments. They were coming to my property without advising me for so many times and this search was most humiliating experience I have ever had in my life
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I think mediation could help, but I don't know how to get it
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

If you were to have a mediation involving the neighbours who object, then this would get rid of the court case if the council agree. I would suggest you get a professional mediator who would set up a meeting where you can talk about the issues and a confidential and safe way. This would stop the council harassing you. I can tell you where to find mediators if you want, but you would have to get the council and neighbours to agree to this before

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
By the way my fist hearing is tomorrow at 9am at Waitakere District court. isn't it too late for Mediation?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

When you go to court you could talk to the council lawyer and ask them if it is possible to deal with this by way of a neighbourhood mediation. They might ask for an adjournment if they agree, and this could be set up. You could tell the judge that you would like to look at mediation to try and resolve this issue, and they would mostly be helpful

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Strangely enough when I asked on the phone the object neihbor if she still believe that my cats are so damaging for her health,
she said that sometimes in a hot weather she can feel a smell, but she also said that now its out of her hand. I asked her what does she means under its out of her hand, but she realized that she said too much and changed the conversation, but later again she said the same and I asked again why its out of her hand and she didn't answer . It is why i believe its personal now for the Council to prove their accusations
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

That is why you should discuss this with the Council at the court tomorrow and ask about mediation. If they won't listen to you, then you need to enter a not guilty plea and ask for a hearing.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have just spoken to their Lawyer and asked about Mediation. He said he will talk to Council and call me back.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I also left a message at The Tasman building if they can help me with representer
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How long I can ask you questions? Please give me idea what are court costs could be? Its just for a piece in my mind, as I cant sleep because they said they will put all charges against my house so they can get my house because of my cats?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

You can ask until you think you have what you need. Court costs are usually about $200, and if they get a fine it will be dependent on your personal circumstances. It is not up to the Council as to enforcement of the fine, but up to the collections department of the court. They will certainly let you pay this off if you get a conviction and if you get fined. It is just an ugly threat to make you back down to suggest they will put a charge on your house and take it. It's not very professional

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I spoken to council and they said there is no restriction in the number of cats per household. If I pay fine will they be able to do charges against me again and again if I still will keep my 5 cats?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

If they get a conviction and the court fines you, they can only do this again with fresh evidence of new noise and smells. You can still keep your cats as they cannot stop you

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How can I challenge their accusations about bad smell in my property during the Search Warrant when I didn't fell any smell at all at the same time as it was washed away totally by a rain over whole night? Sometimes my cats use natural soil for the toilet in the garden I usually pick up hard part and pees washed away by the rain. Odour can be present if there is no rain for a few days and its not happen too often in NZ.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

You will need to tell your side of the facts. Is the case tomorrow the first appearance in court for this charge?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He council guy has lied shamelessly that he had a very strong burning sensation in his throat and nose for the rest of the day
How can I challenge the lies?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Do you have any friends or neighbours who could say something to support you?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
it is the first appearnce in court for this charge
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have friend , but I don't know if she can be with me
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

You wont need them there tomorrow as you will be there just for the plea to be entered

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

If you plead not guilty the court will set a date for the hearing

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

That will likely be some months away, so if they agree to mediate that could happen. If they wont, then it gives you time to find a witness

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The Tasman Building just advised me that they dont provide any representives
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
its easy for me talk on phone as I can reread and better understand
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Its seems it is not possible to find any re-presenter at all
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Thats a pity

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

But if you enter a not guilty plea tomorrow, I may be able to find someone who can do the case pro bono (for free that is)

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Chris
I most possible will plea not guilty if they will reject the Mediation. I will be very greateful if you could find for me someone who can do the case pro bono. I can offer a most gorgeous Bengal kitten as a Thank you for that kind person. Please see my Website:
http://ytanya.wix.com/bengalcats
I will be in touch tomorrow after the hearing.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Great-the cats are very cute!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Chris I got adjournment until 17th August that i could to read their very extensive files. They said that if I will remove all cats and stop breeding they will not pursue civil proceedings against me under the Health act 1956
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

That sounds like another threat which is a pity. It does not seem very constructive. Is the files they sent to you recently?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
If I will not and plea guilty they will apply to the DC for a civil order under s33 of the Health act 1956to compel me to abate the nuisances at my property and that all costs should be paid by me with charge remain over my house.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
refer s33(8)
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Once again I think they are bullying you. If there is any order made against you, it is the collections department at the District Court who will decide on enforcement and they will let you pay this off. To say it is going against your house is threatening and an unfortunate abuse of power in my view

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
they sent files last thursday
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I also found out that council and law company making big money on their extortion business and everybody knows it but cant do anything
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
i am in deep deep trouble
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
What can i do against this power and money?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

So I may be able to find a lawyer to act pro bono, that is, free

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Please find for me lawyer so that he could direct me in right way after reading all that files. Thank you very much
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

I will work on this and get back to you

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I will keep my fingers cross. Thanks
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
one lawyer said that maybe its a good idea to remove cats as they asked and after month or so ......welcome back but I don't know
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

I dont know if that is a good idea, as it would start the process again

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I agree
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
They rejected the Mediation why do u think?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

They appear to be bullies who dont like mediating as they may have to be seen to be treating you badly

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
council employed Meredith apparently biggest law coy in Auck. Duty l told me that their search was unreasonable and i can get action against them later. He also said it will be very hard to fight them. My opponent got a dog which is hauling loudly and its seems doesn,t bother her only my cats make her sick not houling dog. Should I start collect evidence agaist her?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.
Perhaps, but it won't be a defence for your charge. Meredith Connell are the Crown Solicitors, but they have a duty to be objective in any prosecution, which will balance out any bullies from the council
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
in month ago i sent her 3 texts trying to get her to discussion. she didnt reply on any of them, but one day police officer knock in my door and requested that i didnt send her any texts anymore and he stated a law..... can he actually do it if she didnt send me any wornings not to bother her
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.
You shouldn't send messages if she objects, but you did nothing wrong until you found out she didn't want contact. If you stopped trying, that was the correct answer
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
apparently that letter with bullying was created by Merddith lawyer i believe and he talk to me n my 2 friends who came to support me about big costs i will suffet
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
there wasnt anybody today except that lawyer
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.
Well, they do this sometimes. It's all part of their attempt to make you go away
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
what do you tjink my chances to win the court 50x50?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

That is hard to tell without looking through the papers

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I will start to look through them tomorrow n i will tell you about important one. is it possible to scan some of thdm to you?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Good night!
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Yes and good night!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My mobile for any case***********
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Thanks

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
how can I scan them on this site?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

You can attach files but you need to scan them into your computer and save as a pdf file. You may want to conceal any names and addresses as the documents are not secure here

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
do you think if i publish my story in youtube or local Auck newspaper will help me?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Not yet, but there may come a time when this would be useful

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Chris
Please see these files and let me know your opinion if I should plea guilty or not guilty? Did you have any chance to find for me pro bono lawyer? My next hearing on 17th August and I have to make up my mind what is the best for me. Please help I am really worry that they can take my house. Best regards
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Can you please let me know if you got documents? Thkis
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.
Hi I have read these and as I am travelling to day will answer more fully later tonight if that is OK
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
OK at the mean time I will send some other files
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Here some more files
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Here is other opinion from their side. I really need to invite medical health officer independent from Council , but I don't know where I can find one. If you could help I will appreciate it.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My health is really deteriorated due to stress of this 2 years of continuous harassment and humiliation. I can go to GP and get certificate from him. What do you think?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I really need invite professionals who are independent of the Council and could speak truth. Please help me whom I can invite if you can? Thanks
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I misplaced the letter from the Council's Lawyers so I will send it later there they threaten me to do civil persecution on the Health act at my all costs. Can they do it?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Is this search warrant lawful? Or they abused their power?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Hi, I had to go out, but I will read all of this and answer in the morning

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
ok no problem, thanks
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
what do you think?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Hi

I will send you a more detailed reply a little later

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
ok thank yiu very much
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Chris
I have had plea Not guilty and My next hearing on 10th Oct 2016. I don't have a lawer and I dont have any idea what should I do for next hearing. You are not answering my questions. What is happening?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.
I have been trying to find someone to help. I may have found someone now, so tomorrow I will try to get details to you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
WOW thank you very much! I cant believe to my luck! Good night
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Chris
How are things? Please let me know more details about this chance you mentioned above
Kind regards
Tanya
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

I have had an opportunity to do some cases in Auckland myself and could fit this in. I will be in Auckland and could meet with you to talk about the case in person and so you could meet me. Would that work?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
that will be great. When will you be in Auckland?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Wednesday through to Saturday, so we would need to have a specific time as I am at meetings

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am not working so almost any time is good for me, anyway I will try to manage my time that is suitable for you. Best regards
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Lets start by a phone connection

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Chris I tried to send you text but my mobile suddenly got frozen so that I cant even open the keyword. Very unusual never has happen to me before. Am I targeted person now?! So please call me at 6pm I will wait
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Thats great thanks

Related New Zealand Law Questions