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Roger
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by West
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Ok well we bought 15 acreas in a rural community the day we

Customer Question

Ok well we bought 15 acreas in a rural community the day we moved in the neighbor came down at 9pm at and told us we could park in the road which is our road it is a utility easement however apparently this had used this road to get to and from their home which initially was not a problem for us.. with that being said I have 2 german shepherds very kind dogs but they had experienced country before so they would go and explore and and naturally hunt down squirrels and rabbits etc. In all we had introduced the dogs to the said neighbors and they continued to drive our road on numerous occasions they had leashed our dogs and im not sure if my dogs were actually on their property when they leashed them, they have been kind to our dogs on our property while getting out of their car and opening the gate that leads to their property, they held my dogs over night, they have taken numerous pictures of my dogs both on my property and theirs, they have hid in the bushes at dusk while we are outside with dogs and taken pictures of both the dogs and my kids which ultimately led to my dogs to go thru to their property and bark at themIn the bushes while they continue to take pictures, with all of this they have even claimed my dogs have protected them from other dogs. With all that being said they have called animal control on us numerous times we have recieved herendous fines that ultimately I am trying to fight in court we have since stopped them from driving on our property which has enraged them so now they try anything to get my dogs to come on their property.. what can I do? What are rights? Is their any case law that pertains to breach of control concerning dogs? They have pictures we do not..
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

If there are leash laws and ordinances, you certainly have to comply with those. Also, as the owner of the pets, you are required to keep them from roaming and getting off of your property. If the dogs do traverse the neighbors property, they have a right to have the dogs removed by animal control, etc. or even claim that they're a private nuisance.

Thus, you really need to try and give the court some proof that you're keeping the dogs on your property - - maybe offer to put up a fence or an underground/wireless - - then that's probably the best course.

Unfortunately, you probably can't justify or be excused for letting the dogs run/roam free - - especially if there are leash laws in your area.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes I am aware of the leash laws, has there ever been a case of breach of control I mean these peoe have be friended our dogs on our property as well as fed them on their property and leashed them... because to me it is a sort of breach of control.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Your best claim on that is that your dogs were given permission - - at least implied permission - - to traverse your neighbors property because they welcomed them, played with them, fed them, leashed them, etc. You can also claim that you were never told that they had changed their minds and that they just began calling animal control, etc. without any indication that they no longer wanted the dogs there.

I'll look at some case law to see if I can find one that deals with failing to control one's pet/dog. Bear with me.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

The case of Drake v. Dean, 15 Cal. App. 4th 915 says that the owner has a strict obligation to control his/her pet:

 

"California follows the common law rule of strict liability for harm done by a domestic animal with known vicious or dangerous propensities abnormal to its
class. A possessor of a domestic animal that he knows or has reason to know as
dangerous propensities abnormal to its class, is subject to liability for harm done by the animal to another, although he exercises the utmost care to prevent it from doing the harm. This liability is limited to harm that results from the abnormally dangerous propensity of which the possessor knows or has reason to know."

 

"A negligence cause of action arises when there is ineffective control of an animal in a situation where it is reasonably expected that injury could occur, and injury does proximately result from the negligence. The amount of control required is that which would be exercised by a reasonable person based upon the total situation at the time, including the past behavior of the animal and the injuries that could be reasonably foreseen."

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

my dogs are not violent nor vicious... they do however kill squirrals n rabbits which in doing research is 100% normal for any dog its their instinct.. i know you are just trying to help, i have read through that case law unfortunatley the only case law that i could find concerns vicious dogs and that is absolutley not the case with mine, like i said at one point the wrote us a letter stating that one of my dogs protected them from another dog that supposedly was going to attack them.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

I know this case deals with a dog injuring a person, but the rule of law is that an owner MUST control his/her dog because ALL dogs have the potential to be vicious if threatened, injured, etc. So, even though your German Shepard's aren't violent - - they have the potential to be and that's where the obligation comes in for the owner to control the pet at all times.

It does sound like your neighbors are just retaliating against you for discontinuing their use of your road AND you can tell that to the court. But, at the end of the day, the judge is likely going to require you to ensure that your dogs are kept on your property since the neighbors no longer want them on their land.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

well thank you very much Mr.Adams and im sure you can tell that that isdefinately the response i was hoping for i do appreciate your though thank you..

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

No problem! I'm glad to help and I certainly wish you luck with this. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

I think the retaliation claim could go a long way for you in getting this resolved since the dogs were welcomed by them for a certain period of time.

Thanks for allowing me to help you.

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