Articles Posted in Animal / Dog Law

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In 2011, partners of the Interagency Bison Management Plan decided to expand the territory in the Gardiner basin in which bison were allowed to naturally migrate. That decision was challenged by various petitioners. Park County Stockgrowers Association filed a petition that raised a public nuisance claim, among other claims. That petition was consolidated with another petition, and several other petitioners intervened. Two of the intervenors filed a joint amended petition, which Park County did not join, adding a claim based on changes to Mont. Code Ann. 87-1-216. After a hearing, the district court rejected all of the claims and dismissed all of the petitions. Park County appealed, contending that the district court erred in its interpretation of section 87-1-216. Because Park County neither raised a claim based on section 87-1-216 in the proceedings before the district court, nor adopted the arguments of the other petitioners, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding that consolidation did not permit Park County to appeal an issue raised in a separate case by another party. View "Park County Stockgrowers Ass'n v. State" on Justia Law

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After a jury trial, the youth court found that E.M.R., a youth under the age of eighteen, had committed five misdemeanor offenses of "dog at large" and one felony offense of aggravated animal cruelty. The convictions stemmed from E.M.R.'s treatment of her dogs and horses. E.M.R. appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded, holding (1) the youth court's instruction to the jury on the legislative purpose of the Youth Court Act was prejudicial error and required reversal of the aggravated animal cruelty adjudication; and (2) the youth court correctly declined to dismiss the "dog at large" charges. View "State v. E.M.R." on Justia Law

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Susan Overfield was charged with assault and disturbing the peace after appearing to speak at a City Commission meeting about perceived conflicts of interest between City officials and the Animal Foundation of Great Falls. Overfield subsequently sued the City. Before the City and Overfield settled the case, the district court concluded (1) the Animal Foundation, its trustee, and its attorney (Petitioners), who were non-parties in the underlying case, were in contempt for wrongfully redacting information from documents produced to Overfield, and (2) the Foundation was in contempt for failing to appear at a deposition with subpoenaed documents. After the case was settled, the district court entered an order awarding Overfield attorney fees against the Petitioners based on the contempt orders. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the contempt orders of the district court, holding that the district court properly considered and decided the contempt issues below without referral to another judge, and the contempt orders were supported by substantial evidence; but (2) vacated the district court's order to arrest the trustee, the court's imposition of sanctions against an attorney who filed a protective order on behalf of the Foundation, and the court's order awarding attorney fees. Remanded. View "Animal Found. of Great Falls v. Dist. Court" on Justia Law