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Old 06-19-2012, 10:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Maryland BSL - Solesky v. Tracey

Published on Friday, 01 June 2012 12:26
Written by Pit Bulletin Legal News


Tracey Attorneys File Motion for Reconsideration

The defendant in the Solesky case has filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which can be read in its entirety here:http://www.pitbulletinlegalnews.com/...sideration.pdf. At the same time, the Maryland legislature has appointed a Task force to review the opinion and the effects it will have on Maryland dog owners.

I will be discussing in more detail the 19 page motion on Tuesday night's radio show. In a nutshell, the motion criticizes the Solesky decision for 1) failing to follow precedent; 2) based on unsound science; 3) exceeding judicial authority by relying on legislative facts from other jurisdicitions; 4) ignoring science conflicting with that the court relied upon; 5) making a decision without any record below of the science or evidence relied upon; 6) pit bulls are not a breed and the term cross breed pit bull is "inherently quixotic initiative that will spark litigation and uncertainty; 7) BSL is best left to the legislature; 8) application to Tracey of a new standard of care retroactively is unfair and unconstitutional. In the alternative, the motion asks that the court delay any further decision pending the special legislative session scheduled.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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LATEST UPDATE Here the latest from the MD General Assembly public testimony that concluded today.

General consensus is that legislative action will most certainly taken to remove any shadow of breed specific targeting. The question that appears to be unanswered is when will the action be taken? If the summer special session for gambling is not convened, it's likely MD pit bull owners will have to wait till regular session.

In the meantime, consideration for a "stop-gap" that would put a moratorium on the ruling until it could be legislatively addressed was discussed, but no guarantees.

(click the play button on today's dated record here: Maryland General Assembly - Senate Committee Meetings 375px
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
 

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As of right now, because a Motion for Reconsideration was filed, the holding does not yet have the force of law until the final mandate.
This means lots of pit bull owners get to bring their family members back hone and actually take some time to find the right housing that will be supportive of their babies.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well up to landlords discretion right? The whole this is bs that they are being held liable for attacks off their own property. I Quentin even if it's their obligation On Their property. Of a dog is deemed vicious from prior incidents understood buy the blatant discrimination just blows my mind!
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
 

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The law itself is not viable right now. If there is a prior agreement with the landlord, they cannot legally evict you right now. If this legislature does take effect, then they have the right. It goes deeper than landlords though - the liability extends to any land owner including those at groomers, vets, and pet stores.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Maryland pit bull legislation could be introduced at special session
August 3, 2012

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland lawmaker says he expects a bill addressing a court ruling that defines pit bulls as "inherently dangerous" will be introduced in this month's special session.


Delegate Curt Anderson, a co-chairman of a task force that has examined the ruling, said Friday that the bill will seek to remove landlord liability for dog bites. Instead, the measure will seek to put liability for bites by any type of dog on their owners.


The Court of Appeals ruling in April makes owners of pit bulls and pit bull mixes liable for dog bites. Critics of the ruling say that singles out pit bulls unfairly.


The special session is scheduled to begin Thursday in Annapolis to focus on gambling expansion in Maryland.

Maryland pit bull legislation could be introduced at special session | WJLA.com
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Miller declares impasse on pit bull bill - baltimoresun.com

By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun
10:27 p.m. EDT, August 14, 2012

The General Assembly deadlocked Tuesday night over legislation that would have overruled a widely criticized court decision labeling pit bulls as inherently dangerous, apparently killing the bill in this summer's special session.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said he did not believe there would be any action on the legislation because "the difference is very stark" between House and Senate versions of the bill.

Miller, a Calvert County Democrat, spoke on the Senate floor just before 9 p.m. as the chamber gathered to consider a bill on gambling expansion, the main purpose for a special session that was expected to continue long into the night.

After conferring with Sen. Brian E. Frosh, the Montgomery County Democrat who chairs the Judicial Proceedings Committee, Miller told reporters that the bill was all but dead. Miller said the Senate would neither concur with the House changes nor go to a conference committee — the two routes by which the two chambers typically reach agreement on bills that are not identical.

"It will be difficult to come up with a compromise on dogs," he said.

The issue arose last spring after the Maryland Court of Appeals held that pit bulls are an inherently dangerous breed whose owners should be subjected to a higher liability standard. The state's highest court also held that a pit bull owner's landlord could be held to a stricter liability standard.

The decision came in the case of Dominic Solesky, who at age 10 was attacked by a neighbor's pit bill and nearly killed in 2007. The boy's family sued the dog owner's landlord, but the trial court judge threw out the lawsuit, ruling that there was no evidence that the landlord had been negligent. The Court of Appeals held that no proof of negligence is necessary in the case of pit bulls.

The ruling brought an outcry from pit bull lovers and animal-rights organizations who expressed concern that landlords would force tenants who own the dogs to move. They contended that in many cases, dog owners could be forced to choose between their dogs and their homes, possibly filling shelters with pit bulls that couldn't be adopted.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Miller agreed to add the issue to the agenda for the special session. But once they got to work on a bill, the two chambers took very different approaches to crafting a remedy.

The Senate decided to overrule the breed distinction introduced by the appeals court and to treat all dog breeds the same while easing the liability burden on landlords. The Senate also decided to abolish a common law standard in Maryland that in effect allowed a dog "one free bite" before its owner could be held to a standard known as strict liability.

In effect, the law says that if there was no previous evidence that a dog was dangerous, the owner did not face automatic liability if the animal bit a person whose actions did not provoke the incident. The Senate's position was that if a person owns a dog, he or she should be held responsible if the dog bites.

The House Judiciary Committee took a far different approach, applying a strict liability standard only in cases where the dog was running loose. Some members expressed concern that applying strict liability to all dogs would drive up insurance rates for all pet owners. Other delegates said the legislature did not have enough information and was acting in haste.

Tami Santelli, Maryland senior state director for The Humane Society of the United States, expressed disappointment that the Senate was ready to let the bill die.

"It's really unfortunate that thousands of Maryland families will be forced to choose either their dogs or their homes in the next four months," she said.

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Old 02-07-2014, 06:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Maryland BSL - Solesky v. Tracey

***** Latest updates were supposed to occur today. Have not heard one way or the other at this time. Please let me know if you have. *****

http://m.wypr.drupal.publicbroadcast...m#mobile/23734

GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Dog Bite Fight Returns To Annapolis
4:28 AM
Thu, Feb 6, 2014
By Christopher

The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up a bill Thursday that could settle a dog fight has been brewing in the General Assembly for two years. At issue is how the state’s laws should codify liability when a dog bites.

Ace is a pit bull. He’s a year and a half old, and he can’t see – his eyes had to be removed because of severe glaucoma that had been untreated when he arrived at the shelter.

“He’s really friendly, still getting used to not having his eyes, but he’s pretty sweet, playful,” Mayer says.

Mayer says pit bulls are by far the most common breed at the shelter. They’re also the hardest to adopt out after they get there. Partly, that’s because they have a reputation for being vicious or more likely to attack.

“It’s a bad rap and that’s about it. They’re not everything they’re set out to be,” Mayer says.

Mayer says he has two pit bulls of his own. He says they’re great with kids and they’re just like his Shiba Inu. But legally, his pit bulls are different than his Shiba Inu.

In Maryland, if a pit bull attacks a person unprovoked, the pit bull’s owner is always liable to pay damages to the victim. For any other breed, a victim has to prove the dog’s owner knew the dog was dangerous in order to win in court.

That distinction came from a 2012 ruling by the Maryland Court of Appeals. The court said pit bulls are “inherently dangerous” and therefore owners are automatically liable if their pit attacks. And if you’re a landlord that rents to a pitbull owner, you’re on the hook too, which has meant some landlords wouldn’t rent to pit bull owners. Others threatened to evict their pit bull-owning tenants.

The general assembly has gone back and forth on how to address the decision since the ruling and there’s been a lot of ink spilled over whose bill best serves dog owners and victims.

Del. Luiz Simmons says that if it were up to him, the legislature would overturn the ruling and codify the common law precedent which held that the victim of a dog bite had to prove that the owner knew the dog was dangerous to win compensation in court. But he says that’s not politically feasible.

Sen. Brian Frosh says liability and the kind of evidence victims and dog owners would need to present have been the sticking points.

“There's a spectrum of liability in our country. It ranges from one bite rule which we have in Maryland that says unless your dog bites somebody a second time, you're not really on notice that the animal’s dangerous,” Frosh said, which means not liable for damages.

On the other side of the spectrum is strict liability: basically, if your dog bites someone without being provoked, you’re responsible because it’s your dog.

Sen. Frosh and Del. Simmons have produced a bill that’s somewhere in the middle – it gives dog owners a chance to prove they had no reason to expect their dog to be dangerous before the attack, but presumes that a dog owner knows their dog is dangerous, leaving the onus on the dog owner and not the victim to present evidence supporting their claim.

The bill would apply to all dogs -- pit bulls aren’t treated any different from other dogs. And it says landlords aren’t automatically liable.

Del. Simmons proposed a similar bill last year, which passed the House but died in the Senate.

Sen. Frosh says this is compromise “that’s right down the middle” and therefore has a good chance of passing.

Sen. Bobby Zirkin, who sits on the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee with Frosh, says it’s no compromise. “What that is is the ratification of the one free bite rule.”

The Baltimore County Democrat says the one bite rule borders on immoral because it leaves victims stuck with medical bills if the dog hasn’t bitten anyone before.

“A victim of an attack who has done nothing wrong, who has not tormented or teased or invited the attack in anyway,” Zirkin says, “ a blameless victim should be compensated for the damage that is done or the injuries when somebody else's dog attacks them.”

Zirkin’s got his own bill that is also breed neutral and lets landlords off the hook. But his bill says dog owners should be strictly liable if their pet hurts someone.

The two bills will be heard in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Thursday.


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Old 04-22-2014, 01:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This case is such a roller coaster! BUT it has been overturned at this time.

MARYLAND: Compromise bill overturning 2012 Appeals Court ruling headed to Governor!

After two very long years, a bill that will overturn the 2012 Court of Appeals ruling in Tracey v. Solesky, which declared pit bulls as “inherently dangerous,” has passed BOTH chambers of the Maryland legislature and is headed to the governor’s desk.

The disastrous Court ruling also held landlords strictly liable for injuries by their tenants’ dogs, and this immediately created a nightmare situation for dog owners across the state.

While legislators wasted no time in their attempts to overturn the ill-conceived court ruling, it has taken two years to reach this very important compromise.

In addition to removing the language declaring pit bulls dangerous, the new law will make dog owners, not landlords, responsible for injuries caused by their dogs, unless the landlord knew or should have known a dog was dangerous. The law will also protect responsible dog owners by creating a rebuttable presumption that the owners knew or should have known about their dog’s dangerous propensities, regardless of the breed of their dog. Injuries received while a dog is running loose will still incur owners’ strict liability.

The words of Tami Santelli, Maryland State Director for the Humane Society, released in a statement today, sum it all up pretty well:

Passage of this compromise legislation ends this disgraceful era of court sanctioned canine profiling, in which families with pit bull-type dogs were forced to choose between their homes and their beloved pets. Lawmakers today voted against singling out particular breeds and in favor of raising the bar for all dog owners to protect victims of dog bites.

The bill now goes to Governor O’Malley, and everyone involved is optimistic it will be signed without a problem.

Maryland…after two long years, relief is finally on the way!

MARYLAND: Compromise bill overturning 2012 Appeals Court ruling headed to Governor! | Bless the Bullys
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