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MI: Unlicensed dogs shot to death are 'contraband,' federal judge rules in Detroit case

Discussion in 'Laws & Legislation' started by Vicki, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Staff Member

    A federal judge dismissed the case of a Detroit woman who filed a lawsuit against the City of Detroit after police shot and killed her three dogs — ruling that because the dogs were not properly licensed they are contraband, and not protected by the Fourth Amendment.

    Unlicensed dogs shot to death are 'contraband,' federal judge rules in Detroit case
    Posted By Lee DeVito on Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 2:38 PM

    "The Court is aware that this conclusion may not sit well with dog owners and animal lovers in general," U.S. District Court Judge George Caram Steeh wrote in his ruling Wednesday. "The reason for any unease stems from the fact that while pet owners consider their pets to be family members, the law considers pets to be property."

    The lawsuit follows a marijuana raid last last year that left Smith's three dogs — two Pitt Bulls and a Rottweiler — shot and killed. In violation of both Detroit city code and Michigan law, Smith's dogs were unlicensed.

    "The requirements of the Michigan Dog Law and the Detroit City Code, including that all dogs be current with their rabies vaccines, exist to safeguard the public from dangerous animals," Steeh wrote. "When a person owns a dog that is unlicensed, in the eyes of the law it is no different than owning any other type of illegal property or contraband. Without any legitimate possessory interest in the dogs, there can be no violation of the Fourth Amendment."

    As Reason points out, it's the first time a federal court has considered whether unlicensed pets are protected by the Fourth Amendment.

    Reason has also been tracking lawsuits against the Detroit Police Department related to dog shootings. According to the latest documents obtained by Reason, one officer has so far killed 73 dogs during his career. Two other officers involved in the Smith case testified that they had shot "at least 19" dogs over the course of their careers.

  2. david63

    david63 CH Dog

    So if your dogs are not up to date on dog License the police can shoot your dogs. I can understand it if my dogs were out of my yard chasing people.
  3. c_note

    c_note CH Dog

    This fool out here wit a body count like Killmonger from Black Panther! It’s becoming easier to get drugs and assault rifles than owing certain types of dogs! Lord knows I love my weed and guns, but DAMN!

    What I also find contradictory, is that in some cases they treat animals like humans, and in others they are treated LOWER than animals. “Contraband”? Can living things be contraband? That had to stem from the weed bust as well. Shooting three dogs at a “drug house” is totally legal it seems... So is shooting ol man Jones’ dogs cuz they aren’t registered...
    david63 likes this.
  4. What the judge explained is that, as with most legal issues, within this controversy there exists a element of value assessment. The loss suffered, for which a law suit was filed, was in question, regarding whether or not it possessed value and if so, to what degree.

    However, despite the government being the destroyers of the property (the dogs), nevertheless, the government authorized itself to be the value assessor of the property. The court determined that the property shall be attributed with 0 value because its, otherwise, great value can be arisen only from the government's licensing of the property

    Of course, it must be recognized that society's demands and the markets strongly disagree regarding the source of the attributed value, and they will actively prove the validity of their disagreement. Something which would be an absurdity for the court to simply attempt to prove the government's value endowing, magical, licensing powers

    Although it should have been required of the court to provide a properly reasoned explanation of the basis for its mere assertion. Oh wait a minute...substantiation is required!
  5. Druggie should have licensed her dogs . Had she done so, her dogs would have been protected under the fourth amendment.
  6. Many pet owners are not responsible and neglect their dogs. And we are talking about Detroit here. Many times pet owners are the sole reasons for this type of thing happening and they should blame themselves.
  7. Euro

    Euro Big Dog

    no, detroit is not the only place in usa where this happens, cops are scum and will shoot dogs for no reason. perhaps they need to be shot back
    because something is not licensed it has no value?
    david63 likes this.

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