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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Default What Must be Claimed in a Lawsuit for Return of a Dog

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: Ohio or maybe California

    I want to find out what, if any chance my mother has in suing me in civil court. What information will she need to provide to set a dollar amount?

    My mother is indigent, receiving gov't benefits in CA. Where will I have to show up?

    My mother is threatening civil action over a dog she handed over to me in Ohio (she's a CA resident), during a 72 hour hold in a mental healthcare facility (she ended up staying two months). When I arrived to pick up her dog, it was in really bad shape. Hospital staff were so kind, cutting her dog loose of all his mats and gave him a bath. I didn't want to be in possession of a neglected animal for fear of 5th degree misdeamenor animal neglect, I also couldn't afford whatever vet bills accompanying the dog. So I drove back to my home county licensed the dog in my name and registered the dog's chip info in my name (my mother never registered the dog), and I found a rescue that would accept him under the circumstances.

    My mother has exhausted all law enforcement resources trying to get the dog back. Most recently, my county dog warden showed up. I explained what I'd done, provided photos, the name and phone number of the veterinarian who documented the dog's condition for the rescue. They Have explained to her there is no animal welfare concerns or criminal matter at hand bc the dog was licensed and chipped in my name, now it's a civil matter. None of my county law enforcement is coming to my home inquiring about the dog anymore, as it was mine to surrender under Ohio law. They just call to let me know they've heard from her and find out if she's turning up at my home again (she's been told to stay off my property and road).

    She gave me the dog, only saying not to fail her. I thought she meant take care of her dog. This is the best I could do in the circumstances.

    A friend of mine, she has a rescue and runs kennels, has said if my mother sues me; then my friend with sue my mother for kenneling and veterinary fees. It took over 12 weeks to adopt the dog out. Can my friend even do that? When my mother isn't the one who placed the dog in the kennel?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    15,424

    Default Re: Mother Threatening Civil Litigation Over Dog

    No, your friend cannot do that. You made sure that the dog legally belonged to you before you shipped it off to the shelter. Clearly your mother wanted you to keep the dog. I would be angry if I asked my child to keep an animal of mine and then they shipped it off to a shelter.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mother Threatening Civil Litigation Over Dog

    Why did you not include this information in your other thread? It appears highly relevant as it is entirely different than what you posted there.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mother Threatening Civil Litigation Over Dog

    Quote Quoting free9man
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    Why did you not include this information in your other thread? It appears highly relevant as it is entirely different than what you posted there.
    I think we might be talking about two different dogs.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mother Threatening Civil Litigation Over Dog

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    I think we might be talking about two different dogs.
    That would be incredibly odd but I guess we'll find out.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What Must be Claimed in a Lawsuit for Return of a Dog

    I am going to assume that this is a different dog than the one you state that you purchased, in your other thread.
    Quote Quoting Cow Dog
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    I want to find out what, if any chance my mother has in suing me in civil court. What information will she need to provide to set a dollar amount?
    That will depend upon where she sues and what remedy she claims. If she sues for the return of the dog, she doesn't have to state a dollar amount for the dog. If she sues for money, or asks for financial compensation in the event that the dog is not returned, the governing court rules may require her to state a value in association with that claim.
    Quote Quoting Cow Dog
    Where will I have to show up?
    The short answer is, wherever she sues you. You have not told us of your connection with the states at issue, past or present, so we have no way of knowing if your mother can sue you in California or would have to sue in Ohio.
    Quote Quoting Cow Dog
    ....and I found a rescue that would accept him under the circumstances.
    If you're stating that you gave your mother's dog away without her permission, you did not have the right to do that. You seem to be stating that your mother agreed to let you care for the dog, but that she had no intention of giving you the dog -- you should state the facts more clearly, but one way or another it seems pretty clear that your mother is going to deny that she gifted the dog to you.
    Quote Quoting Cow Dog
    ....as it was mine to surrender under Ohio law.
    They may not be willing to act against you, but that doesn't mean that the dog was in fact yours to give away.
    Quote Quoting Cow Dog
    A friend of mine, she has a rescue and runs kennels, has said if my mother sues me; then my friend with sue my mother for kenneling and veterinary fees. It took over 12 weeks to adopt the dog out. Can my friend even do that? When my mother isn't the one who placed the dog in the kennel?
    No, your friend cannot successfully sue your mother for the cost she voluntarily incurred to care for the dog. Meanwhile, you need to decide if it was your dog that you had the legal right to give to your friend, in which case the only person who should be paying any bills would be you, or if it was your mother's dog that you improperly gave away.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    11

    Default Re: What Must be Claimed in a Lawsuit for Return of a Dog

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    I think we might be talking about two different dogs.
    Quote Quoting free9man
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    That would be incredibly odd but I guess we'll find out.
    I guess this makes me incredibly odd then, 😆.

    To illustrate my circumstances, my mother rode over 2000 miles with the dog on a Greyhound bus during another one of her delusional spells, believing my dad was being held captive by my step mother. She told bus drivers her dog was a service animal. Once here, police took her into custody and transported her to an emergency mental health hospital again. This is a pretty common occurrence between my parents and step mother.

    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    No, your friend cannot do that. You made sure that the dog legally belonged to you before you shipped it off to the shelter. Clearly your mother wanted you to keep the dog. I would be angry if I asked my child to keep an animal of mine and then they shipped it off to a shelter.
    Oh yeah, she's mad alright. Animal welfare usually takes her dog's, this is the first time I ended up with one. It was me or the county shelter. When my mother's social worker called the county dog shelter, they said the dog would likely be better off with someone else.

    Once I found out how bad off the dog was in, would it have been more appropriate to have called the dog warden and let them remove the dog from the hospital? I ask only because she shows up here periodically.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    I am going to assume that this is a different dog than the one you state that you purchased, in your other thread.

    That will depend upon where she sues and what remedy she claims. If she sues for the return of the dog, she doesn't have to state a dollar amount for the dog. If she sues for money, or asks for financial compensation in the event that the dog is not returned, the governing court rules may require her to state a value in association with that claim.

    The short answer is, wherever she sues you. You have not told us of your connection with the states at issue, past or present, so we have no way of knowing if your mother can sue you in California or would have to sue in Ohio.
    My mother is a California resident.

    Both of these situations came about in a 19 month period. I was already caring for my dog's health issues when my mother showed up in Ohio. I had intended to "crate and rotate," then I saw how sick my mother's dog was and chose my particular course of action. My mother keeps calling law enforcement, they have explained this is a civil matter because the dog has already found a home.

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