Monday, March 15, 2010

Is Denver running scared?

There was some great news out of Denver this week!

Most of you remember the --the Dias vs. Denver case, that was filed in 2007, dismissed in 2008 and then reinstated in 2009 by the Federal Court of Appeals and is still ongoing. That lawsuit is now in the Summary Judgment phase. The short answer of what that means is that Denver filed a motion that no matter what, the case can't win at trial so the judge just needs to sort of look at it and give a judgment without a trial. Denver filed that motion, then the plaintiffs filed a reply to that, and now Denver is going to file a reply to the plaintiffs' reply and the judge will rule on it sometime this spring. If Denver wins the motion for summary judgment, it doesn't go to trial. If the plaintiffs win, it goes to trial at some point.
There is another federal court case that has been ongoing in Denver. The Arnold vs. Denver case.
The Arnold case has been settled by the City of Denver for an undisclosed large amount of money.
Included in the monetary settlement are some procedural changes to Denver's ordinance. What those procedural changes will do is make it easier for people to understand the often inscrutable system of pit bull pick-ups at animal control. Details on that will come later. Denver will start implementing these procedural changes this spring. These changes came after hours and hours of mind-numbing meetings with the city about the minutia of the procedures. Hopefully, it will help people whose dogs were picked up and who don't have any kind of advocate with them.
One of the plaintiffs in the Arnold vs. Denver lawsuit dropped out of the settlement and will file her own lawsuit in federal court with a top constitutional law firm. This is also fantastic news!
Rumor has it there is yet another suit being filed on a constitutional basis against the city of Denver. I'll let you know the details as they are made available.
Denver's city attorney's office is short staffed so they've hired an outside law firm to handle the rest of the Dias vs. Denver case. The law firm is Wells, Anderson and Race and they began to take over the case in/around December. Denver is paying them about $150 dollars an hour to handle it. So far, payments to the law firm regarding this case are: $4768.68 in December, and $10,336.75 in January. This is from a city with a massive budget deficit! Great to see those taxpaying dollars hard at work, senselessly killing innocent dogs based on how they look!
Translation and summary of this latest news out of Denver, Co.
The city of Denver obviously knew they couldn't win the case against Arnold. Hence the settlement out of court! That is terrific news on the overturn the ban front!!
Generally speaking, many jurisdictions "think" they can "wear dog owners down" by dragging them through court and exhausting them of money. It looks as though the proverbial shoe is on the other foot. Denver is sporting a huge deficit and the dog owner court cases are mounting against them.

Round of applause for all dog owners willing to stand by their dogs and fight for their lives. Constitutional rights (as in the right to own what breed or type of dog you choose to have in your own home) is worth fighting for. Innocent lives targeted by hatred and ignorance are well worth fighting for. This insanity MUST stop once and for all. Too many innocent lives of dogs and innocent dog owners have lost their pets because of irrational fear and lack of common sense. 

There is a better way! Revenue neutral, common sense laws along with education and encouragement for proper training, containing and socializing pets is the solution. Witch hunting and attempting to wipe out a certain "look" or "type" of dogs does absolutely NOTHING to preserve public safety. It does endanger the safety of innocent dogs and haphazardly targets responsible owners who happen to own dogs that may "look" to be what the ignorant perceive to be dangerous!

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