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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI all. Long time no talk, eh? Between my employer, my wife and my kid I think I'm an indentured servant or something.

Anyway, here is probably a stupid law question and please let me know if this has been discussed elsewhere as I don't want to be redundant.

Your dog is chained up well within your yard. An unsupervised child wanders into your yard and your dog bites (not mauls) the child.

How many fingers does the law sever from the owner's hand? #-o

Thank you in advance for any feedback.
 

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Totally depends on county ordinances.
The cops here have told me that if my dog catches one of the neighborhood gangbangers in my yard that I shouldn't call him off till they get there. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Becky Shilling said:
An unsupervised child wanders into your yard
The fact that the child COULD "wander" into your yard will make you liable as hell!
Sure, but how liable? Does anyone have any actual experience with this? Would a court say that the owner is 50% responsible and that the parents of the child are also 50% responsible?

I suppose other factors might come into play. If the dog is chained up and the nearest neighbor is 5 miles away then perhaps the owner would be viewed differently than one who lives in a subdivision. I suppose another factor might be if it was established that the kid was intentionally agitating the dog.

I'm guessing there would be liability on the part of the owner, but would it be 100% liability?

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone has a good understanding of what might likely happen.

Incidentally, I'm certainly not in any situation like this with my dogs (what a nightmare that would be! :( ) but it has crossed my mind after recently seeing a dog tied to a tree in a subdivision.
 

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Maybe this will help:

Dog Bite Law - Florida

767.01 Dog owner's liability for damages to persons, domestic animals, or livestock.--Owners of dogs shall be liable for any damage done by their dogs to a person or to any animal included in the definitions of "domestic animal" and "livestock" as provided by section 585.01.
767.04 Dog owner's liability for damages to persons bitten.--The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners' knowledge of such viciousness. However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person's negligence contributed to the biting incident. A person is lawfully upon private property of such owner within the meaning of this act when the person is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when the person is on such property upon invitation, expressed or implied, of the owner. However, the owner is not liable, except as to a person under the age of 6, or unless the damages are proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner, if at the time of any such injury the owner had displayed in a prominent place on his or her premises a sign easily readable including the words "Bad Dog." The remedy provided by this section is in addition to and cumulative with any other remedy provided by statute or common law.

Two issues often arise when the dog bite victim is a child. One is comparative negligence, namely whether the child's conduct provoked the dog, thereby making the child a cause of the accident and reducing his recovery of damages. Florida has determined that a child under the age of six is conclusively presumed to be incapable of committing such negligence. Swindell v. Hellkamp, 242 So.2d 708 (Fla. 1970). When the child is six or older, the jury must decide whether he was capable of appreciating and avoiding the danger; if so, he can be regarded as comparatively negligent. Turner v. Seegar, 151 Fla. 643, 10 So.2d 320 (1942).

The other is whether the child's recovery can be reduced because his parent failed to adequately supervise him, thereby making the parent a cause of the accident and reducing the compensation payable by the dog owner or other liable party. The jury is entitled to apportion fault to the parent even where the parent is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Y.H. Investments, Inc., v. Godales, 690 So.2d 1273 (Fla. 1997).

In cases where the parent is comparatively liable because he failed to supervise his child, but the parent is not insured, there are two important rules. If the parent is without liability insurance, then parental immunity is not waived and the child cannot sue the parent. Ard v. Ard, 414 So. 2d 1066, 1067 (Fla. 1982). Similarly, because of the parent's lack of insurance, the dog owner or other liable party cannot make a claim against the parent for "contribution" -- i.e., a claim that the parent pay some of the compensation that the dog owner had to pay to the child. Joseph v. Quest, 414 So. 2d 1063, 1065 n.5 (Fla. 1982).
 

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Amendments to the Dog Owners’ Liability Act and the restrictions on pit bulls will go into effect, in Ontario, as of August 29, 2005.

The province has announced that it will allow a 60-day transition period to phase-in the restrictions on pit bulls. It is during this period that pit bull owners will be given time to comply with the requirements set out in the Act and the accompanying Ontario Regulation 157/05, and that municipalities and other enforcement agencies identified in the newly amended Act will prepare to enforce it and the regulations, as directed by the provincial government.

The amendments will prohibit anyone from owning, breeding, transferring, importing, fighting or abandoning pit bulls in Ontario. The definition of a pit bull includes: pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, American pit bull terrier or a dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to any of the aforementioned dogs.

For Ontario residents who currently own a pit bull, the new legislation contains a "grand-fathering” clause, which will allow existing pit bulls to remain in Ontario provided that the owner can prove that the pit bull was in Ontario prior to August 29, 2005 or born within 90 days of August 29. Pit bull owners must also comply with the regulations under the Dog Owners’ Liability Act by the October 28, 2005.

Regulations for Restricted "Grand-fathered" Pit Bulls:

The regulations stipulate that restricted pit bulls must be leashed and muzzled in public, and spayed or neutered effective October 28, 2005. The onus of proof that a dog is not a pit bull, or that it is a restricted or “grandfathered” pit bull, will lie with the owner of the dog.

Effective August 29, 2005, in a court proceeding, if a pit bull owner is found to have contravened a provision of the Dog Owners’ Liability Act or their dog has bitten, attacked or posed a menace to public safety, a mandatory destruction order will be issued by the court.

Amendments regarding all Dogs and Dog Owners

Charges can be brought against any dog owner whose dog has bitten or attacked or behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals or where the dog owner did not exercise reasonable grounds to prevent a dog from doing any of the aforementioned.

Changes to the penalties under the Dog Owners’ Liability Act include:

$10,000.00 fine and or six months in jail (previously $2000.00 and no jail time)

$60,000.00 fine for corporations (previously no distinction for corporations)

The court may also make restitution orders requiring convicted persons to make compensation to the victims.

Other changes to the Act include prohibiting the ownership of dogs to convicted persons for specified periods of time, increased enforcement powers for a variety of enforcement agencies and more.

To view the amended Dog Owners’ Liability Act, click on:

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Statutes/English/90d16_e.htm

To view Ontario Regulation 157/05, click on:

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Regs/English/050157_e.htm
 
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