Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

Dog killed by hit-and-run driver

My sister's dog was killed in the street by a hit and run driver. There was an eyewitness who has said he will cooperate, and who knows who the driver is an where he lives. The witness said that the driver was speeding down the residential street.

My mother (who my sister and the dog lived with) is considering pursuing a small claims case, to recover about $300 in vet bills.

I assume that there is a leash law where the accident happened (Eureka, CA) If so, does that eliminate the driver's responsibility? Nobody knows how the dog got out from behind a latched gate.

Asked on 2/10/03, 9:44 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

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Re: Dog killed by hit-and-run driver

You can sue the driver, but he may have a defense.

I looked up the Municipal Code for Eureka, CA, and your sister may have been in violation of Section 91.001 and she could lose the case:

"The (dog) owner shall at all times keep the dog securely enclosed in a room, pen, or enclosure or shall keep the dog securely tethered or on a leash. It shall be unlawful for any person at any time to have, own, or possess any dog in the city, whether the same is licensed or not, unless the dog shall be kept so enclosed or tethered or on a leash."

Thanks for your question and good luck.

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Answered on 2/11/03, 1:05 am

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