Legal Question in Civil Rights Law in California

My dog bit another dog. My dog's collar broke and when he chased the other dog walking with its owner in front of the house, that dog slipped out of its collar. When the other dog ran on my lawn my dog bit and killed it. The family of the other dog is now suing for the vet bills, cost of the dog, lost work wages, 1 year's worth of projected new dog costs, and emotional distress. I was told that pets were considered personal property and you cannot be sued for emotional distress on property? Is there a code or statute that states this in writing?

Asked on 8/26/13, 9:27 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Defend the suit, regardless of any advice you may be given by anyone about what the law is or is not.

The suit will specify what they are seeking. It should be in small claims court, where you get to argue your own case without lawyers. The judge would decide, without benefit of my opinion.

However, it sounds like they are suing instead in Superior Court with detailed pleadings. You should consider hiring counsel to defend you, especially if they have an attorney, unless you 't know how to represent yourself effectively in court in order to avoid a judgment. Your attorney may be able to attack their pleadings through motions or demurrers.

If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Iíll be happy to help fight and get the best outcome possible, using whatever defenses and sympathies there may be.

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Answered on 8/27/13, 2:42 pm

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