Four dog law proposals go to Maryland Committees to start Special Session

Things are moving very quickly.  Below you will find links to the four bills (3 House bills, 1 Senate bill crossfiled).  Maryland Dog Federation’s written testimony follows.

Maryland General Assembly
2012 Special Session #2 Notice


 

Meeting Information: Hearing Schedule      
Proposed Legislation:      
  Civil Actions – Liability for Personal Injury or Death Caused by Dog Senate lr3512 House lr3539
  Civil Action – Liability for Damages Caused by Dog House lr3527  
  Civil Action – Liability for Damages Caused by Dog Bite House lr3535  

 

 

Good day Chairmen Vallario and Frosh, Vice Chairwomen Dumais and Gladden, distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the Judiciary and Judicial Proceedings Committees.

I am Adrianne Lefkowitz, president of the Maryland Dog Federation. I am very glad to have the opportunity to provide our written testimony on a variety of emergency bills to correct the Maryland Court of Special Appeals’ misguided finding that some loved and loving family pet dogs are “inherently dangerous” by virtue of only their physical appearance; and that landlords and others are responsible for actions despite having no direct control of a dog. We are especially grateful that time has been made for us in this August Special Session which will hopefully help thousands of Maryland households keep their families intact and in their homes. Thank you!

We would like to take this opportunity to comment on the four different emergency bills we have had the opportunity to review.

1.  Emergency Bill 3lr3535by Delegate Benjamin Kramer:

SUPPORT as written

This bill turns back the clock and reverts the law back to the way it was on January 1, 2012, before the Court ruling. This emergency measure sunsets on September 30, 2013, but gets us to the General Assembly’s 2013 regular session. While this still leaves us with an element of doubt and concern because we would not have a permanent solution, it will also give us time to work with legislators to write more comprehensive, well conceived legislation that is appropriate for our state.

2. Emergency Bill 3lr352,by Delegate Benjamin Kramer:

SUPPORT with amendments

This bill will change Maryland common law, creating “strict liability” for all dogs and includes definitions. If this bill is considered, we would like to offer the following amendments:

Beginning at pg 3, line 11, change 3-1902 (B) (3) and add (4) as follows: 

(3) As a result of committing or attempting to commit a criminal trespass or other criminal offense UPON THE OWNER OF THE DOG OR UPon the real property of the owner of the dog, OR WAS PROTECTING ITSELF, ITS OWNER, CUSTODIAN, OR A MEMBER OF THE HOUSEHOLD, ITS KENNELS OR ITS OFFSPRING; OR

(4) AS A RESULT OF THREATENING, TEASING, TORMENTING, ABUSING THE DOG OR ITS OFFSPRING, OR THE DOG WAS RESPONDING TO PAIN OR INJURY.

3. 4. Emergency Bill 3lr3512 cross filed with 3lr3539, by Senators Frosh, Raskin, Gladden, Delegate Anderson:

SUPPORT with amendments

This bill will change Maryland common law, creating “strict liability for all dogs and including some definitions. If this bill is considered, we would like to offer the following amendments:

Beginning at pg 2, line 8, change 3-1901 (A) (3) and (B) (2) (II), and add (B) (2) (III) as follows:

(A) (3) “Owner of a dog” does not include a TRAINER, BEHAVIORIST, GROOMER…etc.

(B) (2) (II) Unless the injured or deceased individual was under the age of 7 years, the injured or deceased individual was committing or attempting to commit a criminal trespass or other criminal offense UPON THE OWNER OF THE DOG OR UPon the real property of the owner of the dog, OR WAS PROTECTING ITSELF, ITS OWNER, CUSTODIAN, OR A MEMBER OF THE HOUSEHOLD, ITS KENNELS OR ITS OFFSPRING;

(III) UNLESS THE INJURED OR DECEASED INDIVIDUAL WAS UNDER THE AGE OF 7 YEARS, THE INJURED OR DECEASED INDIVIDUAL WAS THREATENING, TEASING, TORMENTING, ABUSING THE DOG OR ITS OFFSPRING, OR THE DOG WAS RESPONDING TO PAIN OR INJURY, OR;

(IV) …

Advertisements

One thought on “Four dog law proposals go to Maryland Committees to start Special Session

  1. UPDATE: The crossfiled Senate bill 3lr3512 / 3lr 3539 passed the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee by a 6-3 vote. Don’t know if any amendments were offered or considered or voted on. Tomorrow the three House bills will be heard in House Judiciary Committee. Another step forward!

    The three senators that voted against were Nancy Jacobs (34), Norman Stone (6), and Joseph Getty (5). In all fairness, I dont know if that’s because they think the ruling is correct or if they are opposed to strict liability.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s