Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Barking Dog Lawsuits: June 2017 Update

Here's an interesting case out of Dayton, Ohio:

A couple is suing their neighbors over barking dogs. The suit seeks more than $125,000 in damages.

The husband in this couple is a doctor. According to the Dayton Daily News report, "the constant barking has affected their marriage and [the doctor’s] ability to be rested well enough to perform surgeries."

Bingo. There it is. Sleep deprivation affecting interpersonal relationships and one's ability to perform at work.

Who hasn't suffered from these things? I can attest to the fact that I'm suffering from sleep deprivation right now. (Thank you, owners of the robo-yapper down the street.)

The Dayton Daily News story goes on to say:

"Six dog-related criminal cases from March 2015 to June 2017 have been filed against the [dog owners] in Vandalia Municipal Court; two have resulted in guilty pleas and $25 or $50 fines.

"'A reasonably prudent person would not allow their dog to make such excessive noise that it frequently and habitually interrupts, or precludes, the sleep of neighbors,' wrote [a local lawyer who is the plaintiffs' attorney], adding that his clients 'have a right to the enjoyment of their property, and to relative peace within their home.'"

In two short paragraphs, we see two big problems with dog law:

  1. Six trips to court by the sleep-deprived neighbors and the dog owners. And slap-on-the-wrist fines in two cases.
  2. The right to quiet enjoyment and peaceful use of the home. Which requires defense through an expensive lawsuit because the criminal process was so ineffective.
Here's a better system: The Model Anti-Barking Law, courtesy of the BarkingDogs.net website.

And, to that sleep-deprived couple in Dayton, I send you my best wishes for a huge victory in civil court.

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