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Light blogging, getting sued

One of my neighbors likes to let her chihuahua run loose. It charges other leashed dogs with seeming regularity, based on the complaints I’ve heard since finding out I was getting sued by her, and a number of other neighbors asking about me about getting sued. Anyhoo, apparently her dog running loose is my fault because, it turns out, the new dog doesn’t care for Mexican, when it’s growling.

35 Responses to “Light blogging, getting sued”

  1. Stretch Says:


  2. hiddenhills Says:

    Those loose running taco-things are better known as “bait”. Your hood already has yotes. Only thing missing is a electronic caller. MidwayUSA has some nice FoxPros.

  3. Paul Kisling Says:

    Unc.. I think you need to get half a dozen Coonhounds. Those things have a most melodious voice.

  4. hiddenhills Says:

    In fact, there are yappy-taco recordings for the Foxpro.

  5. Adam Lawson Says:

    Wait, she’s suing you because her dog is stupid?

    Isn’t there a leash law up there?

  6. Jailer Says:

    Soooo glad I live out in the boonies………

  7. JTC Says:

    “…sued by a number of other neighbors.”

    Says a lot right there. If your red-nose croaked the rat dog, you’re gonna lose.

  8. rich Says:

    getting sued by a number of other neighbors, or getting complaints by a number of other neighbors who found out you were getting sued. Ambiguous construction leads to confusion.

    Mainly mine!

  9. SayUncle Says:

    Bad comma discipline. fixed

  10. Guav Says:

    I also read it as you were getting sued by multiple neighbors.

  11. JTC Says:

    There ya go. If those other neighbors are co-complainants for you and not agin you, and the little varmint was on your property, you’re golden…key being co-complainants, get them to give written statements and you should be able to overcome the auto-response demonizing your pup’s parentage; you might even consider counter-suit.

  12. SayUncle Says:

    It happened in the street. Neighbors are on my side.

  13. JTC Says:

    Ah. Well, forget the counter. But if pup’s on a leash and with the others’ support, you’re still good. If not, you might find him another home before the county does. And if this case hits the courts, your insurer will likely insist on it win or lose, or cancel coverage. Ask me how I know.

    BTW, not only am I NAL, but IFHL.

  14. sammy taylor Says:

    if the dog needs to get out of town, it has a place here in Georgia. I will cover costs of boarding and return to you when the coast is clear. Big fenced yard with dog doors and lots to do.

  15. Thomas Says:

    Did your dogs hurt her dog or just scare it?
    Is this woman stupid enough to let her dog off leash after starting the lawsuit against you.

    I had a neighbor that let her German Shepard off leash in a built up residential neighborhood to do his business, and he chose to do it in my yard.

    I Politely informed her that the next time I catch him off leash he is going to the pound, and the time after that to a pound in another county.

  16. Alien Says:

    Ace hardware sells Victor spring rat traps. Grocery stores sell meat. Attach 1 and 2, anchor securely well inside your property line. Turn volume up on TV at appropriate time. Display confused expression when asking “Dog? What dog? You have a dog?”

  17. KM Says:

    Did your dogs hurt her dog or just scare it?
    That’s the big question. Although getting scared is hardly anything to sue about. (canine counseling?)
    I suspect there was a vet visit involved.

    Tooth holes in uncontrolled loose dogs are olly, olly oxen free in this county. Real owners use a leash.
    Too bad your pup is going to get demonized by the other party.

  18. nk Says:

    I am a lawyer. Dogs are property. What is the fair market value of the Chihuahua? That is the limit of your liability.

    But, let your homeowners insurance handle it. That’s what you pay them for. And I imagine with the house, the cars, your business, etc., you also have an umbrella? Really, just make sure the insurance company lawyers are on the ball. Your biggest danger is that they’ll blow it off because it’s a $500.00 “what’s a Chihuahua worth?” case.

  19. Kristophr Says:

    Live trap the little rat, and turn it into the county pound. An open can of petfood in a havahart trap inside your yard will get it done.

    Keep doing it until she cannot afford the fines. I taught my neighbors to control their cats that way when I couldn’t get them to prevent their animals from wrecking my attempts to repair my lawn.

  20. CaptDMO Says:

    Heads up!
    Fix your “Odds and ends” link for Dr. Helen.

  21. JTC Says:

    Unc: “Yeah, a dog running loose rushed my dog, my dog’s protect mode kicked in, and yadayadayada, I’m getting sued by the loose dog’s owner…am I covered?”

    Agent: “Of course your policy covers liability…what is the value of the demised dog?”

    Unc: “Pretty much worthless really, but she says $500”

    Agent: “Let’s see, it looks like your deductible is $500, so…By the way, what breed is your dog?

    Unc: “Um, it’s a terrier.”

    Agent: “What kind of terrier?”

    Unc: “Well, it’s a pit bull.”

    Agent: “Oh. Mr. Uncle, have you read your policy requirements and exclusions?”

    Unc: “No all of it, have you seen the size of that document?”

    Agent: “Well, I’m afraid your dog is on our dangerous and excluded breeds list…we are going to have to ask you to give up the dog or we may have to cancel your policy.”

    Unc: “What? I’ll yank all my insurance with you guys and find another company!”

    Agent: “I’m sorry, sir we don’t want to lose your business but that is our policy, and I’m afraid you will find it similar at other carriers, see we love to take your premiums but we really hate to pay claims, and our guidelines tell us that your dog’s breed is more apt to result in us actually, you know, covering you for claims.”

    Unc: “X#@% *#&!”

    Well, I might have ad-libbed the agents last line, but not by much, and actually this is actually a pretty close verbatim to my own conversation with State Farm a few years back, and Unc’s last line was really me.

    Moral: Don’t call your agent about this if the claim is for the rat’s monetary value only. But as bad as IFHL, you might go ahead and call one in case things get nasty, but maybe not “nk”.

  22. Chris Says:

    I love chihuahuas.

    I’ll take it.

  23. Austrian Anarchy Says:

    I forgot if the animal control law was State wide or county by county. It is not a “leash law” as in Knoxville, it is a law that states all pets must be under control of the owner when off of the owner’s property. At least it was that way in 1991ish in Knox County, if not all of the State.

  24. Adam Lawson Says:

    This is where I’d turn into a bad neighbor (for her) for a good long time.

  25. Old NFO Says:

    Ouch… Hope it works out in your favor!

  26. nk Says:

    The more important part of an insurance policy is the duty to defend not the duty to indemnify. The insurance company paying “your” lawyer the $300.00/hr. Furthermore, the deductible does not apply to lawsuits against the insured. It applies to property damage incurred by the insured. If the insurance company gives you a hard time, you should call a lawyer to deal with the insurance company. They’re called coverage actions. You don’t want to waive coverage by trying to handle it yourself, or by failing to assert your rights under the policy. And fearing to take advantage of insurance you’ve been paying for because the insurance company might not want to take your money anymore is idiotic. Let me clear: IDIOTIC!

  27. JTC Says:

    Wow, read those two comments in succession and you’d be hard-pressed to believe they emanated from the same source, as the latter pretty much rescinds the former; not uncommon in the trade though, hence my disdain.

    My point was that this might be a teaching moment for someone with young children being raised and shown by example of the power and responsibilities of rights and freedom, that avoidance of the escalation of relatively minor irritations into the life altering/ending use of the tool of last resort (a shot through the heart for being an asshole with a cell in a theater?), and applying those principles to a life of true libertarianism to settle differences among neighbors quietly and without the involvement of torts, courts, and lawyers.

    This is a stupid woman with a stupid dog. A quiet talk informing her of the opinions of all the neighbors, an offer of condolence for her loss, maybe even an offer to share the cost of replacing or repairing her dog, could make the whole thing go away and even change her attitude and behavior going forward.

    Lawyers wouldn’t like that; escalation of minor disputes into the vortex of depositions and hearings of a twisted system is their stock in trade. And if the lady is a real bitch, they still might get their chance. But not attempting to handle the little shit of life in a mature, civilized, and private manner would well and truly be the definition of idiotic.

  28. nk Says:

    When you are sued in court, you have to defend in court. By the date stated on the papers you were served. Or you will lose by default and the plaintiff will get what he asks for on the papers you were served.

    You can 1) defend pro se; 2) hire a lawyer; or 3) give it to your insurance and say “take care of it”. The plaintiff has no obligation to agree to a settlement. You can both be trying to settle the case with all the good faith in the world, but if there is no binding agreement, and a stipulation to dismiss, when the case comes up on the default date, you have lost. Ok?

    And, yes, Uncle should give his own lawyer a call, even if the likelihood is that the lawyer will tell him to give it to the insurance company. And, no, not me. I’m not licensed in Tennessee.

  29. JTC Says:

    “a stipulation to dismiss” = “make the whole thing go away”

    Easy peasy, greasy.

    Might work, might not; won’t know ’til you try.

  30. KM Says:

    nk-I am a lawyer. Dogs are property. What is the fair market value of the Chihuahua? That is the limit of your liability.

    When was the last time you took a hurt dog to an animal hospital?
    That $30 mutt can turn into an $5000+ bill real fast.
    Killed on the spot, yes. You’re right.
    Hurt and died later? Sky’s the limit.

  31. Jennifer Says:

    Awe geez. Hope it works out in your favor.

  32. joe in houston Says:

    Had a neighbors dog in my yard harassing my dog a few years ago. I used an air rifle to zing its ass. Neighbor called the sheriff. The sheriff told me that even though the dog was in my yard causing problems I was either going to be sued or face cruelty charges if I did it again. I told him the next time the f@#ker came into my yard they’d be burying the damn thing. He looked at me like I was crazy, but he left. The neighbors dog never came to my yard again.

  33. Adam Lawson Says:

    Joe: That sucks. I had a slightly different experience.

    I was walking my large black lab-and-misc mutt and the trashy neighbor’s dog got loose again. It is a pit bull, but it could be a freaking care bear and it would be a danger in the care of these people. They are “those” neighbors.

    I ended up holding on to their dog by the scruff of the neck and my dog by the scruff of the neck, but their dog was latched on and looking at me like “when I let go, it’s your turn.” Wife asked what to do “Dunno, but I’ve got my knife…” A different neighbor came by with a stick and scared their dog off. Three different neighbors in total told me about how much of an ass this dog is. I called the police. Nobody came out, but they said they’d go by. This was the first official reported problem (figures). Animal control called me, said they can only pick it up if the dog is loose and they see it unless it attacks a person. I asked what to do.

    “Well, pepper spray will stop anything, but in this state you’re in your right to do what you feel necessary to defend yourself or your property.”

    I took that to mean, “Shoot the fucker.”

    So next time, I’ll shoot the fucker.

  34. Adam Lawson Says:

    Oh, and I was not on their property at any point; I was on the other side of the street. Their dog came running out of an open fence.

  35. SteveA Says:

    Yeah I had to whack the (former)neighbors dog when it went after my dogs new pups. He was ~100lbs & my female & pups weighed about ~40lbs all together.
    I kicked him off once. He popped right back up and tried to attack again.
    So no choice but to pop him with a .45 to the head.
    The Lady came running, screaming about how she was gonna sue me for killing her poor baby, as soon as I pointed out the security camera that had caught the whole attack, she just stomped off. They moved a week or so later. Gotta love living in the county 🙂


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