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I don't want to get into specifics too much, but I recieved a "dog runs after, or chases motor vehicles" citation recently because my dog-hating, rather strange "neighbor" (lives 1/3 mile up a dirt road) called the police and made a false complaint.

He told the police my dogs chased his car... I talked to the police because I was so sure I was in the right and said two dogs were on leashes and thus were not chasing a car (and wouldn't anyway- I leash them because of this neighbor so he will not have any excuse to call the police). My old guy was walking right next to me and I grabbed his collar and moved to the side of the road as the car went by- dog can't even "chase" if he wanted to (stiff back legs). And he made no move after the vehicle.

The policeman said I'd had a warning (guy had made a previous false complaint 3 years ago) and gave me the ticket.

I can either pay $50 or go fight it in court.

I don't want to stress over this, but I'm also willing to spend something to pay a lawyer to help me with this situation. There have been so many times when this neighbor has been flying down that road with a plow and I've had to jump to the side to avoid getting hit on a dark, snowy morning.

He told the police that if the dog touched his car, the paint job would cost him $7K, which I highly doubt given many things but the condition of the vehicle for one, and that my dogs weren't anywhere near it for another.

While I did nothing wrong, is this even worth fighting? There is NO leash law in town, just a control law. It is tiny town and police are AC. When I took my dogs out this morning, the police SUV was cruising up and down the dead-end dirt road, which was a bit spooky but I went on our normal walk. I often run with my dogs on the dirt back roads in town with them off leash but under control with plenty of vehicles passing. No issues. This neighbor has passed me at least 50 times over the past few years, so I'm not sure why he decided to call the police this time, but he did.

It just seems so wrong... but I don't know what to do. I only have 4 days to pay the ticket, but paying is admission of guilt. I am so frustrated with this whole situation. I have talked to this neighbor and it went nowhere. He made up things and said he was afraid my dogs would jump through the windows into his car after him (with no reason to think this could ever happen).

It was especially galling when the policeman told me that his personal dog is always getting lose and running the neighborhood because of his "hound nose" and when I asked if he got a $50 fine every time he said nobody calls the cops on him... no surprise there! But just wow. Again, my dogs don't run the neighborhood, ever, and did nothing illegal.
 

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What happened to proof? I would think the police would need proof of this. There must be a complaint or harassment claim against false complaints. You can turn and say his dog scraped your car since you need no proof. It can be a ping pong game back and forth. If you pay the fine for this accusation, it does not mean your neighbors false complaints will stop but will be evidence that you are in agreement to this complaint and may give future complaints more strength. I would seek a lawyer for advise.

I had a neighbor many years ago who swore my very old and arthritic german shepherd killed one of her chickens. She had said she saw a german shepherd running down the street, my german Shepherd never killed any animals even small ones nor ever wanted to chase them. At the time he can barely get up to get a drink. I just laughed at her and knew what Kind of person she was. A few years later she found out foxes killed her chickens. Some you see what they want or truly believe.
 

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I don’t see how a fine could be charged solely on the word of another without video or something to back it up, seems odd. I would fight an accusation I didn’t do and I would use a go-pro for walks here on out.
 

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I was thinking small town politics might make it worth paying. But if you admit guilt once...
I would speak to a lawyer about your neighbor making false accusations AND the police issuing a fine on hearsay.
 

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Would you be prepared to make a complaint of wrongful police practice, after having a friendly chat to the police officer about it?
 

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Ugh how infuriating. I would appear and fight it. A payment is an admission of guilt. And plus if it continues, what is to stop him? If it isnt too much trouble I would also wear a GoPro on walks. It stinks to have to do that, but if you think the harassment and false accusations will continue...
 

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I would fight it, simply for the fact that if you pay it and anything happens with your dog later on down the road, you will already have a record of an out of control dog and will be almost immediately guilty of something new in anyone's mind. Plus, if you pay it once, your neighbor may continue to make false complaints, and you won't be taken seriously if you decide to fight new charges later. Your dog was guilty of chasing cars once. Why wouldn't he/she be guilty this time? Get a lawyer.
 

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If you look up my court records, you’ll find a zillion speeding tickets (lead foot, not my fault ?), two marriages and there quick demise into divorce, and last, but not least, a dog at large citation. That citation was from over 20yrs ago, but still shows up on my record.

What happened was a my idiot ex would take the trash out, and leave the side gate wide open, and our puppy would book it. Wasn’t even my fault, but I’m the one that answered the door, so I got the fine and the record for it.

So for me, I would take the time and fight it. In our town, 3 of any type of dog related occurrences lead to very heavy fines, and they seize your dog.

For me, it would be worth it on principle alone.
 

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fight it. I listen to our county's animal control board podcasts. If your AC is anything like mine, they should be reasonable. Just state your case clearly and with any solid evidence you have (any thing on a phone needs to be printed in hard copy). Without proof the case should be dropped.
 

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Yup I would fight it and it's too bad you didn't fight the first one. I definitely would contest this one. my thoughts, since there isn't proof it probably will be dropped but that's just a guess. And yes it's worth contesting and the hassle. Otherwise that will be two admissions of guilt.
 

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I would go to court. Fight it. Explain that you have a difficult neighbor, with a chip on his shoulder. If he doesn't have video, can't prove it, unless he tries to bring someone with him and say he had a witness. They, you get to dispute the testimony and indicate his witness is lying. In my State, if it's a traffic ticket, and an officer doesn't appear in court with you, the ticket is dropped. So, perhaps your neighbor might not even appear in court to lie.



Getting a lawyer for this would be like getting a lawyer for a traffic ticket.
 

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This is also why I pay for dog tags. When these issues come before the board, before they even start looking at the case, they find out if rabies vaccination is up to date ($25 if not) and the dog has its county tags (another $25 if not) and if the dog can be proven At Large. ($50 if so, I think) After all of this is established then they start getting information about what happened.
 

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You've had one warning, now a ticket. If you pay it and plead guilty and the guy does this to you again, what is the next step?

personally, if I can prove my innocence, I would fight it. I'm just not sure how they can cite you without proof that it happened. So weird.
 

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Maybe since there isn't an ac and the ticket allows to contest it, it is a quick way to shift responsability to investigate from the PD to the courts. Also probably as Car2ner described.

I think in some cases maybe a lot of cases you go before a magistrate who determines whether or not there is grounds for a case to be heard or if it should be tossed out.
 

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We had a guy who would accuse our dogs of barking and waking him up at 6am. He would wake my house and my sleeping dogs to say we were waking him. Obviously it wasn't our dogs. After the 3rd warrantless call to the PD, the PD asked if we wanted to press harassment charges. We didn't because I think the elderly man had the beginnings of dementia. But, just illustrating that a string of unfounded complaints can put the ball in your court, if you fight it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks I agree on the fight it- but I also wonder if I could pay nolo contendre just to avoid the hassle of court time and hiring a lawyer.

This morning, out on the road with the dogs, police SUV cruises by again. I am starting to feel uncomfortable in my own home. Like they are watching or doing surveillance and then driving by when I am out with the dogs which is just not right. At all. I have no record - a couple speeding tickets over the years of driving, but nothing bigger than that. I work full time for a local small business in the community. I don't make trouble.

I don't want to escalate this- if paying it would stop the escalation I would just pay, but it seems like it could do nothing and just be admission of guilt so next time, the guy can do whatever he wants.

This neighbor is certified strange in many ways, but he's also been a townie for 20 years, so he's got that going for him big time.

I've probably been up and down that road 1,500 times since I've lived here- often twice a day... I just don't know what to do now. I hate this situation so much.
 

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I'd fight it and go to court OR where ever it ended up going....I'd want my side of the "story" on record....JMO but since this is the second event-so to speak I'd be afraid this bozo may claim the third time your dog(s) had attacked and/or bitten him...all it would take would be for him to have an injury from what ever or how ever...he calls the cops--cop comes and believe HIS story and not yours..it very well may hot end well for you or your dogs....


Many times people like him have a history of pulling crap like this before-if not about dogs something else.......I'd talk to any of my friends and/or neighbors who know me and my dogs if they'd be willing to speak in court....again there have been too many threads right here that sometimes don't end well it's not worth the risk in my opinion to hope this jerk is all at once going to become a nice guy over night...just not worth the risk to your dogs in the long run...get something on record in a court...doing any thing else very well may make you and the dogs appear guilty later down the road...
 
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