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Does anyone know if a CGC and/or proof of dog sports titles ever count towards proof of dog character in a case like this?

It's super stressful, though. I figure if I pay it, it is done and over- no more wasted energy fretting over this. The neighbor owes over $8,000 in unpaid property taxes, he can't just stay there forever, one would think?!
I would absolutely bring it with you! It would show the judge that you have dogs that you have spent a lot of time training, and they have proven themselves.

The "trial" is only minuets long. It is not a long drawn out process from what I have dealt with.
 

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Does anyone know if a CGC and/or proof of dog sports titles ever count towards proof of dog character in a case like this?

It's super stressful, though. I figure if I pay it, it is done and over- no more wasted energy fretting over this. The neighbor owes over $8,000 in unpaid property taxes, he can't just stay there forever, one would think?!

CGC and sport title might not mean anything if they decide the dog / handler is breaking the law. People go to court for dog bite cases with photos for their dog playing with kids and other dogs. It never helps. If the dog is at-large or bites or barks more than allowed it can be a champion and the owner can still end up fined.

But bring it just in case
 

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Yes, take everything you've got. Print the photos. Here I was advised by our SO guys who handle dog complaints along with a lot of other stuff to take photos of the neighbor's dogs behavior, the dogs running loose, the dogs running up to my fence, into my property and I had pages of notes, When, where, what and paired the photos with that. ... Loosing one case didn't stop the behavior. I did several complaints on the dogs... So yes, take the information you have. Likely they will make copies and return the originals to you. But - just in case, make sure you have your own copies too.


And all of us had hoped our neighbors would leave because of back taxes but somehow those got paid. It took a very long time for them to finally give up and go. Long long long story but don't count on back taxes getting the lousy neighbor out.
 

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If you have a trainer, I would work with that person to write a short, factual reference letter that the trainer can print on his or her letterhead and sign for you -- hopefully describing your training efforts, the trainer's knowledge of your dog's temperament, and of your responsible character as a diligent owner. At an administrative hearing, they're very likely to consider such things without the need for a live witness.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
So, still on the fence. Had the weekend to kind of stew on it... but didn't really get anywhere.

I pay it, and it goes away. But...

The law states "Any person who violates a provision of (statute #) shall be guilty of a violation; provided that if such person chooses to pay the civil forfeiture specified in paragraph II ($50 in my case), the person shall be deemed to have waived the right to have the case heard in district or municipal court and shall not be persecuted or found guilty of a violation of (same statute #). Any person who does not pay shall have the case disposed of in district or municipal court."

So, what I am hung up on is does paying the fine equate to being guilty?

It's confusing. The first sentence I quoted says "shall be guilty of a violation", but then goes on with a semicolon to say if I pay I "... shall NOT be persecuted or found guilty."

Clear as mud-right? Is being "found guilty" different from just being plain "guilty" if you pay? Or does "provided that" mean something different than I think it does?

Any lawyers or paralegals able to give their interpretation?

My lawyer seemed to think that I would not be guilty of anything if I paid. But he also was a bit confused as to why this was such a big deal to me... but it is!
 

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If you have a trainer, I would work with that person to write a short, factual reference letter that the trainer can print on his or her letterhead and sign for you -- hopefully describing your training efforts, the trainer's knowledge of your dog's temperament, and of your responsible character as a diligent owner. At an administrative hearing, they're very likely to consider such things without the need for a live witness.
My training director's wife used to do this on occasion, as an expert witness for the dog's basic temperament and the handler's training. It certainly couldn't hurt.

Pay or not I am glad you brought this up. Although I don't want anyone else to be brought to court, this is still good to have foreknowledge to avoid costly mistakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #68
For those at all interested, I found this where "provided that" means "with the exception that" from- https://blog.harwardcommunications.com/2015/01/20/how-to-use-provided-that/

"2) A less common meaning is “with the exception that”. This meaning is rarely used outside of legal writing. E.g.:

If the Deposit is not paid, the Seller has the right to rescind this Agreement by delivering written notice to the Purchaser within 30 days of the date of this Agreement, provided that such rescission right is not effective if the Seller has rescinded the Preliminary Agreement for the Property.
(i.e. If the Deposit is not paid the Seller has the right to rescind this Agreement except if the Seller has already rescinded the Preliminary Agreement.)

All the above comments apply to the Properties, provided that the comments concerning the Expropriation Decision do not apply as there was no equivalent for the Properties.
(i.e. All the above comments apply to the Properties except the comments concerning the Expropriation Decision.)"

So, if that applies, with the exception that if I pay the fine I am NOT found guilty of a violation.

Those statutes need a commentary just to understand them and I KNOW the cop told me I was admitting guilt if I paid.
 

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My interpretation is if you pay the fine - it's over and done and you cannot any longer be taken to court.Just like a traffic ticket I'm guessing.But it remains in your permanent record and your dog would have an unfavorable history.Which could cause you grief in the future if this ever comes up again.Just my uneducated guess.
 

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For me, if I felt I had not committed the offense, I would contest the charge. If I felt the charge had merit (ie say if my dogs were loose in the neighborhood) and that's what the charge was, I would pay it and be done with it. So far as time goes, this has already taken a lot of your time worrying about it. How are you going to feel 1. if you pay it (can you set it aside?) 2. if you go to court (that's always somewhat anxiety producing for me whether I am the person charging or the defendant) regardless of the outcome or 3. if the judge finds against you? While it sounds like "3. is unlikely - highly unlikely - .... whatever you do, it sounds like if you pay the fine, you can no longer contest the charge --



I guess the good news about looming decision time is that whichever way you go, it's done.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
MOW- you summed it up very well. I don't think I'd be found guilty if I went to court for many reasons- the biggest is that it didn't happen but also poor police handling, no evidence, serious inaccuracies in the witness statement, etc. However, it will indeed be anxiety producing regardless. And it is always possible to lose.

So, yes, it is coming on decision time.

I have wasted so much time and stress on this and even bought and put up game cams that cover the stretch of road along my property line. That way at least I may have proof if I am ever accused of this in future.
 

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For me, if I felt I had not committed the offense, I would contest the charge. If I felt the charge had merit (ie say if my dogs were loose in the neighborhood) and that's what the charge was, I would pay it and be done with it. So far as time goes, this has already taken a lot of your time worrying about it. How are you going to feel 1. if you pay it (can you set it aside?) 2. if you go to court (that's always somewhat anxiety producing for me whether I am the person charging or the defendant) regardless of the outcome or 3. if the judge finds against you? While it sounds like "3. is unlikely - highly unlikely - .... whatever you do, it sounds like if you pay the fine, you can no longer contest the charge --



I guess the good news about looming decision time is that whichever way you go, it's done.
Yep...

If you, or your dogs have done nothing wrong, you should defend yourself. You will feel better about it in the future.

If you just bow your head and pay your fine, you may come to regret it in the future. There are many things we have all done in the past that we regret. I don't know anybody that has regretted defending themselves when they have done nothing wrong.
 

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If I were put in this position. Having GSD and Rotties I could be at any time because of breed fear..I would fight it without a doubt.
If you pay it your dog gets a black mark and a "doggy jail" record. This could be used against you if something accidentally did happen down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #74
You know what? You all who said fight it were right. I went with the advice of my lawyer and family and friends who said, just pay it, it'll all be over.

So I got a call from the cops on Monday night claiming someone saw "two german shepherds with a female owner" on Friday. No proof, nothing at all- and nothing happened- the report said the dogs were slightly ahead of the owner, and she called them and they ran back to her. A non-incident either way. This person appears to be related to this original neighbor, but Google is failing me... anyway I guess they thought it worked great once so let's have another go.

And I was issued a "dog at large" ticket! Even though the incident even as described by the cop in no way qualifies as "dog at large" per the statute. I had to bring in a copy of the actual statute to get the name of the person complaining, and the cop mumbled the name and refused to spell it and was overall incredibly unprofessional. He refused to give me the name at first, asking why I wanted it? Why- because someone is falsely accusing me, that is why!

I know this whole thing sounds kind of crazy, or maybe people think I'm not telling the entire story but that is it- NOTHING happened to warrant this, all that happened was the neighbor's friend apparently said he saw two shepherdy dogs on a trail, and the dogs were called in to a female owner.. literally that is all. Again, dogs are allowed to be off leash if under control of the owner per state and town statutes.

When I got home from training last night, a cop was parked in the dirt road next to my driveway. Just there. Honestly, I don't know what is happening and it is really scaring me.

I am going to hire an attorney and fight this- at this point anyone could say anything with no proof and this needs to stop.

If anyone knows a good dog-savvy attorney, please let me know- or PM me. Thanks, and let this be a lesson to anyone else. Fight a false accusation every time!
 

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That is terrifying and completely wrong. I participated in this thread a while back and don't remember every post, but this behavior would be enough for me to move out of that city ASAP, even if a total hassle and would be hard to do. No way I would stick around.
 

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Oh no!I'm so so sorry this is happening to you.I had a similar experience with a neighbor that took a dislike to me.Why I'll never know.It involved the landlord rather than the police but she used to make up outrageous stories.It's maddening!
 

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Sorry @Saco. I was one of the ones to suggest fighting it, based on the fact that if you search my name on our local court records, I have an at large dog charge that still shows up after 20 years. It also slows down the background process when I apply for jobs, because it shows up as criminal even though it was a civil charge. I’ve been to court multiple times trying to get it taken off, or at the very least, changed to civil, and have gotten a ruling in my favor to have the charge moved to civil (where it should have been to begin with) but still hasn’t been changed 2 years later.

When you talk to an attorney, I would recommend naming not only the wack job neighbor, but the police dept as well for harassment. Your attorney can send a Cease-and-desist order to the correct department. I’d also file a complaint about the officer who refused to give you the name of the person reporting. It can, and likely will, get even worse. But what you are experiencing is 100% harassment. I’d also seek a restraining order against the neighbor. From previous comments you’ve made on this thread, it truly seems like your best option.

So sorry it went sideways on you! I have a neighbor that calls 911 and tells them their backyard is on fire, and gives them my address any time fields are being burned. I had to fight in court for false reporting, and the burden of proof was on me. Even better, the neighbor who was calling is married to a fire chief, so I’m sure that did some damage career wise. Apparently they do not like us because of our “scary” dog. Which was Seiran, healing from a jaw injury, with her mouth in a tape muzzle, and a cone of shame on. At 9 weeks old. Yeah, real scary dog. Neighbors can be nightmares. I can’t wait to live with no neighbors at all.
 

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Sigh. I'm sorry this has gone way nutty for you. But to everyone reading this, take it to heart. Don't just blow off unfounded charges. I know it's a PIA to go to court and contest this crap - and if it were true, that would be different and justify paying it. If it's not true, as much of a hassle as it may be, stand up for the truth.
 

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OP... I'm sorry it's working out this way for you......I think every one would like to get along with their neighbors.....have a misunderstanding ...smooth it over and move on-put it behind you--that's what you wanted to do...but based on your posts IMO this neighbor sounded like a certifiable N-U-T !!.....I was afraid this might not end well....


Far to many lawyers??-- nowadays advise people to simply roll over and pay the fine--they try to avoid a court fight when in your case since GSDs are one of "those breeds of dogs" going to court and standing up-- is likely what should have been done.....I hope you can get things turned around in favor of you and your dogs ....and hopefully others can learn from reading this thread...Good Luck...
 

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Did you get another ticket???? Based on an basically hearsay from an unidentified person? And were you even on this trail?

I would get a new lawyer and discuss harassment from the neighbor. I'm really surprised that a police officer went to the trouble to file a ticket.
 
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